330 pretty, vintage, rare & popular French girl names

330 pretty, vintage, rare & popular French girl names

Whether you’re looking for a traditional French girl’s name, a popular or common French girl’s name, vintage, unique or rare French name, I’ve got you covered with plenty of baby name inspiration for you and your future daughter. (French Boy names coming soon…)

Beautiful French Names For Girls

Popular French Names For Girls In France

Choosing the perfect name for your baby girl is a fun experience, but it can be stressful too. After all, your daughter will carry the name you lovingly choose for her FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE!

So how do you pick the perfect baby name?

It depends because parents find baby name inspiration differently.

Some parents prefer to choose a popular baby name from a list of trendy names. Others prefer a traditional name that holds a particular meaning. And still, others favour unusual baby names that probably wouldn’t win any popularity contests.

If, however, you love French culture, the French language, or you want to choose a name based on your French ancestry, this list of female French names should give you a good start.

How this list of pretty French baby names is organized

popular French girl names in France

There are literally hundreds of beautiful, cute, chic, and unique French baby girl names to choose from for your future bundle of joy.

But beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Rather than organizing this list based on what I think are the most beautiful or prettiest baby names, I combed through the French birth registrar of female French names given to little girls and organized them into the following categories.

  1. By year: I’ve listed the most popular first names based on the year they were popular: 2020, 1900 to 1920s, 1950’s and 1980s.
  2. Traditional and Classic French girl names
  3. Rare and unique French names for girls
  4. Compound baby girl names such as Marie-Antoinette.
  5. Gender-neutral French names  (for male and females)
  6. Female French actress names. Sometimes names will spike in popularity based on the popular French actress.

*There may be some overlap of names in certain categories. For instance, the name Marie has been popular for multiple decades so it may show up in vintage names and popular  names. 

Get out your notebook!

Go through this list and write down the French baby names that stand out to you.

Then revisit your top choices, and discuss them with your friends, family or partner.

Before jumping into the list, let me give you a little background behind French names.

What you need to know about French first names in France

If you’re looking for unusual, weird or made-up French names like Mochaccino or Frappucino, you might be a little disappointed. French names tend to be more classic or traditional, and that’s because the French government has the last say on what name you give your children. 

Old French law: Parents could only name their children after Christian Saints for a long time.

For a long time, Parents in France had to choose a baby name from a long list of acceptable French first names laid out by French authorities. Napolean Bonapart enacted this law which was called the “11 Germinal, An XI,” in 1803. It basically forced parents to only use Christian names based on the names of saints in the Roman Catholic calendar (Jean, Marie, Paul, Josephine, etc.)

163 years later, in 1966, a new, less restrictive law was passed.

This new baby-naming law allowed parents to use diminutive names such as Anna, short for Annabelle, or Theo, short for Théodore. Parents could also choose names inspired by mythology such as HARMONIE, the daughter of Ares and Aphrodite, or regional and foreign names like Kevin.

In 1993 French parents finally had the right to use more creative names.

The real change for French families came in 1993 when French President François Mitterrand removed these restrictive baby-naming laws.

Suddenly parents had the freedom to be a little more creative in their baby naming choices.

Old habits die hard. You still won’t find many French names that are too Avant-garde or crazy.

Some names are illegal in France.

Funny French law: It's illegal to name your child Nutella in France

Although the old restrictive French laws that dictated what names parents could use were removed, the French government can still step in and deny certain baby names in France.

For example, you can’t name your child Nutella in France.

In 2015, a couple tried to name their baby girl “Nutella” after the popular chocolate hazelnut spread, but a judge denied their request. The disappointed French parents were told they could call their baby girl Ella instead (a diminutive form of Nutella.)

Other names that have been refused include “Jihad,” “Ambre” for a boy, and “Liam” for a girl.

Cases like this are rare, and as long as the baby name parents in France choose isn’t offensive, weird or contrary to the child’s best interest, the French authorities will usually approve parents chosen baby name.

You might be interested in reading: 21 Strange, Weird And Funny French Laws In France That Should Change.

The list of French names for girls starts here.

Top most common and popular baby girl names given to females in France

Top 100 most common or popular French names given to girls in France.

According to the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies ( Insee.fr ), the following are the most popular names for girls in France.

These French baby girl names below are listed in order of most popular, with Jade being at the top of the list.

French girl names popular in France: Capucine

  1. JADE /pronounced Zhad/
  2. LOUISE
  3. EMMA (this used to be the most popular French name for girls until recently when Jade took first place.)
  4. ALICE
  5. AMBRE
  6. LINA
  7. ROSE
  8. CHLOÉ
  9. MIA
  10. LÉA
  11. ANNA
  12. MILA
  13. JULIA
  14. ROMY: (French variation of Rose-Marie)
  15. LOU (French variation of Louise)
  16. INÈS
  17. LÉNA (French variation of Hélène and Elena)
  18. AGATHE
  19. JULIETTE
  20. INAYA
  21. NINA
  22. ZOÉ
  23. LÉONIE
  24. JEANNE
  25. IRIS
  26. EVA
  27. CHARLIE
  28. LOLA
  29. ADÈLE
  30. VICTOIRE
  31. MANON
  32. LUA
  33. CAMILLE
  34. ROMANE
  35. LUCIE
  36. MARGAUX
  37. OLIVIA
  38. VICTORIA
  39. ALIX
  40. LOUNA
  41. MYA
  42. SOFIA
  43. CHARLOTTE
  44. SARAH
  45. GIULIA
  46. LYA
  47. MARGOT
  48. NOUR
  49. LYANA
  50. CAPUCINE
  51. CLÉMENCE
  52. THÉA
  53. ELENA
  54. ALBA
  55. EMY
  56. CLARA
  57. LANA
  58. AYA
  59. LYNA
  60. YASMINE
  61. GABRIELLE
  62. ALYA
  63. ALICIA
  64. ROXANE
  65. ZÉLIE
  66. LISE
  67. LILY
  68. LÉANA
  69. MAYA
  70. MATHILDE
  71. LIVIA
  72. VALENTINE
  73. ANAÏS
  74. APOLLINE
  75. THAÏS
  76. LILA
  77. MAËLYS
  78. ASSIA
  79. HÉLOÏSE
  80. AVA
  81. JOY
  82. ALMA
  83. LILOU
  84. MARIA
  85. CONSTANCE
  86. ELISE
  87. MAËLLE
  88. CÉLIA
  89. MARIE
  90. ELLA
  91. AMÉLIA
  92. ELSA
  93. LISA
  94. NOÉMIE
  95. SALOMÉ
  96. EMMY
  97. CÉLESTE
  98. ALBANE
  99. SOLINE
  100. NORA

Vintage French girl names that were common between 1900 to 1920.

Velocipede bike carousel Luna park 1910
Velocipede bike carousel Luna park 1910

The following rare French girl names are rare and don’t usually make it to the top 100 list of names given to girls in France anymore, but they were extremely popular at the end of the Victorian era between the years 1900-1920. This period coincides with the Belle Epoque (1871 – 1914.)

Older traditional French names are still a good choice for parents who want to avoid common and popular French girl names such as Louise or Jade. Vintage French names also tend to come in and out of fashion and usually make a comeback every so often.

For instance, the name Léa was extremely popular in 1902, then declined in popularity for a few decades and made a comeback in the 2000s.

  1. MARGUERITE
  2. GERMAINE
  3. YVONNE
  4. MADELEINE
  5. MARCELLE
  6. MARTHE
  7. ANNE
  8. LUCIENNE
  9. RENÉE
  10. HENRIETTE
  11. HÉLÈNE
  12. GEORGETTE
  13. JOSEPHINE
  14. BERTHE
  15. EUGÉNIE
  16. ANDRÉE
  17. FERNANDE
  18. RAYMONDE
  19. SIMONNE
  20. ANGÈLE
  21. ODETTE
  22. THÉRÈSE
  23. AUGUSTINE
  24. ANTOINETTE
  25. BLANCHE
  26. FRANÇOISE
  27. CÉCILE
  28. GENEVIÈVE
  29. CHARLOTTE
  30. EMILIENNE
  31. ADRIENNE
  32. PAULINE
  33. LÉONTINE
  34. EMILIE
  35. ALBERTINE
  36. CLAIRE
  37. ELISABETH
  38. JULIENNE
  39. PAULETTE
  40. IRÈNE
  41. PAULE
  42. ALINE
  43. AIMÉE
  44. VICTORINE
  45. ERNESTINE
  46. REINE
  47. ROSALIE
  48. OLGA
  49. FRANCINE
  50. ADÈLE
  51. SOLANGE
  52. AUGUSTA
  53. ALPHONSINE
  54. ANDRÉA
  55. ISABELLE
  56. CÉLINE
  57. CLÉMENTINE
  58. CLOTILDE
  59. AGNÈS
  60. PHILOMENE
  61. RACHEL
  62. IRMA
  63. CELESTINE
  64. FELICIE
  65. CAROLINE
  66. ELISA
  67. ALEXANDRINE
  68. VIRGINIE
  69. BERNADETTE
  70. IDA

Popular French baby girl names from the 50’s

female names in France for baby girls

  1. MARIE
  2. MARTINE
  3. FRANÇOISE
  4. CATHERINE
  5. CHANTAL
  6. BRIGITTE
  7. DOMINIQUE
  8. MONIQUE
  9. CHRISTINE
  10. SYLVIE
  11. ANNIE
  12. NICOLE
  13. PATRICIA
  14. EVELYNE
  15. MICHÈLE
  16. CHRISTIANE
  17. CLAUDINE
  18. JACQUELINE
  19. NADINE
  20. JOCELYNE
  21. ANNICK
  22. JOËLLE
  23. JOSIANE
  24. DANIELLE
  25. ELISABETH
  26. ISABELLE
  27. ANNE
  28. BERNADETTE
  29. VÉRONIQUE
  30. MARYSE

Popular French names for girls in the 80’s

French baby girl names

  1. AURÉLIE
  2. EMILIE
  3. ELODIE
  4. CÉLINE
  5. JULIE
  6. MARIE
  7. AUDREY
  8. STÉPHANIE
  9. LAETITIA
  10. VIRGINIE
  11. SOPHIE
  12. MÉLANIE
  13. CAROLINE
  14. SABRINA
  15. VANESSA
  16. MARION
  17. JENNIFER
  18. AMANDINE
  19. JESSICA
  20. LAURA
  21. DELPHINE
  22. CLAIRE
  23. PAULINE
  24. CINDY
  25. SANDRINE
  26. CÉCILE
  27. ALEXANDRA
  28. ANGELIQUE
  29. SARAH
  30. AMÉLIE

Less common French girl names in France

French girl names popular in France

The following French names are 

  1. MAËLLYS (meaning: princess)
  2. LAURENCE (this is a female name in France)
  3. MAGALI or MAGALIE (meaning: pearl)
  4. FABIENNE (meaning: the noble)
  5. SABINE (meaning: woman)
  6. NADEGE (meaning: hope)
  7. FRÉDÉRIQUE (meaning: peaceful ruler)
  8. GAELLE (meaning: Irishwoman)
  9. ELODIE (meaning: foreign riches)
  10. FANNY (meaning: free one) Diminutives of the French name Frances.
  11. ALINE (meaning: noble)
  12. SÉVERINE (meaning: grave, serious or stern)
  13. LUDIVINE (meaning “friend of the people.”) French soccer player Ludivine Diguelman, golfer Ludivine Krautz and French actress Ludivine Sagnier made this rare French name a little more familiar to the French.
  14. FATIMA (Arabic meaning: abstain)
  15. MALIKA (Arabic meaning: queen)

Although there are no official statistics because ethnic statistics are forbidden in France, most immigration of French people of Arab/African descent occurred in the 1960s and 1970s. After which, Arabic names begin making the top 100 list of baby names in France for the first time.

Really rare and uncommon French girl names that are disappearing in France

baby names for French girls

If you’re looking for an extremely rare or original sounding French baby girl name, here are 15 French girl names that have all but disappeared in France. 

  1. Amantine
  2. Amaranthe
  3. Anathilde
  4. Anatoline
  5. Aventine
  6. Cléonice
  7. Cléore
  8. Cyrienne
  9. Colombe (French word for hummingbird)
  10. Emiliane
  11. Emiliette
  12. Eudora
  13. Herminie (French version of Herminia) Herminie Cadolle is a French woman who invented the modern bra.
  14. Huguette (French feminine form of Huge)
  15. Laurentine
  16. Léonelle
  17. Marcelline
  18. Mariette
  19. Rosine
  20. Théophanie

Compound French girl names

female names in France for baby girls

Sometimes people in France have Compound names (prénom composé) which are a set of two or more first names used together, usually separated by a hyphen.

Hyphenated compound names are one single name and not a first and middle name.

For instance, if you met a woman with the French compound name Anne-Laure, you would call her Anne-Laure, not Anne, unless she asked you to call her Anne.

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 man and woman’s name.

In this second scenario, where the compound name has a female and male name, the first part of the name dictates whether the name is for a man or a woman. 

For example: 

  • Marie-Claude and Marie-Joseph are both French female names. 
  • Claude-Marie and Joseph Marie are both French male names. 

Now, on to the list of compound names.

  1. Ange-Marie (Ange can be a boy’s name or a girl’s name in French.)
  2. Anne-Claire
  3. Anne-Françoise
  4. Anne-Lise
  5. Anne-Louise
  6. Clara-Rose
  7. Eva-Louise
  8. France-Line
  9. Laure-Anne
  10. Lee-Lou
  11. Lili-fleur
  12. Lilu-Rose
  13. Lou-Anne
  14. Marie-Adélaïde
  15. Marie-Antoinette
  16. Marie-Carmen
  17. Marie-Claire
  18. Marie-France
  19. Anne-Laure
  20. Marie-Lou
  21. Marie-Océane
  22. Marie-Soleil 
  23. Sarah-Lou

French Actress names

French baby girl names: based on French actresses

If you love French movies, here are some Famous French female actress names throughout the ages. 

  1. Adèle Haenel
  2. Annabella (born Suzanne Georgette Charpentier)
  3. Anaïs Demoustier
  4. Anouk Aimée
  5. Audrey Tautou (she started in the French cult film Amélie)
  6. Brigitte Bardot
  7. Capuchine (born Germaine Hélène Irène)
  8. Carole Bouquet
  9. Catherine Deneuve
  10. Cécile de France (Belgian actress)
  11. Charlotte Gainsbourg (daughter of French singer Serge Gainsbourg)
  12. Danielle Darrieux
  13. Élodie Bouchez
  14. Émilie Dequenne
  15. Emmanuelle Devos
  16. Eva Gaëlle Green
  17. Frédérique Bel
  18. Isabelle Huppert
  19. Juliette Binoche
  20. Julie Depardieu (daughter of Gerard Depardieu)
  21. Lætitia Casta
  22. Léa Seydoux
  23.  Lily-Rose Depp (daughter of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Chantal Paradis, a French singer, model, and actress.)
  24. Ludvine Sagnier
  25. Louise Bourgoin
  26. Marion Cotillard
  27. Mélanie Laurent
  28. Romy Schneider
  29. Sophie marceau
  30. Vanessa Paradis
  31. Virginie Efira

Gender neutral names used in France

The following are gender-neutral names (les prénoms mixtes): given to both boys and girls in France. 

  1. Alex or Alix (from Alexandre meaning: defender of mankind)
  2. Anaël (meaning: God has answered)
  3. Ange
  4. Ariel (meaning lion of god)
  5. Camille (French version of Camilla, meaning religious helper)
  6. Charlie (diminutive of Charles meaning: free man)
  7. Dominique (meaning: of the lord)
  8. Eden (meaning: Place of pleasure and delight)
  9. Sasha/Sacha (diminutif slave d’Alexandre)
  10. Mahé or Maé (Mahé is a short variant of the name Mazhev, a Breton form of Matthew meaning: gift of god)
  11. Thaïs (meaning: beloved, the bond)

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 just love the way French names sound, and that’s also a perfectly good way to choose the perfect French baby name for your little girl. 

Happy baby naming and good luck!

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