Top 20 first names in France


I’ve  always been fascinated by children’s names. As a teacher, learning – and remembering  – the names of your students is extremely important. I have always been interested in the fashion for first names and how this was reflected in my class register. I remember, one year, when I was teaching in London and had a class full of Kylies!

Of course, when it came to naming our two sons, there was another problem. Certain names immediately conjure up memories of naughty boys. I’m being very polite here! We also have a long and unusual surname. In the end, we went for very traditional, ancient names. They are both Biblical names but, to be honest with you, that is coincidental.

When I taught, in France, it was a similar story with certain English names being very popular. However, I was very surprised when Kevin topped the list of most popular boys names, in France. This is how you pronounce it in French!

This is the top 10 girls names in France, at the moment, according to my research in various French magazines and on several websites:

  1. Emma
  2. Louise
  3. Jade
  4. Alice
  5. Mila
  6. Chloé
  7. Inès
  8. Lina
  9. Léa
  10. Léna

And here are the boys:

  1. Gabriel
  2. Louis
  3. Raphaël
  4. Léo
  5. Adam
  6. Jules
  7. Lucas
  8. Maël
  9. Hugo
  10. Liam

I think there are some lovely names, some interesting names and some surprising ones. What do you think? Do you have a favourite first name? I’d love to know!

Sharing with #AllAboutFrance

Lou Messugo


25 thoughts on “Top 20 first names in France

    • I was surprised by Emma, too. Our boys are Jonathan and Daniel but are known as Jonny and Dan which I love as well. Names can also be very generational. When I started learning French, at school, it was all about Pierre and Nicole!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Surprised to see Emma in the top spot. I love to read the births column in the local newspaper when I’m over in France. Some of the names are quite exotic to my ear and I’ve noticed a trend for boys Italian names.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m surprised at how English some of the names are, particularly the first four girls names. There’s a lot more acceptance of unusual names now that there used to be but some are quite ridiculous! I couldn’t say what my favourites are as there are so many I like. I think perhaps I’d choose Madeleine for a girl in the highly unlikely even that I was to be required to name a new baby. I do like Gabriel for a boy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the French do have a liking for English names. I think names from other languages are often perceived as being exotic. My sons are called Jonathan and Daniel but are known as Jonny and Dan! If we’d had a girl I may have chosen Olivia or Amelia. What’s in a name?!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s interesting to see the evolution away from the preponderance of “traditional” names (like Jean-Marc, Jean-Yves, Jean-Paul, Jean-Michel, and on and on)! I had the pleasure of working with French people named Kevin, Maryjane, and Pete, but I think I still prefer some of the names I’ve encountered that appear to be uniquely French — Aude or Manon for a woman, for example, or Raphael and Maxim for a man.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it’s always interesting to see how names have evolved. When I was learning French, at school, the most common names were Pierre, Nicole, Chantal François/Françoise, Gilles and all those ones you mention! I love the way certain names sound so much better in French, in my opinion, e.g. Agnes. Amelie became very popular in the UK, for a while. I’m sure we can all guess why!


  4. I’m surprised by Emma, I only know one (short for Emanuelle) and Adam (never heard it in France) but most of the others (girls and boys) don’t surprise me. However, the pronunciation of Kevin is not at all how it’s pronouced in my area. Here it is very much Keveeeeeen. (Awful!) Thanks for linking up to #AllAboutFrance

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi there, love all the names. Some French names sound exotic to my American ears and really beautiful and then my husband will inform me they’re really old fashioned and not cool at all. So I like seeing your up-to-date lists.
    Just one thing about the video pronouncing Kevin in French. Maybe I’ve met a bunch of weirdo Kevins in France but that’s not how they say their name. It’s more like kay-veen and not vin like wine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi! I agree about some French names sounding so exotic. A lot of my French friends have difficulty in pronouncing my name and say ‘June’ like ‘chune’! Of course, if I say it’s the equivalent of ‘juin’, they find that really strange 😂😂 I must ask the locals around here how they pronounce Kevin..!


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