No language evokes beautiful, chic, and elegant like the French language does. It's no wonder parents of all cultural backgrounds search for French names when choosing a moniker for their daughters.
The custom of naming in France traditionally involved parents taking saint names from the Roman Catholic calendar of saints. The Roman Catholic calendar assigned a saint for almost every day of the year, so parents typically gave their child the name of the saint that was attached to the day of the child's birth. This explains the prevalence of names like Marie, Michelle, Catherine, and Thérèse.
This tradition dissolved after 1966 when a law was passed to allow for French names that weren't religious, such as Violette or Geneviève, but they were still required to be French. It wasn't until 1993 when parents were free to name their child whatever they liked without any restrictions.
Here is a comprehensive list of traditional and popular French names for girls used in France and Canada.These names will give any girl an aura of elevated elegance and beauty.
Popular French Girl Names
|Name||Meaning||Famous People With This Name|
Audrey Tatou (French model and actress)
Magnificent and great
Brigitte Bardot (French actress), Brigitte Macron (first lady of France)
Title character in the novel and movie "Coraline"
Diminutive of Charles
Charlotte Gainsbourg (French actress and singer), Charlotte Le Bon (Canadian T.V. presenter), Charlotte Church (opera singer)
Young green shoot
Chloë Sevigny (actress), Chloé (French fashion house)
Oath of God or God is satisfaction
The subject of Beethoven's song "Fur Elise"
God is my strength; one of the archangels
Gabrielle Union (actress),
Feminine version of John
Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc)
youthful, beautiful, and vivacious
Heroine from Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," Juliette Adam (French author and feminist)
Elevated and magnificent
Madeleine L'engle (author of A Wrinkle in Time), Madeleine Albright (politician), Madeline (title character from the book "Madeline")
Lady of the sea; inspired by the Biblical Mary, mother of Jesus
Marie Curie(French scientist), Marie Antoinette (Queen of France)
Little dark-haired girl; dark
Mélanie Laurent (actress from Inglorious Bastards)
Winsome, pleasant, lovely
Noémie Lenoir (French model and actress)
From the forest
Sylvie Vartan (French singer)
crown of glory
Stéphane Audran (actress)
Cute and Pretty French Names
- Adélaïde: noble
- Amelie: hardworking
- Aurelie: golden
- Aveline: little hazelnut tree
- Celeste: Heavenly
- Clementine: mild, merciful
- Coralie: coral
- Cosette: something small and tiny
- Delphine: dolphin
- Élodie: foreign riches
- Éloise: healthy
- Esmée: beloved one
- Fayette: a little fairy
- Fleur: flower
- Fosette: dimpled
- Geneviève: woman
- Giselle: a pledge
- Inés: chaste and pure
- Lilou: lily flower
- Manette: sea of bitterness
- Manon: a derivative of Madeline, which means "elevated" or "magnificent"
- Margot or Margaux: pearl
- Meline: little honey
- Mirabelle: plum
- Nicollete: victorious
- Noelle: born on Christmas
- Noémie: pleasant and lovely
- Risette: pleasant little laugh
Classic French Girl Names
- Adrienne:from the city of Hadria
- Agnès: pure or holy
- Alice: Truth or reality
- Aline: noble
- Amélie: hardworking and industrious
- Anastasie: resurrection
- Andrée: feminine version of Andrew; brave
- Anne: gracious
- Antoinette: highly praiseworthy
- Bernadette: Brave as a bear; name of the girl saint who saw an apparition of Mother Mary in Lourdes
- Carole: A strong woman
- Caroline: strong
- Catherine: pure and clear
- Charlotte: feminine version of Charles, meaning manly
- Christine: follower of Christ
- Claire: clear and bright
- Colette: one who is victorious
- Danielle: God is my judge
- Dominique: belonging to the Lord
- Denise: Greek origin for Dionysius, the god of wine
- Édith: blessed with riches
- Émilie: excelling in all things
- Françoise: France or free one
- Geneviève: a race of women
- Isabelle: God is my oath
- Joséphine: God will add
- Juliette: youthful
- Lille: lilly
- Lucie: light
- Madeleine: an elevated tower, magnificent
- Mathilde: strength in battle
- Michelle: one who is like God
- Monique: wise
- Nathalie: born on Christmas day
- Pauline: humble and small
- Renée: reborn or born again
- Simone: one who hears
- Sophie: having wisdom and is skillful
- Sylvie: from the forest
- Thérèse: to reap or to gather
Unique French Names You've Probably Never Heard Of
- Abrielle: A woman of God
- Aceline: A noble woman
- Adalaide: Noble person
- Adalene: Person of aristocracy
- Adaline: Kind-hearted person
- Adelle: Diminutive form of Adeline
- Alodie: Wealthy
- Amalie: Hardworking and curious
- Aimée: Beloved and nurturing one
- Anelise: Devoted to God
- Annette: A variant of Hannah
- Audette: A bird
- Aurore: Goddes of dawn; golden and lively
- Aurorette: Variation of Aurore
- Aveline: hazelnut
- Avice: A refuge in battle
- Avignon: A city in Southeaster France that was the seat of Catholic Popes in the Middle Ages
- Avriel/Avril/Avryll: Spring and April
- Basilie: Basil
- Belle: Beautiful
- Benoite: Blessed
- Bijou: Jewel
- Blaise: Derived from the Greek word, Basilius, meaning royal or kingly
- Blanche: White
- Blisse: Delight or joy
- Camille: unblemished and perfect
- Capucine: cape
- Celine: Heavenly
- Cerise: Cherry
- Cezanne: A big flower
- Chanel: Pipeline
- Chantae: A sweet song
- Chantal: A stone for building
- Clarette: Clear and bright
- Davignon: dearly loved person
- Édelie: Having high principles
- Elayne: A ray of light
- Elloise: famous in war
- Eulalie: a well-spoken or sweet-speaking person
- Fabienne: a bean farmer
- Fleurine: to flow or little flower
- Garcelle: little spear
- Geneve: of the race of women; city in Switzerland
- Giverny: a French town
- Hughette: bright in mind and spirit
- Joelene: pretty
- Lizette: consecrated in God
- Marlène: graceful star of the sea
- Maëlle: princess, ambitious
- Maëlys: prounoucned Mah-Eh-Lee. It means "chief."
- Monet: noble
- Nadeleine: a ray of hope
- Ninette: God's valuable talent
- Océane: means ocean
- Odette: rich and wealthy
- Rochelle: woman who is like a rock
- Rosalee: Garden full of roses
- Salomé: from the Hebrew meaning peace
- Severine: a stern person
- Seychelle: an island
- Sidonie: follower of Saint Denys
- Solange: solemn or religious
- Yolanthe: strong
- Zélie: mother of St. Therese of Lisieux
Vintage French Girl Names
Hyphenated Compound French Names
Compound names used to be very common in France before the 21st century. Nowadays, you will often find people from the older generation with hyphenated names, but those in the younger generation have just one first name. The following are some common two-word French names for girls. They are considered a unit, so when meeting someone with a hyphenated name, address her with both words and not just the first one.
Read More From Wehavekids
luna on August 22, 2020:
i love all the names. thank you so much
MarkP on July 28, 2020:
Except I know two Jean-Marie’s... both females.
TmH on July 26, 2020:
Except "Jean-Marie" is not a girl's name, it's a boy's name with no unisex usuage. Jean in French is masculine and as a name prefix it masculinises any name that follows it, as is the case with Jean-Marie. Think also Jean-Paul, Jean-Francois.
Jay on July 23, 2020:
These names are so cool and cute I would recommend them for anyone
ERMMMMMMM!! on July 18, 2020:
I like chickens!!!
Nomi on July 01, 2020:
These names are awesome
Not putting my real name on June 30, 2020:
OMG guys don’t put your name put a fake one cos who wants other people to know their name like exactly so listen to me and please don’t do it thank you so much and by the way I really liked it thx for a name I am pregnant and I found a really good name for my baby bye!
Nomi on June 30, 2020:
??! I dont understand
Idkkkkk??? on June 30, 2020:
I actually have a comment but I found this really good (not) lol baiii
Nomi on June 30, 2020:
Ben on June 30, 2020:
Hi I loved this
Lol on June 30, 2020:
I don’t get this lol OMG
Noémie on June 30, 2020:
Hi I like all the names!
Camille on June 13, 2020:
Eloise in French is with a silent H - Heloise.
Cosette is the name of a very sad and unlucky character of the famous "Les Miserables" - dont name your daughter Cosette...
Most Sylvies are 60 yo and over in France, as much as it is nice, it is not given to babies anymore.
Lily on May 23, 2020:
Maija on May 21, 2020:
Sylvie, Cosette, or Eloise? What should my baby sister's first name be? I think her middle name should be Delphine.
Gloire on May 09, 2020:
Gloire is a nice name but its not on the list.
Suzanne on May 08, 2020:
As someone who has traveled extensively in France and married into the culture, some things I noticed on your list:
- I agree with the person who said NEVER name a child Pipi for the love of God!
- Anelise is traditionally not with a "y".
- Anais has always an umlat (dots) over the "i" -thus ah-nah-EES.
- Along with Maelle ( please forgive that I can't put the umlat on this device) is Gaelle (with umlat); I think it means "gael" as in Scottish celt. It's gaee-ELL. Its an old name from Brittany.
- You left out Lucie, Lillie, Danielle, Colette, Gabielle.
- Lilou is a nickname. Like Minou. You call small children and cats those names. Lol
- I love that you include hyphenated names. Some of my favorites were there: Marie-Joelle and Marie-Claire. The first can be spelled traditionally Marie-Joel with the umlat over the "e". Others I've heard are Marie-Joseph (very old name) and Marie-Luce ( the "c" is "s" - the "u" between "oo" as in ooze, and the "u" in put or foot.
- most importantly, people should know that most names are pronounced differently in French. For example, the name Jade is not "Jayde" as in English. It's "zhahd". Make sure you consider both pronunciations.
Jolene on May 01, 2020:
Yay. My names on the list.
Jasmine on April 30, 2020:
I love the name Gabrielle!
Elizabeth on April 19, 2020:
@someone same!! Also, my name is on the list!!
Someone on April 19, 2020:
I’m learning french
Sophie on April 17, 2020:
I'm Cajun so I don't know if I count as FRENCH french but my grandmothers first language is French so yeah.
Clarisse on April 13, 2020:
Oh My Goodness! My name is on there! So is my sisters, Chanel! And a few of my friends
Anonymous on April 11, 2020:
I'm French and I just wanted to warn future parents that Pipi means urine in French and that it would be quite unfortunate to name your daughter that.
Bahh on April 10, 2020:
Aurélie is simply beautiful
Anominis on April 07, 2020:
There is loads of choice and, honestly I can't decide which one to choose. Can someone give me a suggestion?
LilyXu on April 07, 2020:
I still love these names!
somebody on April 07, 2020:
love the names so much
Grateful on April 06, 2020:
I need names that roll off the tongue beautifully and that are memorable. Thank you so much. I love the variety.
Dude guy person on April 02, 2020:
Im in love with these names. France has a magnificent variety of them too.
a person on March 27, 2020:
I just love your names so origanal. not like other websites at all
Someone on March 26, 2020:
I have been looking for some names for my story. All the names I found were cliche and unoriginal. But then I remembered how beautiful French names are. Thank you so much, these names are amazing. I love them so much
some person who likes french name on March 26, 2020:
I apselutly love these names. so beautiful.
Lily Xu on March 25, 2020:
I love these names so beautiful I am using them for a character in a book I searched everywhere for if Anne-Belle is a compound french name and it always corrected it to Annabelle. Your website just proved it is a French name. Thank you so much! keep it up!
Someone on this planet on March 24, 2020:
Really pretty names!
Lily on March 22, 2020:
this is my favorite page such beautiful french names! keep it up guys! or girls whoever you are.
peggy on March 17, 2020:
some person on February 27, 2020:
basically we never heard of the name belle?
Shrek on February 24, 2020:
my name is passed on by my mom and she was frenahch
Ageno Edward on December 17, 2019:
Leigh on November 23, 2019:
Kenna on October 26, 2019:
These names are beautiful
liliana on October 01, 2019:
Hermione lover on June 09, 2019:
isabell on May 25, 2019:
god is my oath
Sarah marie on April 30, 2019:
Hrodebert on April 28, 2019:
Olivia on February 20, 2019: