Posts Tagged With: Thibault

Slightly More French

Julien Quentin, from Au Revoir Mes Enfants, from yggnoise.com

Last week we talked about French names which could work just as well in the English-speaking world. Now it’s time for a look at the flip side of the coin at which popular French names are less likely to work well, whether it be due to cultural settings or pronunciation problems. This list is subject to opinion, however, as what I’m not saying is that you should avoid all names mentioned here. What I am saying is that these names have the potential to cause fret if used outside a French-speaking region. In the last post I highlighted the name Thibault, with the less than obvious pronunciation of tee-bo – but there are plenty of other French names which could trip you up when it comes to trying to say them correctly:

That’s one of the biggest issue when it comes to using names from other cultures: the pronunciation problems. Mireille certainly looks pretty, and sounds pretty when said the way the French do: mee-ray. It’s also worth warning that the French pronounce Camille differently to the English – the ls are silent, plus the name is also considered very much unisex over there. Same goes for Sacha, and Jocelyn is strictly male. As for Quentin, he’s said something like CAWN-ten. The other classic example is Guillaume – the French form of William – which they pronounce as gee-om.

The sole female name I find myself strongly advising against you want to use a legitimately French name, but live in the States, or worse yet England? Fanny. It’s actually quite reasonably well-used in France to this day, and certainly used to enjoy a reasonable amount of popularity back in ye olde days, but given what it’s become slang for in the English-speaking world – especially England – it’s a name that will likely never take off as fellow Frances-derivative named Frankie is. If you want to use Frances, but don’t want you’re daughter to become Frankie, might I suggest Annie or Effie as alternatives.

I also mentioned in the last post how the French use Bastien as a short form of Sebastian – but like Fanny could lead to associations to less-than-wonderful words. It’s a slight shame really, and Bastien could work if you wanted it to. Bastien has popular use in his own right in France. Two other male names which takes on a whole new meaning in France are Come and Loan.

Capucine is a female name in France, and it distinctly similar to our word capuccino. Is it slightly too French? I hesistated when it came to including this name in this post, but feel it’s worth highlighting the name either way.

Whilst not strictly a French name, they do love the name Thais – said tah-eese – which strictly speaking comes from Ancient Greek. It’s popular following it’s use by French composer Jules Massenet. French film Les Enfants du Paradis has been attributed to the popularity of the female name Garance.

In France, Etienne is clearly masculine as he’s their form of Stephen, but I’ve had plenty friends mistake him as a female name. You can understand why, given that many French female names end -enne, think: Adrienne;Vivienne et al. Elouan also falls slightly foul of this, as does Rayane. In France, Valentin is more popular for lads than Valentine is for females, although both are relatively well-used in their own rights. My sister’s favourite name in this category which we shall end with is Sofiane, which is a popular name for males, not females.

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Name Spot of the Week: Exam Names

Exan season is upon me, and now that I’m A-Level, my science exams lack the names that made the Science SAT paper so much more interesting. Nowadays, I have to live with ‘student’, but luckily I take French&Psychology, who do use names, albeit French more than Psychology.

My year was the last to take the Year 9 Sats tests, which contained names such as Tracy, Brian and Ranjit. Yes, Ranjit. Either him or brother Sanjit always made an appearence, in an effort to stay PC, more than anything. It certainly added some humour to the proceedings.

Some other notable names from past papers:

Abdel. Past French Paper.

Adama. Past French Paper.

Angus. Past Psychology Paper.

Bénédicte. Past French Paper.

Bérengere. Past French Paper. There should be a grave accent on the 3rd e, but alas, my keyboard is not French. Bit of trivia for you: English keyboards have qwerty, for the French, it’s azerty.

Bernard. Past French Paper.

Cécile. Past French Paper.

Maika. Past French Paper.

Nina. Past French Paper.

Thibault. It’s a scandal I forgot to include this delightful French names on my recent -o names that aren’t really -o names list, and for those not in the know, it’s tee-bo.

Vandita&Sandra. These two appeared in the same question in a past psychology paper, the mind boggles.

Xavier. I’ve seen him crop up at least twice on past French Edexcel AS-Level exams. (Quick note about English schooling: Edexcel is the name of the exam board, AS is the first year of A-Level, A2 is the second year)

Emma Bunton welcomed a second son this week, fashionably named Tate joins brother Beau. But the best part of the story is the name of the father: Jade.

Speaking of celebrity births, Bryan Adams is now a father to a little girl: Mirabella Bunny. A town near me is named Bunny.

I’m eagerly awaiting the next series of Outnumbered, and the names of two of the child actors are notable: Tyger and Ramona. I thought 15-year-old Tyger had it harsh until I  discovered Tyger is his second middle name, his first name is actually Lindzi. Things must be complicated at the Drew-Honey household, as his mother is called Linzi, and his father is called Simon Lindsay.

I read an interesting article the other day about a gay couple in Arizona who’ve adopted 12 children, my heart leaped when I saw one of their sons is named Ambrose.

I recently discovered the first name of a teacher of mine: Archana, it’s a Sanskrit name, meaning honouring, praising. This is the name of a Hindu ritual.

My father has a friend at t’ Masons called Teg, and it was during the setting up of Ladies Night that I discovered Teg to be a nickname for Tegfan, given his surname, Davies, I’m assuming it’s of Welsh origins.

And the final name spots this week come courtesy of a book by Chris d’Lacey, The Fire Within, he has a talent for naming dragons:

  • Gawain
  • Guinevere
  • Gwendolen
  • Gadzooks
  • Grace
  • Gruffen

I want to give a child the middle name Gadzooks, infact, I now have dibs on Gadzooks and Gawain (or rather, Gwaine); my sister and I have been name dibbing for the past few days, and I’m rather satisfied with my haul, which includes Rupert and Rosalinde, but unfortunately, I’ve had to let go of Josephine. Tis’ all in good spirits though, so I may still get her.

Categories: Name Spot of the Wek | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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