The 20 Chicest French Baby Names You'll Want to Steal
It's as though everything the French touch turns to gold, or, at least, is super stylish as a result of their chic influence. We all strive to dress like them, follow their beauty routines, and style our homes like a Parisian, so their elegant names were clearly next in line—although these techie baby names are super cute too. So we went on a French–baby name hunt to track down the most elegant monikers from the stylish nation. Scroll down to see which names made the cut.
Update: This story was originally published on February 27, 2016. Updated by Sacha Strebe.
Camille is actually a unisex name in France, and according to Nameberry it belonged to both the French sculptor Camille Claudel and feminist writer Camille Paglia. It's also the name of Victoria's Secret stunner Camille Rowe. We are obsessed with her super-cute American girl versus French girl film for Vogue—c'est magnifique!
This sweet name is a Nameberry favorite, and it recently returned to their U.S. Top 1000 list after more than half a century. The French feminine version of Clement has some famous admirers too; supermodel Claudia Schiffer named her daughter Clémentine, and so did Ethan Hawke and Rachel Griffiths. The name currently sits just outside the Top 100 in France.
With its origins in Latin, Juliette, this beautiful French diminutive of Julie, means "youthful," and it has seen a spike in popularity in the U.S. in recent years. Aside from its pretty sound, this elegant moniker is the name behind some of our favorite actresses: American talent Juliette Lewis and French beauty Juliette Binoche.
Ranked third in France, Chloé is certainly popular, and we guarantee this classic name will be cute now and in years to come. If you love fashion, this is the perfect name for your little girl. Chloé is one of France's most popular luxury fashion houses, and it's also the name of cool American actress, model, designer and It girl Chloë Sevigny.
This super-chic name originates from the Greek word "chaste" and "pure," and according to Behind the Name, it's ranked fifth in France. We first came across this name while reading the popular book Parisian Chic, authored by celebrity model Inès de la Fressange, where she shares her personal tips and many well-kept secrets of French women.
If you're looking for a strong moniker for your little girl, then Jeanne is it. One of history's most iconic heroines, Joan of Arc, is known as Jeanne d'Arc in France, so you will be attaching that incredible legacy to your child when you give her this name. The French variation of Jean has Hebrew origins and means "God is gracious."
It might sound candy-coated, but Clara's meaning has character and strength. The cute moniker comes from the Latin "clarus," which means "bright" or "clear," so using this name will ensure your daughter omits a confident and definitive path in life. If you're a fan of the arts, you'll know that Clara was the darling lead in The Nutcracker ballet. This name will stand the test of time and trends. It was a Top 10 name in the 1880s and now sits at 108 on the popularity list.
From the Latin name Florentius, Florence has a rich history and modern beauty. You may know this name from Florence Nightingale. Considered the founder of modern nursing, Nightingale worked in British hospitals during the Crimean War and reduced the death count by two thirds, sparking a worldwide health reform. She established her own hospital in 1860 and established the Nightingale Training School for Nurses. That's an amazing legacy for any young girl. But if you need any more convincing, it's also the moniker of flame-haired maven and award-winning songstress Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine.
Emmanuelle Alt is the epitome of chic. The editor in chief of Vogue Paris has dressed the same way for years, but we all worship her effortless style and strive to mimic it, right down to her well-cut blazers and crisp white shirts. This name is classic and cool, just like Alt. J'adore.
We know the name as Margot but the French spelling is way chicer, no? Not only does it look pretty on paper but we also think it's a cooler version of the much-loved monikers Margaret or Marguerite. This spelling was made popular thanks to American fashion model and actress Margaux Hemingway, and granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway. It's also the name of über-cool model Margaux Brooke. But really we just love the name, regardless.
The French version of Jacob has a regal touch, as it was the moniker for the Prince of Monaco, Jacques I, between 1689 and 1751. This is a classic French boy's name that will be popular for years to come. Besides, it just has a cool ring to it, right?
The French derivative of the Roman name Quintinus, it's a great name of many famous people. While it's ranked #39 in France, it's also a very hip name in America too. President Theodore Roosevelt named his son Quentin; it's also the moniker of famous movie director Quentin Tarantino and awesome illustrator Quentin Blake, known for his work in all the Roald Dahl children's books.
This trendy unisex name stems from the Greek name for "helper" or "defender." For a bit of history, Nameberry says Alexis is an "ancient (male) saints' name as well as the name of a third century B.C. comic poet." But really it's just super cute, and we think it translates really well from childhood to manhood.
If you love Stephen, then you'll love this French version. The classic name means "garland" or "crown," and we think it has a lot more charm than Steve, don't you?
We are already fans of the English Henry, but the pronunciation and spelling of the French version is way cuter. It just rolls off the tongue, and you don't have to worry about people saying it incorrectly either. Looks good and sounds great; we're sold.
We already adore Maximus, but the French version is super chic. It's popular, too, ranking at #19 in France. The short version of Max is awesome, something you always have to consider when choosing a name. With its slightly feminine look and sound, it's very gender-neutral, which we love. While it's more common in France for men, we think it's a super-edgy and chic girl's name too.
If you love strong boy's names, then Tristan is your match. Tristan has medieval ties and was a dragon-slaying knight at the round table in Le Morte d'Arthur, a literary classic of traditional French and English tales by Sir Thomas Malory. It's bold, brave, and beautiful, the perfect moniker for anyone's son.
If you're looking for a name that has incredible history, then Sébastien is our pick. Behind the Name states it was also the moniker of Saint Sebastian, a "3rd-century Roman soldier martyred by arrows after it was discovered he was a Christian." Apparently the name saw widespread use across medieval France and Spain thanks to the popularity of this saint. It's also cool when shortened: Think Seb, Baz, or Bastian after the little boy from The Never Ending Story.
While it's certainly different, both in sounds and looks, that's kind of what we love about Loïc. This French name is the Breton form of Louis and ranks #141 in France. If you want your child to stand out with a distinctive name, then you've found it right here. Another bonus? It can't be shortened to anything else either.
Do you have a favorite French baby name? What's your favorite moniker from around the world?
Update: This story was originally published on February 26, 2016. Updated by Sacha Strebe.