200 Old French Baby Names and Meanings

200 Old French Baby Names and Meanings

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 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?


Old French girl names

Before we delve into the eternally chic French female names, let’s take a moment to appreciate the French women who made history.

French women are nothing if not influential, unabashedly fierce, and forward-thinking.

From the groundbreaking feminist theories of Simone de Beauvoir to Marie Curie’s pioneering, noble-prize-winning work.

And let’s not forget Coco Chanel, George Sand, and Joan of Arc.

There’s nothing old-fashioned about these classic French girl names but should you want your daughter to make a mark of her own, how about:

  1. Aimée: Meaning “beloved”.
  2. Anne: Meaning “grace”.
  3. Annette: Meaning “grace”.
  4. Antoinette: Meaning “praiseworthy”.
  5. Bernadette: Meaning “brave as a bear”.
  6. Cécile: Meaning “blind”.
  7. Chance: Meaning “fortune” or “luck”.
  8. Chanel: Meaning “canal” or “channel”.
  9. Chantal: Meaning “singer” or “stone”.
  10. Charlotte: Meaning “free person”.
  11. Chloé: Meaning “flourishing” or “blooming”.
  12. Claire: Meaning “clear” or “shining”.
  13. Clementine: Meaning “merciful” or “mild”.
  14. Colette: Meaning “victorious” or “triumphant”.
  15. Corinne: Meaning “maiden”.
  16. Crescent: Meaning “one who creates”.
  17. Danielle: Meaning “God is the judge”.
  18. Delight: Meaning “pleasure”, “youthful”, or “emotion”.
  19. Denise: Meaning “devoted to the wine god”. Related to the Greek god name Dionysus.
  20. Desiree: Meaning “desired and longed for”.
  21. Dominique: Meaning “belonging to the Lord”.
  22. Elaine: Meaning “light”. Laney and Alana are darling alternatives.
  23. Fay: Meaning “faiiry”.
  24. Fleur: Meaning “flower”.
  25. Frances: Meaning “free”.
  26. Francine: Meaning “free person” or “from France”.
  27. Gabrielle: Meaning “God is my strength”.
  28. Giselle: Meaning “a promise” or “a pledge”.
  29. Geneva: Meaning “Juniper berry”.
  30. Germaine: Meaning “from Germany”.
  31. Henriette: Meaning “ruler of the home”.
  32. Helene: Meaning “bright” or “shining”.
  33. Jacqueline: Meaning “the one who comes after”.
  34. Jeanne: Meaning “God is gracious”.
  35. Jewel: Meaning “precious gem”.
  36. Jolie: Meaning “pretty”.
  37. Josephine: Meaning “God will increase”.
  38. Juliet: Meaning “forever young”.
  39. Laverne: Meaning “from the alder grove” or “spring-like”.
  40. Lourdes: Meaning “from the town of Lourdes”.
  41. Louise: Meaning “brave warrior”.
  42. Lucie: Meaning “illuminating” or “light”.
  43. Lucienne: Meaning “light”.
  44. Madeline: Meaning “great” or “strong”.
  45. Mallory: Meaning “unlucky”. It’s not the most promising of meanings, but there’s no doubt Mallory boasts major vintage vibes.
  46. Margot: Meaning “pearl”. A French name flush with chic connotations.
  47. Marguerite: Another variation of Margaret, meaning “pearl”
  48. Marie: Meaning “star of the sea”. It can also mean “rebellious” and “beloved”. But we love its associations with the first female winner of the noble prize most of all.
  49. Marianne: A compound of Mary and Anne. It means “beloved”, “star of the sea”, and “grace” all in one.
  50. Marjorie: Meaning “pearl”.
  51. Marthe: Meaning “mistress of the house”.
  52. Marvelle (or Marva): Meaning “miracle”. A marvel indeed!
  53. Michelle: Meaning “who is like God?”
  54. Monique: Meaning “advisor” or “wise counselor”.
  55. Musetta (Or Musa): Meaning “little muse”.
  56. Nicolette: Meaning “victory of the people.”
  57. Noelle: A beautiful French winter name meaning “born on Christmas day”.
  58. Odette: Meaning “wealthy”.
  59. Olive: Meaning “olive tree”.
  60. Oriel (or Orielle): Meaning “golden”.
  61. Pauline: Meaning “small” or “humble”.
  62. Raissa: Meaning “thinker”.
  63. Renée: Meaning “reborn”.
  64. Roslin (or Rosalind): Meaning “rose” or “little red-haired one”.
  65. Ruby: Meaning “red”.
  66. Sojourner: From the French verb so’journer meaning “to stay temporarily in one place”.
  67. Suzette: Meaning “lily”.
  68. Sydney: Meaning “wide water meadow”.
  69. Taylar: From the Old French word tailleur, meaning “to cut”.
  70. Tempest: Meaning “turbulent” or “stormy”.
  71. Tiffany: Meaning “manifestation of God”.
  72. Vail (or Vale): Meaning “from the valley”.
  73. Violette: Meaning “purple flower”.
  74. Yvonne: Meaning “yew wood”.
  75. Zoe: Meaning “life”.

Old French boy names

Old French male names are not just born from kings and generals.

Writers, philosophers, artists, and engineers have all left a lasting impression on French society over the centuries.

And on many a list of classic French names for boys.

You’ll find them hidden amongst the names and meanings below.

Who’s footsteps will your baby boy follow?

  1. Algernon (or Algie): Meaning “wearing a mustache”.
  2. Antoine: Meaning “praiseworthy”.
  3. Armand: Meaning “army soldier”.
  4. Arthur: Meaning “strong man”.
  5. Bellamy: Meaning “fine friend”.
  6. Benoit: Meaning “blessed”.
  7. Boswell: Meaning “well near the woods”.
  8. Brice (or Bryce): Meaning “speckled”.
  9. Cable: Meaning “rope-maker”.
  10. Case: Meaning “case-maker”.
  11. Chancellor: Meaning “office holder”.
  12. Chapin: Meaning “shoemaker”.
  13. Charles: Meaning “free person”.
  14. Chase: Meaning “hunter”.
  15. Claude: Meaning “lame” or “crippled”, but don’t let this dissuade you. This old French title has been forever immortalized in the modern imagination by the founder of impressionist painting: Claude Monet.
  16. Corbin (or Corwin): Meaning “crow”.
  17. Darrell: Meaning “from Airelle”.
  18. Delano: Meaning “of the night”, from the French de la nuit.
  19. Denis: Meaning “follower of the wine god, Dionysus”.
  20. François: Meaning “free man”, its most famous bearer is perhaps François-Marie Arouet – better known as Voltaire.
  21. Franklin: Meaning “free man”.
  22. Fraser: A Norman name meaning “strawberry flowers”.
  23. Frederic: Meaning “peaceful ruler”.
  24. Gabriel: Meaning “God is my strength”.
  25. Garland (or Garlyn): Meaning “wreath”.
  26. Gaston: Meaning “guest”.
  27. Gay: Meaning “merry”.
  28. Gaylord: Meaning “high-spirited”.
  29. Gilbert: Meaning “bright promise”.
  30. Gustave: The French take on the Swedish name Gustav, meaning “staff of the Gods”. It makes our list thanks to the famous French engineer Gustave Eiffel – the mind behind the iconic Eiffel Tower.
  31. Guy: Meaning “guide” or “leader”.
  32. Hugo: Meaning “intelligent”.
  33. Jacques: Meaning “supplanter”.
  34. Leroy (or Lee, or Roy): Meaning “the king”.
  35. Linus: Meaning “flax-colored hair”.
  36. Lionel (or Lyon): Meaning “little lion”.
  37. Louis: Meaning “brave warrior.” It’s a meaning made all the more potent by Louis XIV who was known for his strategic mind and strong-willed rule.
  38. Luc: Meaning “the light”.
  39. Lyle: Meaning “the island”.
  40. Marc: Meaning “warlike”.
  41. Marcel: Meaning “little warrior”.
  42. Marlon (or Marlin): Meaning “little hawk”.
  43. Maslin: Meaning “little twin”.
  44. Neville: Meaning “from the new town”.
  45. Nicolas: Meaning “victory of the people”.
  46. Noel: Meaning “born on Christmas day”.
  47. Orville: Meaning “from the golden town”.
  48. Pascal: Meaning “Easter child”.
  49. Paul: Meaning “small” or “humble”.
  50. Percival (or Percy): Meaning “pierce the veil”.
  51. Philippe: Meaning “lover of horses”.
  52. Pierre: Meaning “like a rock”.
  53. Prewitt: Meaning “valiant little one”.
  54. Quennel: Meaning “dweller by the little oak tree”.
  55. Quentin: Meaning “the fifth one”.
  56. Raphael: Meaning “healed by God”.
  57. Richard: Meaning “strong ruler”.
  58. Roy: Meaning “king”.
  59. Russell: Meaning “red-haired”.
  60. Samuel: Meaning “God has heard”.
  61. Sargent: Meaning “servant of the law” or “protector”.
  62. Sébastien: Meaning “venerable” or “revered”.
  63. Simon: Meaning “God has heard”.
  64. Sumner: Meaning “summoner”.
  65. Talbot: Meaning “messenger of destruction”.
  66. Telo: Meaning “land” or “earth”.
  67. Théo: Meaning “gift from God”.
  68. Thibaud: Meaning “bold or brave people”.
  69. Thomas: Meaning “twin”.
  70. Travis: Meaning “to cross”.
  71. Tyson: Meaning “high-spirited”.
  72. Valentin: Meaning “healthy”, “strong”, and “power”.
  73. Varden: Meaning “from the green hill”.
  74. Victor: Meaning “victorious”. What better way to celebrate French history than naming baby for the author of Les Misérables and the Hunchback of Notre Dame: Victor Hugo.
  75. Yves: Meaning “yew”.

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: Meaning “defender of man”.
  2. Alizee: Meaning “trade wind”.
  3. Anaël: Meaning “the grace of God”.
  4. Andréa: Meaning “virile”.
  5. Ange: Meaning “angel”.
  6. Aurèle: Meaning “golden”.
  7. Camille: Meaning “religious attendant”.
  8. Chandler: Meaning “candle maker”.
  9. Chaney: Meaning “oak tree”.
  10. Ciel: Meaning “from heaven”.
  11. Clarence: Meaning “clear”.
  12. Eden: Meaning “garden of Eden” or “delight”.
  13. Elaloïs: Meaning “healthy”.
  14. Elie: Meaning “the Lord is my God”.
  15. Émile: Meaning “strive” or “excel”.
  16. Félice: Meaning “lucky”.
  17. Flannery: Meaning “red-haired”.
  18. Fleury: Meaning “flower”.
  19. Florian: Meaning “flower”.
  20. Forest (or Forster): Meaning “Woods”
  21. Fortunatus: Meaning “lucky” or “blessed”.
  22. Gène: Meaning “well-born” or “noble”.
  23. Gurvan: Meaning “wisdom” or “brave”.
  24. Hilare: Meaning “cheerful”.
  25. Jean: Meaning “God is gracious”.
  26. Jules: Meaning “forever young”.
  27. Lillian: Meaning “lily”.
  28. Lior: Meaning “my light”.
  29. Loann: Meaning “light”.
  30. Lou: Meaning “famous warrior”.
  31. Mantel: Meaning “cloak bearer”.
  32. Morgan: Meaning “of the sea”.
  33. Oceane: Meaning “ocean”.
  34. Patrice: Meaning “noble”.
  35. Placide: Meaning “calm” or “peaceful”.
  36. Ranger: Meaning “forest guardian”.
  37. Remy: Meaning “remedy”.
  38. Romy: Meaning “dew of the sea”.
  39. Sacha: Meaning “defending warrior”.
  40. Savon: Meaning “soap maker”.
  41. Sequin: Meaning “shiny disc” or “coin”.
  42. Shantell: Meaning “stone”.
  43. Silouane: Meaning “forest” possible from the Latin Silvanus.
  44. Stephane: Meaning “crown” or “wreath”.
  45. Thierry: Meaning “ruler of the people”.
  46. Toille: Meaning “canvas”.
  47. Tre: Meaning “three”.
  48. Vogue: Meaning “popular” or “fashionable”.
  49. Yaél: Meaning “mountain goat”.
  50. Yannick: Meaning “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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