If you are expecting a baby, and are looking for French boy names that are unique as well as popular in France, you’ve come to the right place! Even if you are not, who doesn’t love reading a list of baby names and their meanings? I always wonder, what 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.)
If you’ve missed my post on top girls’ names and the issues we had to think about there, here is the link: Chic French Baby Girl Names. In both lists of names, I’ve gone for ones I love, that are a bit popular, a bit unusual, and most of all, pronounceable in English and in French.
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!
☞ READ MORE: Giving birth in France: Oh Baby!
Stylish and Popular Names that won’t work
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!
Read more about French Parenting:
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Names with French Pronunciation
So I have to at this point, add a caveat. I’m not trying to discourage you but in French, boys’ names can be more difficult to pronounce for English speakers. In general, boys’ names 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 alphabetical order, the top 50 popular names for baby boys in France, along with their meanings. As with the girls’ list, I have left out the names of family and friends, to avoid being biased.
Aldric meaning “Wise ruler”.
Antoine meaning “Priceless one”.
Armand meaning “Soldier”.
Arnaud meaning “Eagle power”.
Arsène meaning “Male, virile”.
Augustin meaning “Majestic”.
Aurélien meaning “Golden”.
Basile meaning “Royal, kingly”.
Bastien meaning venerable, revered.
Cédric meaning “bounty”.
Cesar meaning “Head of Hair”.
Clément meaning “merciful”.
Corentin meaning “tempest, hurricane”.
Cyril meaning “lordly, masterful”.
Édouard meaning “Guardian, Protector”.
Emmanuel meaning “God with us”.
Eugène meaning “wellborn, noble”.
Étienne meaning “Crown (French form of Stephan)”.
Fabrice meaning “works with his hands”.
Florent meaning “flowering”.
Gabriel meaning “devoted to God”.
Gaspard meaning “Guest, man from Gascony”.
Gaston meaning “Guest, man from Gascony”.
Guillaume meaning “Resolute Protector (French version of William)”.
Gustave meaning “God’s staff”.
Hugo meaning “Heart, mind, spirit”.
Jerome meaning “Of Sacred name”.
Johan meaning “God is gracious”.
Jules meaning “Youthful”.
Leon meaning “Lion”.
Loïc meaning “Famed warrior”.
Loris meaning “laurel, winner”.
Louis meaning “Famous warrior”.
Luc meaning “light, illumination”.
Marin meaning “of the sea”.
Marius meaning “Male”.
Mathieu meaning “Gift from God”.
Mathis meaning “Gift of God”.
Maxence meaning “greatest”.
Olivier meaning “olive tree”.
Quentin meaning “the fifth”.
Rafael meaning “God has healed”.
Rémi meaning “Oarsman”.
Sebastien meaning “Revered”.
Théodore meaning “God given”.
Thibault meaning “bold, brave”.
Timothée meaning “honoring God”.
Valentin meaning “strong, healthy”.
Yanis meaning “Gift of God”.
Yoann meaning “YAHWEH is gracious”.
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!
¹ Featured Image: Courtesy of Pixabay
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