French baby names for girls & boys

French baby names for girls & boys

French is a beautiful old language, but for years, their names for people were very limited. Why? It was the law.

As it was explained in The Monroe (Louisiana) News-Star in 1966:

Heretofore, people in France have been restricted, in naming their children, chiefly to “those names appearing in the various calendars,” described as “mainly saints’ names” and “those of personalities known in history.”

No wonder it seemed that so many of the Frenchmen were named Jean or Pierre.

Now, however, the French government has ruled that children can be named after figures from Greek and Roman mythology, and also that the parents can give them such common names as James, Ivan or Manfred.

But still barred are “first names of pure fantasy, words representing objects, animals or qualities and names recalling political events.”

Fortunately, those rules were eased in the mid-1990s, and now, citizens of France can pick from a wide variety of French baby names — or names that are Irish or Arabic or Japanese — or any kind they like… almost.

It’s not exactly a free-for-all. As of 2019, the French government’s Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques (INSEE) site explained it this way (as translated):

In particular since 1993, the registrar can no longer refuse the first name chosen by the parents. He may, however, notify the public prosecutor if he considers that the first name is detrimental to the child’s interest (example: ridiculous or rude name); or that the name disregards the right of a third party to have his family name protected (for example: a parent cannot choose as a first name the surname of another person whose use would constitute a usurpation). The public prosecutor can then refer the matter to the family court judge, who can request the deletion of the first name from the civil registry.

Here’s a look at some of the most popular French baby names, past and present.

The formatted tables show the most popular names in France given to babies born in 2017. You can change the number shown per view, as well as sort by name, popularity rank or length.


Top 100 most popular baby names for girls in France

RankNameNumber of letters
1Emma4 letters
2Louise6 letters
3Jade4 letters
4Alice5 letters
5Chloé5 letters
6Lina4 letters
7Mila4 letters
8Léa3 letters
9Manon5 letters
10Rose4 letters
11Anna4 letters
12Inès4 letters
13Camille7 letters
14Lola4 letters
15Ambre5 letters
16Léna4 letters
17Zoé3 letters
18Juliette8 letters
19Julia5 letters
20Lou3 letters
21Sarah5 letters
22Lucie5 letters
23Mia3 letters
24Jeanne6 letters
25Romane6 letters
26Agathe6 letters
27Eva3 letters
28Nina4 letters
29Charlotte9 letters
30Inaya5 letters
31Léonie6 letters
32Sofia5 letters
33Margaux7 letters
34Louna5 letters
35Clara5 letters
36Luna4 letters
37Maëlys6 letters
38Olivia6 letters
39Adèle5 letters
40Lilou5 letters
41Clémence8 letters
42Léana5 letters
43Lana4 letters
44Capucine8 letters
45Elena5 letters
46Victoria8 letters
47Aya3 letters
48Mathilde8 letters
49Margot6 letters
50Iris4 letters
51Anaïs5 letters
52Giulia6 letters
53Alicia6 letters
54Romy4 letters
55Nour4 letters
56Elise5 letters
57Théa4 letters
58Yasmine7 letters
59Victoire8 letters
60Lya3 letters
61Mya3 letters
62Elsa4 letters
63Charlie7 letters
64Assia5 letters
65Lise4 letters
66Lily4 letters
67Noémie6 letters
68Emy3 letters
69Lisa4 letters
70Lyna4 letters
71Marie5 letters
72Soline6 letters
73Apolline8 letters
74Alix4 letters
75Gabrielle9 letters
76Valentine9 letters
77Louane6 letters
78Candice7 letters
79Pauline7 letters
80Faustine8 letters
81Héloïse7 letters
82Océane6 letters
83Ines4 letters
84Mélina6 letters
85Maya4 letters
86Thaïs5 letters
87Roxane6 letters
88Salomé6 letters
89Lila4 letters
90Maria5 letters
91Célia5 letters
92Constance9 letters
93Sara4 letters
94Livia5 letters
95Zélie5 letters
96Lyana5 letters
97Emmy4 letters
98Alya4 letters
99Elisa5 letters
100Maryam6 letters

Bonus list: Our top 20 best French baby names for girls

And here’s another version of the highlights, plus a few extras:

  1. Addie
  2. Bridgette
  3. Calanthe
  4. Colette
  5. Danielle
  6. Dalaney
  7. Eglantina
  8. Elicia
  9. Emma
  10. Gemma
  11. Hanriette
  12. Jade
  13. Kamille
  14. Louise
  15. Naeva
  16. Noelle
  17. Shantel
  18. Trista
  19. Verna
  20. Zuri

Top 100 most popular baby names for boys in France

RankNameNumber of letters
1Gabriel7 letters
2Louis5 letters
3Raphaël7 letters
4Jules5 letters
5Adam4 letters
6Lucas5 letters
7Léo3 letters
8Hugo4 letters
9Arthur6 letters
10Nathan6 letters
11Liam4 letters
12Ethan5 letters
13Maël4 letters
14Paul4 letters
15Tom3 letters
16Sacha5 letters
17Noah4 letters
18Gabin5 letters
19Nolan5 letters
20Enzo4 letters
21Mohamed7 letters
22Aaron5 letters
23Timéo5 letters
24Théo4 letters
25Mathis6 letters
26Axel4 letters
27Victor6 letters
28Antoine7 letters
29Valentin8 letters
30Martin6 letters
31Noé3 letters
32Eden4 letters
33Robin5 letters
34Marius6 letters
35Rayan5 letters
36Clément7 letters
37Baptiste8 letters
38Maxime6 letters
39Samuel6 letters
40Léon4 letters
41Yanis5 letters
42Augustin8 letters
43Eliott6 letters
44Maxence7 letters
45Evan4 letters
46Mathéo6 letters
47Alexandre9 letters
48Thomas6 letters
49Simon5 letters
50Gaspard7 letters
51Naël4 letters
52Tiago5 letters
53Amir4 letters
54Isaac5 letters
55Nino4 letters
56Ibrahim7 letters
57Lyam4 letters
58Lenny5 letters
59Malo4 letters
60Imran5 letters
61Marceau7 letters
62Alexis6 letters
63Kaïs4 letters
64Camille7 letters
65Noa3 letters
66Oscar5 letters
67Noam4 letters
68Mathys6 letters
69Esteban7 letters
70Ayden5 letters
71Ilyes5 letters
72Lorenzo7 letters
73Kylian6 letters
74Adrien6 letters
75Côme4 letters
76Wassim6 letters
77Ismaël6 letters
78Soan4 letters
79Amine5 letters
80Youssef7 letters
81Naïm4 letters
82Milo4 letters
83Benjamin8 letters
84Ayoub5 letters
85Joseph6 letters
86Owen4 letters
87Ali3 letters
88William7 letters
89Jean4 letters
90Louka5 letters
91Adem4 letters
92Bastien7 letters
93Léandre7 letters
94Antonin7 letters
95Noham5 letters
96Logan5 letters
97Kenzo5 letters
98Younes6 letters
99Sandro6 letters
100David5 letters

Bonus list: Our top 20 best French baby names for boys

Now, here are our twenty picks from this list, plus a few bonus names:

  1. Adam
  2. Amaury
  3. Bennet
  4. Cannon
  5. Damien
  6. Ethan
  7. Gabriel
  8. Garren
  9. Hugo
  10. Francois
  11. Lavelle
  12. Leo
  13. Leroy
  14. Liam
  15. Louis
  16. Lucas
  17. Mason
  18. Percy
  19. Raphael
  20. Tyson

Our top 10 Old French baby names

If you want to go old school, here are some very old names from France (mostly all for boys) that you might want to consider.

  1. Alas
  2. Calvin
  3. Enguerrand
  4. Eudes
  5. Geoffroi
  6. Gidie
  7. Gosse
  8. Melisende
  9. Piers
  10. Vauquelin

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