Posts Tagged With: Zinedine


Clive Anderson, from

Remember how a few months ago I covered 6 girls names used 6 times in England&Wales 2010, and then 8 boys names along similar lines. Well, logically speaking this is the next step on in this so-called-apparent-series and we’re aiming to boost the number of lads name being covered on this blog at the same time; happiness all ’round.


Another one of the dapper boys, there’s a well-known presenter-come-comic called Clive Anderson here in the UK, whom I’ve seen comment on the fact that some often pronounce his name CLEEV, not KLIEV. The name itself comes from the surname and means cliff.


A lesser-used Biblical choice, which mean my god is help. A character with this name turns up in the Old Testament, where he is one of the sons of Moses. T


The Hebrew form of the name Gabriel, which ranks at #78 in England&Wales for the same year. The name means strong man of God and it’s worth talking about the French at this point; I have a male French friend named Gabriel, who pronounced his name the same as we would Gabrielle.


The first name of the famed Lord Nelson, which possibly may derives from the Latin hora, means time, hour, season. We’ve previously covered the name, here.


The name Lionel is the French version of Leon (and also Léon), a name which ranked at #60 in 2010 and is also experiencing relative popularity right now – and so is Leo come to think of it (he’s at #36, up 106 places since 2000).


Similar name Bradley ranked at #100 in 2010, but Radley here has the added bonus of being a literary pick, courtesy of To Kill A Mockingbird. It was also originally a locational surname, meaning the red clearing.


A Japanese name meaning either love or lotus, and he remains relatively popular over in Japan as a male name, although the name is unisex. A side note on Wren: it’s used pretty much equally for girls and boys here in England&Wales, with 6 boys and 8 girls given Wren as a first name in 2010.


I sit on the fence when it comes to the gender of this name. The name originally came about as the Russian short form of Aleksandr or Aleksandra, but has translated into the English-speaking world as a mostly female name – as a female name, Sasha ranks at #204 in England&Wales.


The name of the famed French footballer, who has made an appearance in the Sibset posts before. The name Zinedine is of Arabic origins, and likely means beauty of the faith.

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Not too French

Christophe Maé, from

We kicked the week off looking at a very modern sounding French sibset, so it seems fitting to return to the topic of French names to end the week. Not French words, just French names. Specifically French names that are not too French, like Thibault is. I love the name Thibault, but chances are that you haven’t a clue how to say him, and neither will the majority of the English-speaking population. He’s likely too French for those who don’t have a grasp of the language. If you’re still musing about how to say Thibault, it’s tee-bo.

At the other end of the spectrum is the second most popular girls name in England&Wales: Sophie – the French form of Sophia. And I recently met a Manon/Matisse sibset at a very British cricket club. Other French forms of popular English names include:



Bastien (short form of Sébastien)






But it’s the middle ground of popularity we’re looking at. Something distinctly French. Like Clement. Meilleur Prénoms put him at #19 in 2009 for France. You may have heard Clementine mentioned more and more often, but it’s the masculine name which has really taken off in France of late. On the same list, Clemence ranked at #34 for girls.

Another male name example is Jules. The only Jules I know who aren’t Julians are French. French singer Christophe Maé and his partner Nadège welcomed a son named Jules in 2008. We seem to spell it differently here in Britain as British chef Jamie Oliver is married to a Juliette ‘Jools’ and we also have the widely popular Jools Holland here in Britain, who was born Julian Miles. Jools Miles sounds quintessentially jazz, doesn’t it?

The name Enzo is hugely popular in France, too. I’ve seen people call him the male equivalent of called your child Porsche. The name reportedly became popular in France following Zinedine Zidane using it for his son. Yes, the Zinedine Zidane who famously headbutted an Italian player in the 2006 World Cup final. Enzo is a somewhat controversial name in France, given that it’s Italian, not French. Moreover, the Italian short form of Vincenzo and Lorenzo. Enzo is a zippy little name, especially good if you think Ezra is going to the girls – a name Abby recently featured as a re-run.

Another zippy short name popular in Frenchy-land is Axel. To English ears, this may sound like a somewhat rugged name – and that may add to his charm for you. My other favourite French male name beginning with an A is Aurelian, and we can’t forget to mention Rémi. Yes, he has an accent but I’ve seen plenty parents forgoe this. Infact whilst on the subject of accents, I have a friend named Chloé because her Dad became mixed up when he went to register her – she should be a Chloë.

One of the more popular female names in France right now is Clara – currently at #201 in England&Wales, and not strictly a French name per se. A very French invention cooking up a storm in France is Lilou. Yes, I love Lilou, she’s like a Lily/Lucy smoosh that just seems to work. In a similar vein, the French also love Luna, or their slight variant spelling of Louna. They also recognise the rocking-awesomenous of Lou.

Romain and Romane are popular for boys and girls, respectively; Same goes for Leo and Leonie; Valentin and Valentine. Whilst we may consider Agatha still slightly aged for our babes, the French are embracing their version: Agathe. Another A name they love is Amandine: their version of the once popular name Amanda. There’s also Amine for the lads which has origins in Arabic, and means truthful. For me, I think of the organic compounds known as Amines, but that’s by-the-by. The French and Dutch variation of Anna is also popular: Anouk.

Finally, there’s the Mae– group of names to consider: Maëlys;Maëlle;Maeva;Maeline; Maelie. They all sound distinctly French, but the pronunciation may not come naturally to you. For Maëlys, it’s mah-el-EES; for Maëlle, it’s mah-el.

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