I’ve compiled a list of over 300 beautiful French girl names given to baby girls in France and included their meanings. All the names are organized into convenient categories, from popular French female names by decade, and classic or traditional French girl names, to compound names, gender-neutral names, and rare French girl names. (French boy names are here…)
French girl names used in France
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Choosing the perfect girl’s name for your baby girl is a fun experience, but it can be stressful too.
After all, it will be her name FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE!
However, if you have French ancestry in your family tree, maybe the perfect female name is one that reflects your French heritage.Even if you don’t have French ancestry, French is a beautiful language, and so are French names.
So how do you pick the perfect French girl name?
It depends because beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Some parents prefer trendy or popular baby names. Others prefer traditional, unique or unusual names that hold particular meanings.
Rather than organizing this list of French girl names based on what I think are the most beautiful or prettiest, I combed through the registrar of French Female names given to little girls in France and organized them into the following categories.
How this list of French girl names is organized.
- Popular French female names by year and decade: 2020, 2021, 1800’s to 1900, the 1920s, 1950’s and 1980s.
- Traditional and Classic French names for women. These have been around for a long time.
- Rare French girl names. These might be new or old French female names.
- Disappearing French girl names in France.
- Compound baby girl names such as Marie-Antoinette.
- Gender-neutral French names (can be given to both males and females)
- Famous French female actress names. Sometimes names will spike in popularity based on the popularity of a famous French actress.
- French goddess namesand meanings: these are Frenchified mythological names.
*There may be some overlap: Certain French girl names show up in multiple categories. For instance, the name Marie has been popular for multiple decades so it may show up in vintage names and popular names.
FYI: French girl names tend to be more traditional or classical.
For anyone looking for unusual, weird, made-up or unique female names like “Moonraker” or “Stormi,” you’re going to be a little disappointed. French girl names and French boy names in France tend to be more classic or traditional. And there is a reason for that.
The government in France can control what parents in France name their children and force parents to rename their children with a more acceptable one.
It might sound strange, as It did to my husband, but many countries, not just France, have baby-naming laws that prevent parents from legally giving their children certain names like strawberry.
Baby naming laws are usually put in place to protect children from being given a name that’s offensive or embarrassing, like Adolph Hitler, which is banned in Germany and many other countries.
But some countries, like France, have taken baby-naming regulations a step further, and some French families think it may even be racist in some cases. Like when families in the region of Brittany in northwest France were forbidden from giving their children Breton (Celtic) names.
You might be interested in reading:French baby name laws: 31 names banned in France.
Baby naming traditions: a brief overview
From 1803 to 1966, parents in France could only give their children a saint’s name from the Roman Catholic calendar of saints or a historical person.
It created a long-standing baby-naming tradition which explains why there are so many people with names like Jean-Paul, Marie, Pierre and Louis.
French baby naming rules and regulations have relaxed quite a bit since 1966, and French parents are giving their French babies names that never existed in France before.
For instance, the name Jade has been in the top 10 list of most popular French female names given to girls in France for years, but the name is fairly new. It didn’t appear in France until the early 1970s. There are also more and more names that are foreign or not of French origin now.
Now that you know a little history about baby-naming traditions in France, let’s get to the French girl name list and how it’s organized.
The list of French names for girls starts here.
Get out your notebook!
Here’s what I suggest. First, go through this list of French female names and write down the french names for girls that stand out to you. Then revisit your top choices, and discuss them with your friends, family or partner.
Top 10 most popular French girl names by region in France
In 2020, 2021 and for the past decade, there are certain names that always end up in the top 20 list of baby names given to children in France.
Jade, Louise and Lina tend to be the most common baby names in France given to girls throughout Metropolitan France. Of course, there are ebbs and flows. For instance, the name Emma makes the top 10 list every so often.
Here’s a map showing the total number of births for the most popular names given to girls in 17 different regions of France and its territories in 2020.
|French Region||Name||# of babies|
|Centre-Val de Loire||LOUISE||143|
|Pays de la Loire||LOUIS||287|
100 most popular French girl names in France in 2021 + meaning
Below are the most popular female names given to girls in France for 2021 based on data from INSEE (French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies) and its approximate numbers.
|Rank||Name||Meaning||# of times|
|23||JEANNE||“God is gracious”||1727|
|39||CAMILLE||“young ceremonial attendant”||1428|
|52||CAPUCINE||“like a little hood”||1103|
|56||THÉA||“gift of God”||1044|
|62||GABRIELLE||“God is my strength”||904|
|70||ZÉLIE||“God is my oath”||813|
|76||LISE||“pledged to God”||774|
|80||MATHILDE||“might in battle”||731|
|82||THAÏS||“gift of God”||711|
|89||ANAÏS||“gracious, full of grace”||654|
|96||ELISE||“pledged to God”||618|
|100||JOSÉPHINE||“God will add”||586|
Top 10 most popular and most common French girl names in France (2020)
Here are the most popular French female names given to girls in France, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies ( Insee.fr ). Keep in mind that popular also means common french female names.
The french names for girls listed below are in order of most popular, with Jade being at the top of the list.
Top 30 most Popular French female names in the 80’s
Weren’t the 80’s fun? François Mitterrand was the president of France during the ’80s (from 1981 to 1995). It was the first time since 1958 that the socialist party was in power. The large glass pyramid in front of the Louvre was completed in 1988, and New Wave was arriving in Paris with
|14||SABRINA||“from the Sabine tribe”|
|27||ALEXANDRA||“defender of mankind”|
|28||ANGELIQUE||“like an angel”|
30 most Common French girl names from the 50’s
In the 1950s, France was still very much the France of the cliché. It was pre-American culture, pre-television, and pre-globalization. Women could now vote thanks to a law that was enacted in 1944. France still had strict baby-naming laws, so parents had to choose traditional French names based on the Roman Catholic calendar. You won’t see the name Jade on this list.
|7||DOMINIQUE||“belonging to the Lord”|
|9||CHRISTINE||“follower of Christ”|
|15||MICHÈLE||“who is like God”|
|16||CHRISTIANE||“follower of Christ”|
|22||JOËLLE||“God will add”|
|23||JOSIANE||“God will add”|
|24||DANIELLE||“God is my judge”|
|25||ELISABETH||“God is my oath”|
|26||ISABELLE||“God is my oath”|
|28||BERNADETTE||“brave as a bear”|
70 Old and vintage French female names (1800 to 1900)
Although these old and rare French girl’s names from the 1800s might not make it to the top of French baby name lists anymore, they were extremely popular during this period that included the Belle Epoque (1871 – 1914.), which overlaps with the Victorian era (1837-1901) and the Gilded Age in the United States (1870s)
Like fashion, popularbaby names in France come and go, and sometimes names come back into fashion. For instance, both Léa and Louise were extremely popular French women’s names in 1902, but declined in popularity for a few decades, then made a comeback in the 2000s.
Old Vintage French female names are a good choice for parents who want a more traditional or classic French name but also for anyone who wants to steer clear of common French female names like Louise or Jade.
|4||MADELEINE||“woman from Magdala”|
|13||JOSEPHINE||“God will add”|
|37||ELISABETH||“God is my oath”|
|53||ALPHONSINE||“ready for battle”|
|55||ISABELLE||“God is my oath”|
|66||ELISA||“God is my oath”|
|69||BERNADETTE||“brave as a bear”|
Uncommon French female names
The following French names aren’t on any top 100 lists but they are well-known names for girls in France.
|4||FANNY||(diminutive of Frances) free one|
|7||LAURENCE||(this is a female name in France)|
|8||LUDIVINE||friend of the people|
|10||MAGALI or MAGALIE||pearl|
|13||SÉVERINE||grave, serious or stern|
Really rare French female names that are disappearing or have disappeared in France
If you’re looking for extremely rare or original-sounding baby girl names, here are some female names that are so rare they’ve all but disappeared in France.
|1||Amantine||(French form of Latin name amantēs, meaning “lover,” “beloved,” “true love,” or “eternal love.”)|
|2||Amaranthe||(French form of the Latin name amants, meaning “lover”, “beloved”, “true love” or “eternal love”)|
|3||Anatoline||(French form of Greek name Anathalia meaning “God is my judge.”)|
|4||Brunelle||(French form of Latin word brunus, meaning “dark-haired.” Diminutive form of the name Bruno, meaning “brown”|
|5||Cléore||(French female form of boy name Cléo of greek origin meaning “fame” and “victory.”|
|6||Cyrienne||(French form of Latin name Cyriacus, derived from Greek name Kyriakos meaning “lord” or “ruler.”)|
|7||Colombe||(from Latin “columba” meaning dove)|
|8||Douceline||(French form of Latin name Dulcis, meaning “sweet.”)|
|9||Emiliane||(from the Roman Latin family name Aemilius meaning “rival” or “competitor”)|
|10||Emiliette||(diminutive form of Emilie, from the Roman Latin family name Aemilius meaning “rival” or “competitor.”)|
|11||Eudora||(from Greek “Eudoros” meaning well-gifted)|
|12||Fleury||(from Latin “florus” meaning flowery)|
|13||France||(from Latin Francia, meaning “land of the Franks.” Franks means “free men” in the Germanic language of the people who lived in what is now France and western Germany in the 5th and 6th centuries.)|
|14||Herminie||(French version of Herminia) Herminie Cadolle is a French woman who invented the modern bra.|
|15||Huguette||(Diminutive of Huguenote and French female variant of the name Hugh (Germanic), meaning “mind” or “spirit”)|
|16||Laurentine||(feminine form of Laurent, from Latin name Laurentum, an ancient Roman city of Latium meaning “crowned with laurel” from “laurus” meaning “laurel tree”)|
|17||Léonelle||(feminine form of Léon from Latin meaning Lion)|
|18||Marcelline||(feminine form of Marcel from the Roman family name Marcellus, meaning “little hammer.”)|
|19||Mariette||(diminutive form of Marie from the Hebrew name Miriam, meaning “wished for child”)|
|20||Rosine||(from Latin “rosa” meaning rose)|
|21||Soléa||(from French “solenelle” meaning solemn, from Latin “sollemnis” meaning “alone” or “only,” but can also mean “sun” or “sunny” from French “soleil”)|
|22||Théophanie||(French form of Greek “Theophania” meaning manifestation of God)|
Compound French girl names
Sometimes French names are “Compound names” (prénom composé) which are a set of two or more first names used together, usually separated by a hyphen but not always.
Compound names are one single name and not a first and middle name.
For instance, if you met a French person with the compound name Anne-Laure or Anne Laure, you would call her Anne-Laure, not Anne, and not Laure, unless she asked you to call her by a single name.
Compound girl names can contain a male name.
Compound French names are usually composed of two names of the same gender but can also be composed of a male and female name.
If a compound name has both a male and female French name, the first part of the name dictates whether the name is for a man or a woman.
I know it might sound strange to some people that a girl’s name can contain a male, but not if you’re a French person.
- Marie-Paul and Marie-Joseph are both French female names.
- Paul Marie and Joseph Marie are both French male names.
Paul Marie (born in 1995) is a French professional footballer for MLS club San Jose Earthquakes.
Now, on to the list of compound French girl names.
- Ange-Marie (Ange can be a boy’s name or a girl’s name in French.)
Beautiful French goddess names and meaning:
This particular spelling has Breton roots and means “spark”.
The origin of this female French name is uncertain but is usually considered a variant of the Greek first name “Helena” goddess of beauty and the more recent “Eleonore” such as Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine.
Asia is the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys and mother of Atlas and Prometheus. She is also known as Clymène.
Mythological Roman goddess of dawn (and the French word for “Dawn”)
Also spelled Sélène. She was the goddess of the moon
Circé was a minor goddess in Greek mythology of magic and Sorcery.
Cybèle is of French and Greek origins meaning “the mother of all gods.” In Greek mythology, Cybele was the goddess of health, fertility and nature.
Cyréne is a feminine name of Greek origin, meaning “supreme power“. In Greek mythology, Cyrene or Kyrene was sovereign queen and ruler of the North African city of Cyrene. According to the myth, the city was founded and named after her by Apollo.
Denise is from Dionysius and is primarily a female name of French origin that means Devotee Of Dionysos.
Daphne is of Greek origin that means Laurel Tree or Bay tree and was a Greek water nymph.
Gaïa is the Greek goddess of Earth, mother of all life, mother and wife of Uranus (Heaven).
Isis was the goddess of rainbows and messenger of Hera and Zeus, riding the rainbow between Olympus and Earth. She was also an Egyptian nature goddess and wife and sister of Osiris.
Venus is the goddess of love in Roman mythology.
You might be interested in reading:The names of the 7 days of the week in French: And their curious ancient Roman and Greek origins
French Actress names
If you love French movies, here are some Famous French female actress names throughout the ages.
- Adèle Haenel
- Annabella (born Suzanne Georgette Charpentier)
- Anaïs Demoustier
- Anouk Aimée
- Audrey Tautou (she started in the French cult film Amélie)
- Brigitte Bardot
- Capuchine (born Germaine Hélène Irène)
- Carole Bouquet
- Catherine Deneuve
- Cécile de France (Belgian actress)
- Charlotte Gainsbourg (daughter of French singer Serge Gainsbourg)
- Danielle Darrieux
- Élodie Bouchez
- Émilie Dequenne
- Emmanuelle Devos
- Eva Gaëlle Green
- Frédérique Bel
- Isabelle Huppert
- Juliette Binoche
- Julie Depardieu (daughter of Gerard Depardieu)
- Lætitia Casta
- Léa Seydoux
- Lily-Rose Depp (daughter of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Chantal Paradis, a French singer, model, and actress.)
- Ludvine Sagnier
- Louise Bourgoin
- Marion Cotillard
- Mélanie Laurent
- Romy Schneider
- Sophie marceau
- Vanessa Paradis
- Virginie Efira
Gender neutral French names
The following are gender-neutral names for girls in France (les prénoms mixtes): given to both boys and girls in France.
|Alex or Alix||from Alexandre meaning: defender of mankind|
|Ariel||Lion of God|
|Camille||French version of Camilla, meaning religious helper or ceremonial attendant|
|Dominique||Of the Lord|
|Eden||Place of pleasure and delight or Paradise|
|Sasha/Sacha||diminutif slave d’Alexandre meaning defender of mankind|
|Mahé or Maé||short variant of the name Mazhev, a Breton form of Matthew meaning: gift of god|
|Thaïs||Greek for “beloved”|
More about French Culture
By choosing a French female name for your baby girl, you’ll be paying homage to French culture, which places a huge emphasis on family and tradition.
Alternatively, you might love the way French names sound, and that’s also an excellent way to choose the perfect French baby name for your little girl.
Happy baby naming and good luck!
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Popular French Girl Names
Today, some of the top French girl names around the world include Charlotte (popular across Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the UK), Annabel, and Sophie. In France, some of the most popular names are Jade, Louise, Emma, Alice, Ambre, Lina, Rose, Chloe, Mia, Léa.
French names for boys that are uncommon in the US but rank in the France Top 100 include Maël, Gabin, Clément, Marceau, Sohan, Maxence, Malo, and Basile. Stylish French names that are rare in both the US and France include Amaury, Corentin, Sylvain, and Victorien.What is a very French girl name? ›
Eloise, Margot, Esme, and Adele are climbing the chart so are outside the top 200 but growing in popularity. And it's easy to see why when they sound so pretty. Other more unique French girl names include Elodie, Fleur, Maribel, Ottilie, or Sylvie.What is a French girl name for sky? ›
Celine is a popular French baby name with Latin origins meaning “sky” or “heavens.”What is a special French name? ›
Unique French baby names attracting fresh attention in both France and beyond include, for girls, Capucine, Darcy, Delphine, Elodie, Maribel, Oceane, Ottilie, Quincy, Romilly, and Sylvie. For boys, Dion, Emilien, Florent, Julius, Lionel, Montague, Pom, and Quincy.What French girl names mean hope? ›
Nadine — The French version of Nadia with the meaning of "hope."What are some very fancy names? ›
9. Amour. Amour means love. Rarely used since the early 20th century, Amour is a French gender-neutral name that was used far more frequently for boys than it was for girls.Is luxury a girl name? ›
The name Luxury is both a boy's name and a girl's name meaning "extravagance, opulence". A particularly opulent way to get to the nickname Lux (or Luxe).
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Dulcie is a name that stems from the Latin word dulcis, meaning sweet. This root word is behind the French word for sweet, douce, and the Italian word for sweet, dolce.What French girl names mean flower? ›
Fleur. Fleur is French for 'flower' and is a pretty, edgy name for a baby girl.What are French names for light? ›
Elayne is French origin female given name which means 'light'. It is a unique variant of names like Elaine or Elena.What is a royal female name? ›
Diana, Elizabeth, Eugine, and Mary are some famous yet common royal names for girls.What is a very unique girl name? ›
Pretty and Unique Baby Girl Names
- Annalise. ...
- Brigitta. ...
- Charmaine. ...
- Constance. ...
- Geneviève. ...
- Larisa. ...
- Lorelei. ...
Perfecta as a girl's name is of Spanish origin meaning "perfect or flawless".What French names for girls mean angel? ›
With connotations of the French word ange, meaning 'angel', Angeline means 'messenger'. 'Angelina' is a variation of this name — a name well-recognised due to the famous actress Angelina Jolie.What is a really pretty name? ›
|Abby||Father of exaltation||Hebrew|
|Adelia||Noble; noble kind||German|
Boone – French, meaning "blessing."What name means miracle in French? ›
The French baby girl names Mireille, Marvel and Marvella all mean “miracle,” while Mireya is a Spanish name that means “miracle.” Micaela and Mikelle are both English names that mean “gift from God,” while Mirabelle is a French name that means “of incredible beauty.” We also love the names Bea, Gwyneth, Annie, Sachi, ...
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Théo. This is the short French form of the boy's name Théodore, which has Greek origins. It means “gift of God.”What name means happiness in French? ›
Felicia: Derives from the word meaning 'happy' in French.What are the most amazing names? ›
|Azariah||Helped by God||Hebrew|
- Honey Pot.
- Baby Boy.
- Baby Love.
- Honey Bun.
Mary: Best known as the mother of Jesus, Mary is a name meaning "beloved."How do French call their love? ›
Mon petit chou / Mon chou / Chouchou
Mon petit chou is a term of endearment that is used to refer to someone you love. It can be translated to mean "my little cabbage" or "my darling". Even if you've just started learning French, you might have already come across it.
Along with Athena and Luna, other mythological girl names in the US Top 1000 include Aurora, Daphne, Iris, Lilith, Maeve, Maia, Penelope, and Phoebe. Norse and Hindu mythology names are less common among American parents, but offer such beautiful choices as Indira, Priya, and Signy.What French name means queen? ›
The name Reine is girl's name of French origin meaning "queen". This regal French name is a descendant of the Latin Regina, as is the Spanish Reina.
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Fleur. Fleur is French for 'flower' and is a pretty, edgy name for a baby girl.What are the top 5 most attractive female names? ›
There aren't many French terms of endearment more romantic than mon amour, which means “my love” in French. Is it ma amour or mon amour? Whether you're speaking to a man or a woman, the term is the same: mon amour.What's a fancy French name? ›
Unique French baby names attracting fresh attention in both France and beyond include, for girls, Capucine, Darcy, Delphine, Elodie, Maribel, Oceane, Ottilie, Quincy, Romilly, and Sylvie. For boys, Dion, Emilien, Florent, Julius, Lionel, Montague, Pom, and Quincy.What flower name means love? ›
The red rose is known as the flower of love. The red rose symbolizes deep emotions and desires. Red roses are traditionally given to symbolize love, but aren't the only ones to earn this title. Other types of love flowers include peonies, sunflowers, or tulips, which symbolize happiness, prosperity and romance.What French name means happiness? ›
Laetitia means joy, happiness.What is adorable in French? ›
mignon. (Translation of adorable from the GLOBAL French-English Dictionary © 2018 K Dictionaries Ltd)What are the top 100 prettiest girl names? ›