We all know that finding the right baby name can be hugely time consuming during pregnancy and that there are plenty of places to look for inspiration – from the ancient Greeks, to Latin origins, and maybe even daring Portuguese explorers.
But what about French names, specifically French girl names?
As we all know, French is the language of love and any name that carries roots from the country flows off the tongue beautifully.
France itself is renowned for its famous connoisseurs of art and fine dining as well, and the country is one of the prime examples of European culture.
Most names hold their roots in French history, taken from either their folk heroes or saints’ names.
This is because until the middle of the 20th century kids were named based on the saint’s day or month they were born on.
In the second half of the 20th century, everyone was allowed to name their child whatever they wanted, as long as it was a French name.
Then, at the end of the century, people could choose whatever name they wanted for their child.
It’s only natural that parents would gravitate toward such a country for inspiration in naming their own kids, especially their baby girls, so without further ado, here is a list of commonly used French baby names.
Madeleine (or Madeline if you use the English spelling) is one of the first names on this list that takes its inspiration from religious stories.
The word Madeleine means woman of Magdala and it symbolizes the saint Mary Magdalene and her life with Christ.
That truly is a great and proud symbolic meaning for a name and one any child would be happy to know the root of.
More recently, the name Madeline has been associated with a French cartoon character, a red-haired girl in a yellow coat and hat who goes out and explores the world with her friends.
So if you end up having a cute little, ginger-haired beauty of a child, Madeline would be the perfect fit.
This was one of the more common baby names in the late 20th century, at least for French people, but one that we’ve been appropriating since the start of the same century.
The name is simply the French word for flower and it rolls off the tongue so beautifully.
If you hold your child dear to your heart and liken them to a breathtaking bouquet of flowers, this is probably the name you should choose.
Claire is yet another magnanimous French girl name, meaning illustrious or enlightened. It originally comes from the Latin word ‘clara’ that carries the same meaning.
If you believe that your child is someone who might become a great public speaker, someone who will propagate peace and understanding, and maybe even become the president of the United States, I believe that Claire is an easy shoe-in.
Who knows, maybe she’ll even end up adding a positive note in our history books one day.
Now, Josephine, – the direct translation of which means ‘God will add’ – was also the name of the wife of one of France’s most famous generals, Napoleon Bonaparte.
With a name that has ties to such grandeur, you simply cannot go wrong.
It also tends to simply be a feminine version of the name of St. Joseph, which would make for a good name for a baby boy – but more on that in our French boy names guide.
Now this is a name that truly signifies how highly you think of your little one and is one of the more thematic baby girl names out there.
And this is because the name Estelle takes its roots from the Latin word stella, meaning star.
Since you value your little one so highly, so much so that you’d put them among the stars, then this is probably the right name for your future daughter.
Now, Alice is most commonly known as an English name, but it is also one of the more popular baby names in France as well.
That’s because the word Alice represents reality or truth in their language, something pure and honest.
Something that does not hide its true colors – all things a baby represents.
Not only that, but the word Alice in English means ‘that of noble kin’, even further magnifying the power such a simple name can hold.
It can even be used as a boys name, though it’s a lot less common.
If you believe that your little one will carry their pure and truthful outlook on the world into adulthood, then you might want to consider putting Alice on that list of potential names.
If it just so happens that your child is born close to or on Christmas day itself, then you’re in luck, because there is a wonderful French girl name that represents that very same event, Noelle.
It’s something they picked up on early as the name itself actually comes from dear Santa, or St. Noel.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be limited to just Christmas.
If you’re a fan of anything associated with snow, winter, or the cozy family time that comes with it (or maybe you just like the name), then Noelle is the perfect representation of all of those warm feelings you get during winter time.
If you’re not one to bother with fantastic meanings and are looking instead for a simple name to give to your child to signify just how beautiful they are to you, then you might want to consider going with the name Belle.
Belle means exactly that – beauty – and is there anything more beautiful in this world than your own baby daughter?
I’d argue it’s the perfect name and also one of the most popular French girl names out there.
Though that might also partly be due to Belle from Beauty and the Beast, one of the Disney princesses.
Yet another beautiful French girl name that doesn’t really have much historic origin to it, but is one that you might hear in serenades or other French songs.
That’s because the name Giselle represents the meaning of a pledge and it was rather common for women to have that name in works of literature when such a concept was explored.
Carrying this name means that the person who owns it is trustworthy, honorable, and never goes back on her word.
I trust that your child will carry these wonderful qualities, among many others, so why not keep this one as a consideration.
While not holding as significant of a meaning in French as many of these other names, Louise is still one that they consider beautiful and is simply a feminine form of the popular boy name in France, Louis.
That said, in the English language, Louise means famous warrior, a powerful meaning in and of its own.
If you believe that your little girl will be someone who will never back down from what she thinks is right and will be a representative of her beliefs, then this is probably a name to consider putting near the top of your names list.
To bring us back down to Earth from all of these fantastical meanings and toward something a bit more homely is the name Genevieve.
While it stems from St. Genevieve, it also holds strong roots in the word Genevieve, which means a woman of the family.
Pretty topical, isn’t it?
One might say that about any loving mother, something your little one is sure to be when she grows up and has a family of her own – so why not give her a name fitting that description?
The word Brigitte means lofty and exalted, someone who is highly revered, and is most often taken as a middle name.
But don’t worry, it’s still common as a first name.
The English form of the name is Bridget if you want to stay closer to your roots, but personally I believe calling one’s daughter Brigitte is rather unique and it’s a name I’ll definitely be considering should I decide to expand my own family in the future.
While I won’t exactly exalt my baby girl, I will still love her greatly, just as I do my other kids.
Delphine is a name that mixes French with a bit of ancient Greek as the name means ‘woman from Delphi’, a place known in Greek mythology as the home of Pythia the oracle, a person responsible for many of the decisions made in that time.
It is a name that represents that of an advisor or a leader and if you trust that your child will make a great one in the future, I believe that this name would suit them best of all.
Here we have somewhat of a troubled name.
While yes, it’s beautiful, it represents a person who is blind to their virtues and blind to the beauty they hold within themselves.
It’s a name often tied to tragic figures in literature who have a tendency to be self-sacrificial and prioritize the well-being of others ahead of themselves.
While yes, this is a commendable trait and one you would be proud to have your baby girl learn as she grows, it’s important to not let it go to the extremes of what this name depicts.
So if you choose this name for your little one, keep that in mind.
Antoinette is yet another one of these French girl names that stems from French royalty, namely the last queen of France, Marie-Antoinette.
It is the cutesy/diminutive form of the name Antoine, which was popular back in the day, bearing little other significance.
That said, being named after the last female French monarch is a merit in itself and one would be proud to have such an honor – maybe even achieving more in their life than their namesake. Maybe your little queen is capable of doing just that.
Monique, is a name derived from the name Monica and means ‘advisor’, and ‘someone who helps others out in their life when they need it most’.
It signifies a person who is filled with empathy toward other people and is ready to share their wealth of knowledge and experience.
A name that, when you say it, seems to generate an air of warmth and safety.
Choosing this name for your child means that you trust that they are more than likely to fit this description accurately.
If you trust that your little girl will be somewhat of a tomboy, a wild child, you might consider naming her Sylvie as the meaning of Sylvie is ‘from the forest’, which would be fitting.
The traits themselves aren’t bad and not every girl is into princesses, castles, and dresses – some just like to explore the outdoors a bit more and explore the wonders of nature.
Alternatively, you can choose a more regionally appropriate name of Sylvia if you think it sounds better while still retaining the same meaning.
Children’s voices are meant to be heard and that’s something that this French girl name represents – ‘to be heard’.
It’s also a name you’d attribute to someone if they were meant to be a great public speaker, someone with a lot of wisdom, or simply someone who tells a good tale every now and again.
Your child might grow up to be an eloquent storyteller or a writer and Simone might just fit perfectly on their first book cover.
Carrying its roots from the renaissance, the name Renee means just that, to be reborn. It’s a way of describing someone who enters their new self for a chance to do better.
It is a name that’s not quite as popular as the others, outside of some niche circles.
If you’re an avid believer in reincarnation, then Renee is probably going to be one of your favorites.
On the other hand, if you’re someone who is quite religious and Catholic, Dominique could be the ticket as this name has the literal meaning ‘to be of God’, and this way you’ll get to maintain the same tenets within your child.
Doing so without forcing them into doing anything they wouldn’t want to do, a faithful compromise in these modern times where people like being individuals.
If you’re looking for an alternative to something that might ring a bell, you can opt for Celeste instead.
And yes, you guessed it, it means celestial, heavenly, angelic.
It doesn’t have to hold a religious meaning either, it can just mean that you consider your bundle of joy to be a gift from the heavens, an angel that’s ready to spread love and joy throughout the world.
Despite having this religious meaning, it can still be used as it’s definitely one of the more unique French girl names out there.
The meaning of the name Odette, ‘to be wealthy’, doesn’t just signify physical wealth. It can be interpreted as a wealth of any resource, be it spiritual, mental, or physical.
One considers themselves wealthy if they have more than enough of something that they value, be it love, money, intelligence, or anything else.
I am certain that your child will have all three examples covered and more, and that they will never be lacking anything in their lives.
Because of this, Odette could be a beautiful and unique name for your baby girl.
Elodie is the same as Odette – at least as far as meanings are concerned, but it’s also a tad more unique and… well, (m)elodious so to speak.
I know it’s a bad pun, but if you’re someone who values music greatly, I am certain that this version of the name would suit you and your child better than the former would.
A shortened version of the name Margaret or Marguerite and French for pearl, Margot is a name that perfectly encapsulates how precious your baby daughter is to you.
It just so happens that a famous actress and model , Margot Robie, has that name – arguably the reason it’s become so popular.
Maybe your child is destined to become a star, too. Who knows?
While possibly sounding a bit pretentious, the name Camille is still rather lovely when spoken out loud.
And that’s because it carries the meaning of being perfect.
It might put a bit of extra pressure on your child if you hold them to that standard, but if you keep that as a personal thought as many parents do with their kids, you should be fine.
Charlotte is a name that was popularized by the English royal family when Prince William and Kate Middleton had their daughter, though the actual origins of the name are, in fact, French.
The name Charlotte means ‘free’, something the French have valued greatly throughout history and the name is the epitome of such a value.
A beautiful one to give to your own daughter to be sure, one that tells the world that she will remain a free spirit, no matter how many hardships try to chain her down.
The name Eloise doesn’t carry that same note as Charlotte might, but it does carry something equally as powerful in a different manner.
Meaning ‘famous warrior’ in French, Eloise is nowadays often given to women who fight for their rights, and who stand on the side of justice and righteousness.
While such fights might not be as glorious as those in the history books, they are equally as important and have big impact without the need of bloodshed, only words.
If you trust that your child will be a hard worker, someone diligent in anything they do and never slacking, Amelie might just be the right name to give them as it carries the meaning ‘hard worker’.
One more French girl name with roots in religion to add to our list is the name Gabrielle. It is a French girl name with a double meaning.
One meaning is ‘God is my Strength’ while the other is simply the female version of the archangel Gabriel.
This could be a more personalized version of the name Celeste if you’re seeking the same meaning, one where you believe your child is an angel sent to you to nurture and grow so they can do great things to benefit humankind as a whole and make us better.
Desiree is a name often given to those women who were adored and desired throughout the lands, more of a nickname at first before sprouting into a full blown first name and has grown to become one of the top 1000 names in the United States.
Definitely a name to be put up into consideration if you believe that others might share a fraction of the adoration that you have for your child with your daughter.
One of the more common French girl names that symbolizes the color white.
Usually given to someone believed to be pure, fair and the like. An ideal name to give to your darling little angel, no doubt.
A name shared with the famous fashion designer “Coco” Chanel so it’s definitely something you might want to throw in for consideration.
The meaning of the word translates to Canal from French as well.
Not the most exciting meaning behind the word, but the name itself sounds rather lovely when spoken out loud, doesn’t it?
I’d definitely put it up as one of the top contenders still.
A name with roots in both Latin and French, Clementine is given to those people who tend to be gentler and calmer than most.
It’s also sometimes given to people who tend to grow petite and cute in resemblance to a rather small citrus fruit of the same name, and seeing as babies often are small, cute and sweet, it’s not that uncommon to see them carry said name.
Colette is a name that is usually given to people who take victory to a high regard due to the meaning of the name translating to Victory and triumph for the people.
It’s not a selfish meaning in any sense of the word thankfully, so naming your daughter Colette wouldn’t sound even remotely arrogant thankfully.
A name given to beautiful maidens of yore and a rather elegant-sounding one at that. If you consider your little girl as an innocent little princess, this is the name that would perfectly encapsulate that vision.
A name stemming from a mix of French and Hebrew origin, the meaning of Danielle ends up being something along the lines of God is my judge
A name that many religious families value greatly when choosing one for their new female child.
A somewhat common name in the United States, but it doesn’t mean that it’s any less special.
The name Denise has its roots deep within the Greek and French languages, meaning Devotee of Dionysius, the God of revels and wine.
While wine isn’t something you’d like to associate your little girl with, the revels part might be to describe their energetic and fun-loving pesonality.
Another one of the more common French girl names in the States, and for good reason.
It’s popular due to the fact that it represents a bright, shining light, a beacon of sorts that helps light the way for other lost and wayward souls.
A name usually given to a leader, an empath and a caretaker.
If you believe that’s a trait that your daughter will carry, feel more than free to dub her with the name Elaine.
If there ever was a de-facto French girl name, then this is definitely it.
The literal translation of the name Francine means from France or Free, both attributes fitting perfectly with any French folk and hopefully your daughter as well.
It’s not all about the meanings either, but in this case, both the meaning and the way the name sounds rolling off the tongue are rather beautiful in their own right.
A simple name with a simple meaning, but simple isn’t always dull. No no, in this case, the beauty of the name is in its simplicity as Jolie translates into someone pretty.
A rather lovely name to give to a girl, don’t you think?
Plus, it might get associated with the last name of the famous actress, Angelina Jolie too, which can be an added plus.
Another rather beautiful sounding French girl name and one with a simple meaning tied to it, meaning to be someone from the French province of Lorraine.
A name that isn’t taken for the meaning itself but rather for how well it rolls off the tongue, and many French names often do that regardless, though Lorraine especially so.
Another rather common name with a beautiful meaning behind it.
Simply meaning light, the name Lucie is usually appropriated to Lucy in the English language.
Both are fine and both are pronounced in a very similar manner, with Lucie having a bit more emphasis on the last syllable than Lucy.
Either way you slice it, it’s a wonderful anme to be giving to your daughter.
A name with two meanings, either bitter or to be of the sea.
While the former isn’t really an exciting one, if you live in a coastal city or have a penchant for sailing often, the latter of the two meanings might resonate better with both you and your daughter.
Consider putting Manon high on your names list if that’s the case, you won’t be disappointed.
Yet another name that means victory for the people, a rather common term in France given the number of revolutions they’ve had, each of these names relating to a different period, but each having a strong connection to freedom and victory over tyranny.
Definitely a beautiful name on its own, doubly so when you consider its origin.
Patrice, simply meaning noble is a name you might want to consider if you find your darling daughter to be a sort of princess for you.
A name that carries itself proudly and one that’s rather easy to pronounce with rather beautiful pronunciation tied to it.
The name Pauline is an alternative way of calling someone petite or small. It’s just up to you to decide whether you like this one or Clementine is completely up to you.
I’d reckon that Pauline has a stronger hold to it, plus it’s a bit less prevalent and more unique sounding too.
Suzette, or Susan/Suzy as we like to appropriate it, is a name that’s often tied to someone who is as graceful and as pretty as a flower.
A rather romanticized name often found in older love poems and poetry in general. Definitely a wonderful name for someone who might grow up to be a romantic soul.
A name that we usually change into Violet, Violette represents exactly what you think it would, the Violet flower and the color that’s tied to it.
Usually a name given to those described as more emotionally sensitive than others, in a good way or someone who is as beautiful as a violet.
A name that is as full of life as the meaning behind it, which translates to about the same or an attribute used when depicting something vibrant.
Zoe has its roots deep within the Greek and French language, the names of the old continents usually finding a way to mix their origins due to their long history.
Last, but definitely not least on my list is the name Juliette.
It is a name that symbolizes the very aspect of youth, one that you cannot go wrong with no matter how you spin it, and is probably my favorite name on this list specifically because of that.
While with most other French girl names you cannot be certain if their meaning is something that your child is going to accept, Juliette simply will as youth is going to be a huge part of their life.
It’s mainly through our own influence that it remains a happy one.
While most of these names do not guarantee that your child will grow up to be the very essence of their meanings, they still might help provide a more positive note to their lives once they know the origin.
If anything, they’ll appreciate that you went through the trouble of sifting through a list of French girl names to find one unique one to give to them as individuality is key in the 21st century.
I hope I’ve managed to help you out with picking a nice name for your baby girl and that she’ll grow up to be a great woman one day.
This post contains affiliate links. Please see our full disclosure for more info.