What’s not to adore about France? It’s a country that’s set the trend on every front, from fashion to food to fine art and beyond. And in addition to the fabulous culture France has given us, it’s also a font of inspiration in the baby name department. French names for girls and boys are impossibly chic and often have thoughtful meanings to match. 

Whether you’re of French descent or are simply a francophile through-and-through, a French baby name won’t disappoint. No matter your reasons for seeking out a French name for your bebe, peruse our list of French names for girls and boys—as well as French baby names that work for both genders—and then let us know your favorites in the comments section below!

French Baby Names for Girls

Amelie: A French girls’ name meaning “industrious,” it’s a strong pick for a baby girl that feels reminiscent of the charming movie by the same name from 2001.

Arlette: A wildy underused French girls’ name here in the States, this unique French girl name means “Lion of God,” and lends itself to cute nicknames Arly or Lettie.  

Bellamy: This precious girls’ name means “fine friend,” a sweet legacy to impart on a daughter. You can call her Bella for short. 

Brielle: The shortened version of Gabrielle has picked up speed in recent years. It’s a unique take on a familiar-sounding girl name meaning “God is my strength.” 

Celine: Giving her the moniker of a world-famous vocal powerhouse cannot be a bad thing. Celine is a popular French baby name with Latin origins meaning “sky” or “heavens.” 

Charlotte: An international top pick with major US and UK appeal, the French female diminutive of Charles—“free man”—is beloved in its home country as well.

Colette: Easy to pronounce and spell, but still quintessentially French, this adorable French girls’ name is a version of Nicholas from the Middle Ages. Its meaning is “necklace” or “victorious.” You can also call her Coco, which would be très chic

Elise: A bit more common to American ears, this popular French baby name for girls means “pledged to God.” 

Elodie: Not as popular as Eloise (also French), but just as light and flowy, this pretty pick translates to “foreign riches.” 

Emmeline: Like Pankhurst, the British pioneer of women’s rights. Or, just because it sounds beautiful and has the noble meaning (“work”). 

Esme: The short-and-sweet French girls’ name means “esteemed, beloved; emerald” in a modern interpretation. The ancient connotation from the Old French verb esmer translates this name as “to esteem, to love."

Estelle: An old-fashioned name having a bit of a revival, Estelle is a lovely French baby girl name that means “star.” 

Fleur: At a time when flower and nature names reign supreme, consider the French word for “flower” as you grow your little garden of children.

Genevieve: It’s a form of the ancient Genoveva, with family meanings “wife, woman.”

Jolie: This jovial sounding French baby name for girls isn’t widely used in France, but is a unique French name nonetheless. It literally translates to “pretty.” 

Josephine: A sweet French name with Greek and Hebrew roots that means “will grow.” The icing on the cake (or should we say the butter on the baguette?), it has two precious nicknames built in: Josie or Fifi. 

Juliette: It’s hard to ignore the Romeo and… connotations, making this love-oriented name a beautiful pick for a baby girl. In French, Juliette means “young” and “downy,” which is soft and sweet for Baby Girl. 

Liana: The name of a tropical vine and also a shortened version of more common picks Elliana and Juliana, this is a pretty French baby name for your little one.  

Lucille: In honor of the great American comedienne Lucille Ball, or just because this lovely, roll-off-the-tongue French baby name for girls has the bright and hopeful meaning (“light”).  

Ottilie: Add this one to the cool-girl name list running through your mind. This unique French name has a “Natalie” feel but stands out from a crowd. Ottilie means “prosperous in battle,” adding to its fierce flair.

Rosalie: This French name for girls means “beautiful rose” and sounds just as lovely as its meaning. This classic French nature name is a beautiful pick for a modern baby girl. 

Sylvie: “From the forest” to your home… an enchanted-feeling French baby name with a fresh and spritely feel. 

French Baby Names for Boys

Alain: The French version of Alan, with Celtic roots and a trifold meaning: harmony, stone, noble. Some connotations of Alain also include the meaning “handsome.”

Antoine: A bold French boys’ name meaning “highly praiseworthy.” You can impart the same moniker on a baby girl by altering the ending to Antoinette. 

Beau: Oft-used in the Southern US, Beau is a unique French boys’ name meaning “handsome.”

Basile: A noble name for boys meaning “royal, kingly,” it’ll be perfect for your petit prince

Benoit: In French it means “blessed;” derived from the Latin another translation is the “one who says the good.” Either way, it’s a feel-good name that isn’t common for baby boys, and lends easily to nicknames Ben or Benny.  

Gabin: A sidestep from the more popular Gavin, the common French version is a place name borrowed from the Italian “of Gabii”—a city in central Italy. It is currently in the top 20 names for boys in France.   

Gaetan: Another place name for boys, this less-popular pick means “of Gaeta”—another Italian city—and is a lovely choice if you’re looking for a more unique French baby name for boys.  

Guy: Old-fashioned names are making a comeback, and this cutie that was popular in the late 1880s could be staged for a resurgence. It’s a French baby boy name meaning “leader” or “guide.” 

Harvey: From the French meaning “battle-worthy,” it’s more popular at home than it is here in the States, but that could be reason enough to consider it for your bébé boy. 

Julien: A popular French baby name for boys, Julien is believed to be derived from the Greek for “downy bearded” or “soft haired.” 

Laurent: A French boys’ name from the Roman surname Laurentius, with Old Greek influences giving it the meaning “bright and shining one.” Fashion-minded parents can’t ignore the nod to Yves St. Laurent, which only makes it even more of a chic choice for a baby boy. 

Lazare: A rare name that’s recently been inching its way up the French name charts, this one is trés chic. The direct translation is “God is my helper,” and the name also appears in the French train station Gare Saint-Lazare, giving it possible place name cred as well.

Lucien: Meaning “light,” it’s a centuries-old French baby name that might take family and friends some getting used to in the pronunciation department, but is well worth it.

Marceau: In lieu of a classic Marc, consider the elegant French riff on the classic name that translates to “little warrior.” 

Mathis: A cool French baby name if you’re naming your baby after a Matthew in the family, this moniker for boys means “Gift of God.”

Maxim: This Latin-derived French boys’ name means “greatest,” and is a nice alternative to the more common Maxwell or Max. 

Olivier: If you’re a fan of Oliver, consider the popular French take which adds some flair with its extra syllable. Olivier means “olive tree” and sounds a bit more dramatic than the English version. 

Percival: Your petit prince would be well served with a storied French baby name that shows up frequently in history and literature, but not as often on the kindergarten attendance sheet. Percival means “one who pierces the valley,” and lends easily to many refined nickname options (Percy, Civi, and Val, to name a few).

Rainier: A very cool French baby name for boys meaning “strong counselor.” He’ll absolutely be the only one on the playground with this unique name.  

Thierry: It means “the power is mighty” or “the ruler of the people,” making this French boys’ name just as bold in meaning as it is in sound.  

Valentin: A darling pick for a baby boy this French name translates to “strong” and “healthy.” It’s also reminiscent of the famed St. Valentine...making it an irresistibly love-filled name for your little one.  

Gender Neutral French Baby Names

Andre: The French form of Andrew is growing in popularity for boys and girls. Despite translating to “masculine and manly,” it also has the meanings “warrior” and “brave” which applies to both genders. 

Blaise: This beautiful French baby name sounds like the English word “blaze,” giving it a fiery feel for a boy or girl. The actual meaning isn’t too exciting—“to lisp, stutter”—but that doesn’t mean it’s not the perfect French name for your baby.  

Noé: The French version of Noah (“rest, repose”) offers both familiarity and style.

Paris: A trendy place name that pays homage to France’s capital, Paris is a beautiful and increasingly popular pick for baby boys and girls. 

Remi: Meaning “oarsman” or “remedy,” this French baby name has a harmonious quality for team-players-to-be. It’s used as a unisex name in France and abroad.  

Simone: A classic French baby name for boys and girls, the French version of Simon means “harkening” and has a beautiful sound to match its cheerful meaning.

Soleil: French for “sun,” this beaming baby name would be well-suited for a shining little blessing of either gender. Nature names are still on the rise, and the more unique the better—so definitely don’t discount this glowing choice.

Final Thoughts on French Baby Names

For francophiles and non-francophiles alike, there are seemingly infinite beautiful French baby names for girls and boys. However, you have plenty of options outside France’s borders. Take a look at all of of our favorite baby names, including:  

Picking a parfait baby name is one of the most important things to do before your bebe’s arrival. But, just as crucial: Picking out the perfect baby bed. Learn more about how SNOO adds hours of sleep for babies—and their tired parents—every night!

About Jenny Studenroth Gerson

Jenny Studenroth Gerson is an Atlanta-based lifestyle journalist and novelist (Let Me Let You Go, 2020). Her work can be seen in publications including HuffPost, Cosmo, and WSJ, among many others. Jenny has researched thousands of baby names, combed through hundreds of nursery designs, and curated dozens of baby shower guides, making her absolutely the mom—and writer—you want to talk to when planning for Baby. When not meeting deadlines, she is chasing toddlers or chugging coffee—or both! Find her on Instagram @ourlifeinrosegold for mom hacks and more.

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