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French Baby Names


To learn the French names, we need to understand the history and language of France. As you all know, France is one of the great ancient civilization. Now, France is united with one language.

French is another Romance Language which descended from Latin and Roman Empire. The language started from France, Switzerland, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Today, the language is spoken in forty one countries as a mother tongue or alternative language. That makes French the second most spoken language in the world.

Even though the language descended from Latin, French and Latin are much different from today. That is due to the Germanic Roman Frankish invasion. The German language has more influence than Latin language now.

The hyphenated French name is common practice to name a baby. For example, Paul-Henri, Jean-Claude, and Adrianne-Yvonne are popular. The names are treated as one. When you call Jean-Claude, you need to mention Jean and Claude.

Naming with hyphenated, they can use boy name and girl name, or vice versa. For example, Jean-Andrienee is name of a baby boy in which Jean is a male baby name and Andrienee is female baby name.

To turn a male baby names to female baby names, they simply add the letter e at the end. For example, Adrianne is a female version of Adrian, and Marcelle is a female version of Marcel.

At the beginning, the French only have one given name. At the 11th century, they started adding surnames. By the way, the word surname is from the French word “surnom”. It means above or over name.

The surname can tell the name of father or mother. In the old days, they add the word “de” between the first name and last name. For example, Paul de Gaulle means Paul son of Gaulle. Today, it is understood with or without the word “de”. For example, Paul Gaulle means the same as Paul de Gaulle.

The surname can tell about the occupation. For example, Paul Soldat means Paul the soldier, and Paul Boulanger means Paul the baker.

The surname can describe the person as whole. For example, Henri Petit means Henri the small, Henri Beau means Henri the handsome, and Yvonne Fute means Yvonne the smart.

The surname can tell specific location, town, villages, or city. For example, Veronique Marseille means Veronique from the town of Marseille, Veronique Abbeville means Veronique from the town of Abbeville, and Paul Leglise means Paul beside the church. French adds eau, elet, elin, elle, and elot at the end of the name to denote “little son of”. For example, Henriette means little son of Henri, and Lancelot means little son of Lance. French also adds de, des, du, and le at the start of the name to denote “of”.

The name is an important identification in the old days. In the old days, you need to ask the king for permission to change the name.

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