18 Under-the Radar French Baby Names You'll Want to Steal

Updated 05/06/19
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When it comes to the French, there isn't much we don't love. In fact, you could say our adoration almost verges on obsession. From their effortless fashion sense to their lived-in beauty, their chic-to-death interiors and perfectly imperfect entertaining style, it's clear they've officially mastered the art of casual cool—we have so much to learn from French moms too. So who wouldn't want to instill some of that je ne sais quoi into their children? We know from the viral success of our first story on French baby names that you share the same fascination for the exotic monikers—these Irish baby names are super cute too.

But this time, instead of rounding up the most popular, we sourced the little-known super cute French baby names that are guaranteed to steal your heart. If you don't have a baby on the way, then you'll definitely want to bookmark these for your future infants—de rien

Zara

Boys

Fashion fans will adore this name (Porter magazine is one of our favorite glossys) but its meaning will also delight. A derivative of the Old French word porte or "door" in English your little mini-me will be the gatekeeper to your heart. Ranked at #375 in the U.S. you know upon choosing it that your child's name will be as unique as his personality.

This unique name is a favorite of our creative director, and with good reason. According to She Knows it's a Teutonic baby name (a Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family) meaning "shining raven" but in French, it means "intelligent" or "glorious raven". It also has a great history. Bertrand Russell was a prolific English philosopher and mathematician of the 1800s.

Every child symbolizes a fresh start and a new beginning which is why Verdell is the perfect newborn moniker. A derivative of Latin, in French it translates to "green" and "flourishing" which is exactly what your child will do when they enter the world in your loving home.

This name has some serious cool factor. We can imagine Rihanna using this for her future son. The "claw" translation is such a strong, bold, and powerful analogy especially when you think of how revered the bald Eagle is in the U.S. This is the kind of French name your son will be proud to answer to. 

Children are like living buddhas. Their view of the world is so untouched by the noise of modern society and they have such clarity around deeper topics of spirituality and the meaning of life. They're like little counselors, which is exactly what Rayder means in English. True to life.

If you're looking for a name that's entrenched in history (and hasn't been used for a while) then this is our pick. Aimery is strong yet soft and according to Behind the Name was introduced to England by the Normans

A child is like an old soul in a young body. Their wisdom belies their years. That's why this sweet French word, meaning wise person, is a fitting name for any newborn. We also love the sound of Sage and let's not forget how beautiful and delicious the herb is too. It's short, which means it can't be abbreviated in the school yard, and strong. A clever choice.

If we had a choice, we'd add an "x" to the end of all our baby name spelling. It just looks so chic. This name is (according to a Nameberry forum) is actually unisex but we love it for a boy. As if it couldn't get any cooler, the Baby Name Guide lists the meaning as "eagle wolf", is your decision made now?

The French variant of Benedict means "blessed" which is just what you will be when your gorgeous bundle of joy enters the world. Pronounced ben-WAH it has a hip Parisian flair.

The Chriselle Factor

Girls

The short form for Mathilde is sugar and spice and all things nice. In typical French style, their version of Matilda has a softer pronunciation that makes it all the more adorable and exotic. It also means "strong in war" or "strength for battle" which is definitely the fighting spirit you want for your little girl.

Just as much as we love most names that end with "x" we simply can't resist a "z" name. The heritage of this gorgeous French girl's name dates back to the middle ages and was popular in the Basque region

This fresh and modern alternative to the popular Australian name, Sydney is an elegant moniker for any young girl. It has a delightful feminine ring to it when pronounced with a French accent. This is a name that has major cute factor when they're young and a mysterious allure when they're an adult.

While you're familiar with the name Agatha, we believe the French variant is softer and more feminine. According to our French Home Décor editor, Gabrielle, it's common among the older generations and probably rarely heard today, but it's pretty so we're calling for a modern resurgence. It's also a precious stone and its French meaning is "kind." Agathe has a lot going for it.

Meaning red in French this precious moniker is a cool combination of tough and pretty. For fans of the Hunger Games character, Rue this is a cool take on the spelling. It's also the name of Johnny Depp's gypsy character in the romantic film, Chocolat so it has a unisex appeal too.

If you love Claudette, then you'll love Josette. This modern variation of Josephine is just as gorgeous and the pronunciation makes it even more so: zho-ZET is ladylike and tender. 

This romantic and incredibly regal name is the perfect title for your little princess. It's actually pronounced "rhen" although our English tendency is to say rain. Either way, it's just as pretty. She'll grow up to be a Queen, just like the name's meaning

While it's still on the lesser-known end of the scale, according to Nameberry Brielle's popularity is on the rise. The short and modern version of Gabrielle is super cute. Snag it before someone else does.

This is an unusual name for a girl but we have a soft spot for the unique—we also love boys names for girls. This French name means gracious and merciful, two traits any parent would be more than happy for their child to possess. 

Need some more options? Sort through the options in our top books below and be sure to share your favorite French baby name.

French Baby Names by Julien Coallier $12
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The Complete Book of the Best Baby Names by Ellen Warren $12
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The Baby Names Almanac by Emily Larson $8
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What to Eat When You're Pregnant by Dr. Nicole M. Avena $12
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