Posts Tagged With: julien

Weekend Post: Bowling Alley Aliases

That epic 92 score, yeah, that’s mine 🙂

It may seem an odd topic to cover, but a valid one since going bowling is one of the easiest ways to spot names, given that there a giant screens down the length of the building, each displaying on average 4 names.

As it so happens, in the past 12 months or so, I’ve been to French bowling alleys more than ones in England. This is possibly because it is one of the easiest activities to do with people who don’t speak your language proficiently; the only French/English you need to know is how to shriek with delight when you get a strike. In this case, the French version of yeah is ouais, which is pronounced pretty much the same way as the English word way.

One of the best things about French bowling alleys is that if you want to see what your name translate in France, the bowling alley is the place to go. I’ve already mentioned this week that my sister went from Heather to Hayley at a French bowling alley, and another friend went from Bethan to Bella. Personally, I usually become Lucie, as that is the more popular spelling in France.

As for my many other friends with whom I’ve shared a lane:

  • Cait became Kate (this could happen anywhere, though)
  • Caprice became Capucine (not through the attendant mis-understanding her, more to do with Caprice choosing to be Capucine in France)
  • Helen became HĂ©lène
  • LĂ©naĂŻg became Lena (this is a French girl; her name is a Breton form of Helen)

Speaking of the French, want to hear some of the awesome names I’ve seen on other French people whilst at the bowling alley? Here you go (I’ve approximated the ages):

  • Sisters Anya & Alexia; between 13-18 ish
  • Brothers Camille & Yannick; mid-20s ish, possibly twins
  • A 30-something female Laurence
  • Twin sisters Louna & Jade; 4-6ish
  • Brothers Quentin & Julien; both under 10.
  • A 50-something Sylvie – was with her 18-25 yr old son, Florian
  • A teen-aged girl named Tameline
  • A 20-something Younes, male – was with either a male friend or relative of similar age named Bouna
Categories: Weekend Post | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sibset of the Week: The Hollandes


Did you here the news? François Hollande has kicked Nicolas Sarkozy out of the ÉlysĂ©e Palace, well, not literally, but he’s the new PrĂ©sident de la RĂ©publique française. To be honest, I’m not surprised Hollande won, given the fact that I’ve heard quite a few French people rant and rave about how much they dislike Sarkozy.

But, rather unbelievably given recent posts, we’re not here to discuss politicals. We’re here to talk names and with former partner and former candidate for the French presidency, Segolène Royale, he has four children:





It’s worth noting that the French almost never pronounce the final s on words and names unless the following word begins with a vowel, so Thomas’ name is pronounced to-mah.

It’s also a good enough moment to mention my love of the French name Françoise, the female form of François, pronounced fran-swawz; both are the French form of the name Francis.

Categories: Sibset of the Week | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Au Revoir Les Enfants

Jean and Julien, from

What do you know, a complete drought of French name-related posts and two come along in quick succession. Yesterday we looked at one of my favourite French language films, and this week we’re looking at one based in the same period of French history, and this one is also based in a all-boy boarding school and was released in 1987. It is based on the childhood of the director – Louis Malle.

For me, this film is the origin of my love of the name Quentin, for in French he sounds so much better to my ears – more like CAWN-ten. The main character was called Julien Quentin, and he had an older brother who also attended the school called François. Julien was played by Gaspard Manesse, and the name Gaspard always brings to mind Gaston from Disney classic Beauty and the Beast. His mother was played by actress Francine Racette.

The film revolves around the Nazi occupation of France. The boarding school which Julien attends has taken in a Jewish boy by the name Jean Kippelstein (although renamed Jean Bonnet), a secret revealed by kitchen-hand Joseph to the local Nazis after the school dismisses him when they discover that he was running a black market amongst the boys. This is based on a real-life experience of the director, who also attended a boarding school which took in Jews. Tragically they were discovered and both them and the headmaster ended up at concentration camps.

The name Jacqueline was the name of two minor actresses in the film; I work with a lady named Jacqueline, who more often goes by the name Jacqui. A much disliked ex-politician here in the UK is called Jacqui Smith, famed for her husband’s rather seedy expenses claims. Thanks to Jacqui from work, I actually love the name Jacqui and we used to call my brother this when he was little because his hair grew so quick he looked very feminine for most of his toddler-days. I think this is very much proof that who you know with a name really does have an impact on how you view their name.

Speaking of the names of the actors, a couple of notable surnames amongst the actors which stood out to me are:

  • Genoud
  • Henriet (One part Harriet, one part Henrietta)
  • Rivet

There were some interesting first names used too. I won’t deny that BenoĂŻt – the French form of Benedict – is a pet-love of mine. Then there is also the French form of ArnoldArnaud which is pronounced ar-NO and means eagle power. I always think of the 90s cartoon Hey Arnold! and indeed the character Rimmer from Red Dwarf when I hear the name Arnold. With Archie and Alfie so popular here in England&Wales, one does have to wonder as to whether Arnie could follow in their steps. I’d call it a long-shot, but wouldn’t rule it out.

My love for the name Marcel derives from another French-language film: La Gloire de mon père. The main character was a young boy named Marcel, with a brother named Paul. They had a male friend named Lili and a sister whose name was never revealed in the film. However, the film is based on a book by one Marcel Pagnol, which was autobiographical. Alongside real-life brother Paul, Marcel had two other siblings: another brother named René and a sister named Germaine. His mother was called the rather lovely name Augustine.

An interesting point to make with the name Germaine, despite having nothing to do with the main film focus of this post is that she ultimately comes from the Latin name Germanus, which meant brother. This does rather pose the question: if you feminise the name, do you feminise the meaning? This rings home for the name Caroline too, since she’s the feminised form of Charles, a name which means man.

Moving back to the names given to characters, you come across the cutesy Babinot, the rather eyebrow raising Hippolyte and the rather modern sounding Perrin.

Categories: Film Names, French Names | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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