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A Guide to Old French Names for Your Baby





Choosing a name for your baby is a significant decision that can be both exciting and overwhelming. If you have an appreciation for history, culture, and tradition, you may be considering naming your baby with an Old French name. Old French names have a rich heritage and unique charm that can make your child's name stand out. In this guide, we will explore the world of Old French names, their meanings, popularity, and offer some tips on how to choose the perfect one for your little one.

What are Old French Names?

Old French names are names that were commonly used in France before the 17th century when the French language underwent significant changes. These names often have a Latin, Germanic, or Celtic origin and were popular during the medieval era and the Renaissance period. Many Old French names have a royal or noble connotation due to their usage by aristocratic families.

Popular Old French Names for Boys

  1. Louis: Meaning "famous warrior," Louis is a classic Old French name that has been borne by several French kings.
  2. Philippe: This name means "lover of horses" and was a common name among the French nobility.
  3. Guillaume: The Old French form of William, this name means "resolute protection."
  4. Hugues: Derived from the Germanic name Hugo, Hugues means "heart, mind, spirit."
  5. Raoul: Meaning "wolf counsel," Raoul is a strong and timeless Old French name.

Popular Old French Names for Girls

  1. Marguerite: A French form of Margaret, this name means "pearl" and was popular among medieval royalty.
  2. Isabelle: This elegant name means "pledged to God" and has been a favorite among French-speaking families for centuries.
  3. Aveline: A graceful and charming name, Aveline means "hazelnut" and has Celtic origins.
  4. Eléonore: This regal name means "light" and has a sophisticated flair.
  5. Blanche: Meaning "white" in French, Blanche is a soft and delicate name with a vintage feel.

Choosing the Perfect Old French Name

When choosing an Old French name for your baby, consider the following tips:

  1. Meaning: Pay attention to the meaning of the name as it can have a significant impact on your child's identity.
  2. Pronunciation: Ensure the name is easy to pronounce in your native language to avoid confusion.
  3. Popularity: Check the popularity of the name to see if it aligns with your preference for a unique or common name.
  4. Family Roots: Explore your family tree for inspiration and consider naming your child after a beloved ancestor.
  5. Sound and Flow: Say the name out loud with the surname to see how it sounds together and ensure a harmonious flow.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Are Old French names still popular today?
    Old French names have seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, especially among parents who appreciate vintage and traditional names.

  2. Do Old French names have specific meanings?
    Yes, Old French names often have meanings derived from Latin, Germanic, or Celtic origins, adding depth and significance to the name.

  3. Are Old French names difficult to pronounce for non-French speakers?
    While some Old French names may have unique pronunciations, many are easily adaptable to different languages.

  4. Can Old French names be used for both boys and girls?
    Yes, many Old French names are gender-neutral or have variants that can be used for either boys or girls.

  5. Are there regional variations in Old French names?
    Yes, depending on the region in France, certain Old French names may be more popular or have distinct variations in spelling or pronunciation.


Choosing an Old French name for your baby can be a special way to honor history, culture, and tradition. Whether you prefer a regal and classic name or a charming and whimsical one, Old French names offer a diverse range of options to suit every taste. Take your time exploring the meanings and origins of different names to find the perfect one that resonates with you and your family. Embrace the beauty and elegance of Old French names as you embark on this exciting journey of naming your precious little one.

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