Who doesn’t love reading a list of baby names? I love baby names, and I always wonder, what if…? Is it too late to change my kids’ names? (Hint: it is. In France, you only have 5 days to pick a name. An administrative hell will descend upon you if you don’t register the birth within that time-frame.)
But besides the French bureaucracy that comes with giving birth, there are so many questions to think about when naming a kid. Especially across cultures. Does the name mean something to both parents? Will all the grandparents be able to pronounce it? Is it a bit unusual, but not too unusual? A Popular name, but not too popular? Is the kid is going to blame you if he hates his given name? It’s a lot of pressure!
If you’ve missed the post on top girls names and the issues we had there, here is the link: Popular French Baby Girl Names. In both lists I’ve gone for names I love, that are a bit popular, a bit unusual, and pronounceable in English and in French.
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Popular Boys Names in France
The list of trendy baby names in France actually includes a lot of the same American names, eg. Michael. The name, however, is pronounced completely differently in English, while the French have two possible pronunciations that you could go with.
Other names, like Ryan, took me a few minutes to figure out how it was spelt when I heard it in French, because it didn’t sound anything like the North American pronunciation of Ryan.
The name Adam is number 2 in Paris, but the French pronunciation is with the “m” turning into an “n”. I haven’t included these types of names in my list, because while they may be popular in France, you would be hard-pressed to get people to pronounce them with a French accent!
French Pronunciation of Boy Names
So I have to at this point, add a caveat. I’m not trying to discourage you but French boys’ baby names can be more difficult to pronounce for English speakers. In general, boys’ names in French end in a consonant, while girl names end in a vowel. If you look at my list of French girl names, almost every single one ends with an “e”. (This is not on purpose, those are just the names I picked!)
But because the girls’ names end with a vowel, the last syllable is pronounced in both English and French. For boys’ names, we pronounce the last letter in English, but in French, it is very subtle.
So if you listen to “Adrien” above, for example, the “n” at the end is hardly audible. This is the case with a lot of French boy names, so you will have to listen below and decide for yourself.
So here we go, in no particular order, the top 20 popular French names for baby boys, along with their meanings! As with the girls’ list, I have left out the names of family and friends, to avoid being biased.
And an extra two more, as a bonus, to debate over:
So let me know if I’ve inspired you, comment below. And for some fun baby-related French-English flashcards head over to our Free Printables section. A bientôt!
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