French First Names

Prénoms français

Portrait of a 8 months old baby boy
Catherine Delahaye/Taxi/Getty Images

There are hundreds of common French first names. Some of them look just like their English counterparts, others are fairly similar, and still, others may be uniquely French. This list includes more than 200 of the most popular French names, along with their pronunciation and English equivalents. When looking at these names, please keep the following things in mind.

1. Hyphenated names are very popular in France.

They are usually composed of two names from the same gender; i.e., Jean-Pierre, Paul-Henri, Anne-Laure, or Marie-Élise. Less commonly, they are composed of one boy name and one girl name, with the "correct" gender name first, as in Jean-Marie for a boy or Marie-Jacques for a girl. Note that hyphenated names are considered a single unit — together, they are the person's first name, not a first and a middle. In other words, if you are introduced to Pierre-Louis Lefèvre, be sure to call him Pierre-Louis, not Pierre.

2. Many masculine names can be made feminine with the addition of one of these suffixes: ​-e, -ette, or -ine. Note that when the consonant at the end of the masculine name is silent, the addition of the -e causes it to be pronounced for the feminine, such as Arnaud (silent d) and Arnaude (pronounced d). However, when this occurs with a boy name that ends in é or a pronounced consonant such as l, the male/female distinction is apparent only in spelling, not pronunciation.

For example, Aimé (masculine) and Aimée (feminine) are pronounced the same way, as are Daniel and Danielle

3. The diminutive French suffixes -et and -ot may be added to boys' names, while -ette and -otte can be added to girls' names.

French First Names for Boys

Looking for a name to use in French class, or inspiration for naming your baby?

This list includes more than 100 common French boys names, along with sound files, English equivalents in italics, and "literal meaning in quotes," if any. The (parentheses) indicate any diminutives. When there are are two different spellings on the same line but only one is hyperlinked, the pronunciation for those two spellings is identical.

Adrien   Adrian

Aimé   "loved"

Alain   Alan, Allen

Alexandre   Alexander

Alexis

Alfred   Alfred

Alphonse   Alfonso

Amaury

André   Andrew

Antoine   Anthony

Anton

Arnaud

Arthur   Arthur

AugusteAugustin   Augustus   "noble"

Benjamin   Benjamin   "youngest"

Benoît   Benedict   "blessed"

Bernard   Bernard

Bertrand   Bertrand, Bertram

Bruno

Charles, (Charlot), Charles, (Charlie)

Christian

Christophe   Christopher

Daniel   Daniel

David   David

Denis   Dennis

Didier

Édouard   Edward

Émile   Emile

Emmanuel   Emmanuel

Éric   Eric

Étienne   Steven

Eugène   Eugene

François   Francis

Franck   Frank

Frédéric   Frederick

Gabriel   Gabriel

Gaston

Georges   George

Gérard   Gerald

Gilbert   Gilbert

Gilles   Giles

Grégoire   Gregory

Guillaume, (Guy)   William, (Bill)

Gustave

Henri   Henry

Honoré   (honored)

Hugues   Hugo

Isaac   Isaac

Jacques, (Jacquot)   James, (Jimmy)

Jean, (Jeannot)   John, (Johnny)

Jérôme   Jerome

Joseph   Joseph

Jules   Julius   archaic: "guy, bloke"

Julien   Julian

Laurent   Laurence

Léon   Leon, Leo

Louis   Louis, Lewis

Luc   Luke

Lucas   Lucas

Marc   Mark, Marcus

Marcel   Marcel

Martin   Martin

Matthieu   Matthew

Maurice   Morris

Michel   Michael

Nicolas   Nicholas

Noël   "Christmas"

Olivier   Oliver "olive tree"

Pascal

PatrickPatrice   Patrick

Paul   Paul

Philippe   Philip

Pierre   Peter   "stone"

Raymond   Raymond

Rémy, Rémi

René   "reborn"

Richard   Richard

Robert   Robert

Roger   Roger

Roland   Roland

Sébastien   Sebastian

Serge

Stéphane   Stephen

Théodore   Theodore

Théophile   Theophilus

Thibaut, Thibault   Theobald

Thierry   Terry

Thomas   Thomas

Timothée   Timothy

Tristan   Tristan, Tristram

Victor   Victor

Vincent   Vincent

Xavier   Xavier

Yves   Ives

Zacharie   Zachary

French First Names for Girls

Looking for a name to use in French class, or inspiration for naming your baby? This list includes more than 100 common French girls names, along with sound files, English equivalents in italics, and "literal meaning in quotes," if any. The (parentheses) indicate any diminutives. When there are are two different spellings on the same line but only one is hyperlinked, the pronunciation for those two spellings is identical.

Adélaïde   Adelaide

Adèle   Adela

Adrienne   Adriana

Agathe   Agatha

Agnès   Agnes

Aimée   Amy   "loved"

Alexandrie, (Alix)   Alexandria, (Alex)

Alice   Alice

Amélie   Amelia

Anaïs

Anastasie   Anastasia

Andrée   Andrea

Anne   Ann

Anouk

Antoinette   Antoinette

Arnaude

Astrid

Audrey   Audrey

Aurélie

Aurore   "dawn"

Bernadette

Brigitte   Bridget

Capucine   "nasturtium"

Caroline   Caroline

Catherine   Catherine, Katherine

Cécile   Cecilia

CélineCélina

Chantal

Charlotte   Charlotte

Christelle

Christiane

Christine   Christine

Claire   Claire, Clara   "clear"

Claudine   Claudia

Clémence   "clemency"

Colette

Constance   Constance   "consistency, fortitude"

Corinne

Danielle   Danielle

Denise   Denise

Diane   Diane

Dorothée   Dorothy

Édith   Edith

Éléonore   Eleanor

Élisabeth   Elizabeth

Élise   Elisa

Élodie

Émilie   Emily

Emmanuelle   Emmanuelle

Françoise   Frances

Frédérique   Fredericka

Gabrielle   Gabrielle

Geneviève

Hélène   Helen, Ellen

Henriette   Henrietta

Hortense

Inès   Inez

Isabelle   Isabel

Jacqueline   Jacqueline

Jeanne   Joan, Jean, Jane

Jeannine   Janine

Joséphine   Josephine

Josette

Julie   Julie

Juliette   Juliet

Laetitia   Latitia

Laure   Laura

Laurence

Lorraine   Lorraine

Louise   Louise

LuceLucie   Lucy

Madeleine   Madeline

Manon

Marcelle

Margaux, Margaud   Margot

Marguerite, (Margot)   Margaret, (Maggie)   "daisy"

Marianne   symbol of France

Marie   Marie, Mary

Marine   "navy, seascape"

Marthe   Martha

Martine

Maryse

Mathilde   Mathilda

Michèle, Michelle   Michelle

Monique   Monica

Nathalie, (Nath)   Nathalie

Nicole   Nicole

Noémi   Naomi

Océane

Odette

Olivie   Olivia

Patricia   Patricia

Paulette

Pauline   Pauline

Pénélope   Penelope

Philippine

Renée   Renee

Sabine

Simone

Sophie   Sophia

Stéphanie   Stephanie

Susanne, Suzanne   Susan, Suzanne

Sylvie   Sylvia

Thérèse   Theresa

Valentine   Valentina

Valérie   Valerie

Véronique   Veronica

Victoire   Victoria   "victory"

Virginie   Virginia

Zoé   Zoe

French Unisex Names

Looking for a gender-neutral name to use in French class, or inspiration for naming your baby? This list includes some common French names that are suitable for both boys and girls, along with sound files and English equivalents in italics. (f) indicates that there is an equivalent English name only for girls:

Camille

Claude   Claude, Claudia

Dominique   Dominic, Dominica

Florence   Florence (f)

Francis   Francis, Frances

Maxime   Max, Maxine

Although they're not truly unisex, some names have different spellings for boys and girls which are pronounced identically:

Aimé, Aimée   Amy (f)

André, Andrée   Andrew, Andrea

Daniel, Danièle/Danielle

Emmanuel, Emanuèle/Emmanuelle

Frédéric, Frédérique   Frederick, Fredericka

Gabriel, Gabrièle/Gabrielle

José, Josée   Joseph, Josephine

Marcel, Marcèle/Marcelle

Michel, Michèle/Michelle   Michael, Michelle

René, Renée   Renee (f)