Pregnancy

201 Old French Baby Names and Meanings

Team Peanut
Team Peanutabout 1 month ago8 min read

On the hunt for an old French baby name? You’ve found the right place! Read on to find out which are our favorites.

Old French Baby Names

Old French names have a certain je ne sais quoi, don’t they?

From Madeline to Nicolas, these classic French names exude charm, timeless elegance, and just a hint of mystery.

But then again, what else would you expect from the home of the Eiffel Tower and champagne?

Perhaps you’d like to pick an old French name to celebrate your baby’s heritage, or maybe you just love how these names roll off the tongue—whatever the reason, we’ve got you covered, maman.

In this article: 📝

  • What’s in an old French name?
  • Old French girl names
  • Old French boy names
  • Gender-neutral old French names

What’s in an old French name?

Because old French names often share roots with English, German, Latin, Hebrew, and Greek names, the variety is huge.

So this means that whether you’re looking for a boy, girl, or gender-neutral name, there’s bound to be one that fits the bill.

You’ll notice that many old French names have religious meanings, like Michelle (“closest to God”), Danielle (“God is the judge”), and Jean (“God is gracious”).

These names probably feel familiar, as they are also popular in English-speaking countries.

But there are lots of other more unusual old French names.

Many of these celebrate nature—we love Geneva (“juniper berry”) and Silouane (“forest”), for example.

Want to find out which others make the list?

Allons-y!

Old French girl names

  1. Aimée: “Beloved”
  2. Anne: “Grace”
  3. Annette: “Grace”
  4. Antoinette: “Praiseworthy”
  5. Bernadette: “Brave as a bear.”
  6. Cécile: “Blind”
  7. Chance: “Fortune, luck.”
  8. Chanel: “Canal, channel.”
  9. Chantal: “Singer, stone.”
  10. Charlotte: “Strong and free.”
  11. Chloé: “Flourishing, blooming”
  12. Claire: “Clear, shining.”
  13. Clementine: “Merciful, mild.”
  14. Colette: “Victorious, triumphant.”
  15. Corinne: “Maiden”
  16. Crescent: “One who creates”
  17. Danielle: “God is the judge.”
  18. Delight: “Pleasure, youthful, emotion.”
  19. Denise: “Devoted to the wine god.”
  20. Desiree: “Desired and longed for.”
  21. Dominique: “Belonging to the Lord”
  22. Elaine: (or Laney, or Alana): “Light”
  23. Fay: ”Fairy”
  24. Fleur: “A flower.”
  25. Frances: “Free”
  26. Francine: “Free, from France”
  27. Gabrielle: “God is the hero.”
  28. Giselle: “A promise, a pledge.”
  29. Geneva: “Juniper berry.”
  30. Germaine: “From Germany”
  31. Henriette: “Ruler of the home.”
  32. Helene: “Bright, shining.”
  33. Jacqueline: “The one who comes after.”
  34. Jeanne: “God is gracious.”
  35. Jewel: “Precious gem.”
  36. Jolie: “Pretty”
  37. Josephine: “God will increase”
  38. Juliet: “Forever young.”
  39. Laverne: “From the alder grove, spring-like.”
  40. Lourdes: “From the town of Lourdes.”
  41. Louise: “Brave warrior.”
  42. Lucie: “illuminating, light.”
  43. Lucienne: “Light”
  44. Madeline: “Great, strong.”
  45. Mallory: “ Unlucky” (!)
  46. Margot: “Child of light, pearl.”
  47. Marguerite: “Pearl”
  48. Marie: “Star of the sea.”
  49. Marianne: “Little Mary”
  50. Marjorie: “Pearl”
  51. Marthe: “Lady”
  52. Marvelle (or Marva): “Miracle”
  53. Michelle: “Closest to God”
  54. Monique: “Wise counselor.”
  55. Musetta (Or Musa): “A ballad”
  56. Nicolette: “Victory of the people.”
  57. Noelle: “Born on Christmas Day”
  58. Odette: “Wealthy, praise God, poem.”
  59. Olive: “Peace”
  60. Oriel (or Orielle): “Golden, angel of destiny.”
  61. Pauline: “Small”
  62. Raissa: “Thinker”
  63. Renée: “Reborn”
  64. Roslin (or Rosalind): “Little red-haired one.”
  65. Ruby: “Red gem.”
  66. Sojourner: “To stay for a time.”
  67. Suzette: “Like a lily, graceful.”
  68. Sydney: “From the city of St. Denis.”
  69. Taylar: “To cut.”
  70. Tempest: “Storm”
  71. Tiffany: “Appearance of God”
  72. Vail (or Vale): “From the valley.”
  73. Violette: “Purple flower.”
  74. Yvonne: “Yew wood.”
  75. Zoe: “Full of life.”

Old French boy names

  1. Algernon (or Algie): “mustachioed”
  2. Antoine: “Praiseworthy”
  3. Armand: “Army soldier.”
  4. Arthur: “ Noble one”
  5. Bellamy: “Handsome or good friend.”
  6. Benoit: “Blessed”
  7. Boden: “Herald”
  8. Boswell: “Forested town.”
  9. Brice (or Bryce): “Freckled”
  10. Cable: “Rope”
  11. Case: “Chest”
  12. Chancellor: “Secretary”
  13. Chapin: “Clergyman”
  14. Charles: “Strong, manly.”
  15. Chase: “Hunter”
  16. Claude: “Lame, crippled.”
  17. Corbin (or Corwin): “Black hair, raven.”
  18. Darrell: “Beloved”
  19. Delano: “From the forest of nut trees, of the night.”
  20. Denis: “Devoted from the wine god.”
  21. François: “Free man.”
  22. Franklin: “Free man.”
  23. Fraser: “Strawberry”
  24. Frederic: “Peaceful ruler.”
  25. Gabriel: “God is strength.”
  26. Garland (or Garlyn): “Wreath”
  27. Gaston: “Foreign, guest.”
  28. Gay: “Merry”
  29. Gaylord: “Brave strength.”
  30. Gilbert: “Promise”
  31. Guy: “Leader”
  32. Hugo: “Intelligent”
  33. Jacques: “The one that replaces.”
  34. Leroy (or Lee, or Roy): “The king.”
  35. Linus: “Flax-colored hair.”
  36. Lionel (or Lyon): “Lion”
  37. Louis: “Brave warrior.”
  38. Luc: “The light.”
  39. Lyle: “Island”
  40. Marc: “Warlike”
  41. Marcel: “Little warrior.”
  42. Marlon (or Marlin): “Little hawk.”
  43. Maslin: “Little twin.”
  44. Neville: “From the new town.”
  45. Nicolas: “Victory of the people.”
  46. Noel: “Born on Christmas Day”
  47. Orville: “From the golden town.”
  48. Pascal: “Born at Easter time, Passover.”
  49. Paul: “Small”
  50. Percival (or Percy): “Pierce the veil.”
  51. Philippe: “Befriender of horses.”
  52. Pierre: “Like a rock.”
  53. Prewitt: “Valiant one.”
  54. Quennel: “Dweller by the little oak tree.”
  55. Quentin: “The fifth one.”
  56. Raphael: “Healed by God”
  57. Richard: “Strong ruler.”
  58. Roy: “King”
  59. Russell: “Red-haired”
  60. Samuel: “Asked of God, God has heard.”
  61. Sargent: “Officer”
  62. Sébastien: “Revered and adored.”
  63. Simon: “God has heard.”
  64. Sumner: “Summoner”
  65. Talbot: “Reward”
  66. Telo: “Land, Earth”
  67. Théo: “Gift from God”
  68. Thibaud: “Bold, brave.”
  69. Thomas: “Twin”
  70. Travis: “Crossing”
  71. Tyson: “Son of a German”
  72. Valentin: “Healthy, valiant.”
  73. Varden: “From the green hill.”
  74. Victor: “Victorious”
  75. Yves: “Yew wood, archer.”

Gender-neutral old French names

Old French is a treasure trove when it comes to unisex names.

And some of them are famous—who doesn’t know Vogue and *Chandler from Friends?

  1. Alex: “Helper, defender”
  2. Alizee: “Trade wind”
  3. Anaël: “grace of God”
  4. Andréa: “Courage”
  5. Ange: “Angel”
  6. Aurèle: “Morning”
  7. Camille: “Dressed in white, religious attendant, perfect.”
  8. Chandler: “Candlemaker”
  9. Chaney: “Oaktree”
  10. Ciel: “Sky”
  11. Clarence: “Clear, bright.”
  12. Eden: “Garden of Eden, delight.”
  13. Elaloïs: “Desirable”
  14. Elie: “The Lord is my God, God helps.”
  15. Émile: “Strive, excel.”
  16. Félice: “Great happiness”
  17. Flannery: “Sheet of metal, flat land.”
  18. Fleury: “Flower”
  19. Florian: “Flower”
  20. Forest (or Forster): “Woods”
  21. Fortunatus: “Happy, blessed.”
  22. Gène: “Wellborn”
  23. Gurvan: “Just”
  24. Hilare: “Joyful”
  25. Jean: “God is gracious.”
  26. Jules: “Forever young.”
  27. Lillian: “Lily”
  28. Lior: “Light in me.”
  29. Loann: “Light”
  30. Lou: “Famous warrior.”
  31. Mantel: “Makes clothes.”
  32. Morgan: “Of the sea.”
  33. Oceane: “Ocean”
  34. Patrice: “Clear-sighted”
  35. Placide: “Calm”
  36. Ranger: “Forest guardian.”
  37. Remy: “Remedy”
  38. Romy: “Roman”
  39. Sacha: “Defending warrior.”
  40. Savon: “Soap maker.”
  41. Sequin: “Shiny disc, coin.”
  42. **Shantell: “Stony place.”
  43. Silouane: “Forest”
  44. Sofiane: “One who walks fast.”
  45. Stephane: “Crown of glory.”
  46. Thierry: “Ruler of the people.”
  47. Toille: “Cotton fabric.”
  48. Tre: “Third born.”
  49. Vogue: “Popular”
  50. Yaél: Savage goat (!!)
  51. Yannick: “God is gracious.”

So, what’s the best old French name for your petit chou?

Well, that’s up to you!

After all, you know which name will suit your little one best.

Still haven’t found a name that works for your bébé?

Don’t fret—take a look at these beautiful names from Italy, Spain, and Portugal.

Bonne chance, maman!

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