French baby names for girls have always felt chic for American parents. In fact, some of the most popular baby names for girls today originated in France. Annabelle, Caroline, Claire, Josephine, and Valerie are all in the US top 1000 most popular baby names for girls today. These beloved appellations are often storied with namesakes that bring each name esteem. We absolutely J’adore French baby names and wanted to discover which names new parents are overlooking today.
We found a trove of popular French baby names for girls from 100 years ago to help us discover some forgotten monikers that deserve a comeback today. Each of these baby names sound decidedly vintage with a splash of antique patina. If you are searching for a baby name for your daughter that feels undiscovered, you have come to the right place! Check out these 25 rare French baby names for girls that are scarcely used today but have enough vintage charm to merit your attention. They are hidden treasures!
Clémence can be considered the French preferred form of Clementine or Clement. Clémence is a wonderful French name that parents in the US have ignored for decades. Last year, this name was a top 50 pick for new parents in France, but it has never ranked in the US top 1000 in the US. Clémence is a French baby name that means “merciful.”
Léonie is a French baby name for girls that means “lion.” This name was mildly popular in the US 100 years ago, but it is scarcely heard today. Léonie Adams was a beloved American poet with this charming name. We love this name for its sweet sound and fierce meaning.
Delphine is a silken, chic French name with nature connections, the dolphin and the delphinium, a bluebell-like flower, a well as to the ancient city of Delphi, which the Greeks believed to be the womb of the earth. Delphine is a French baby name that means “dolphin.” This appellation has not been popular among new parents since the 1960s!
Pronounced meer-AY, the French baby name for girls can throw some people. Mireille has that vintage sound that many parents are attracted to and comes with a distinct meaning in “to admire.”
Pierrette is the French, feminine form of Pierre or Peter. This French baby name means “rock.” Pierrette et Jacquot is an operette by Jacques Offenbach starring a character with this name. This name has never been popular in the US and is considered antique in France today. Those two qualities might appeal to new parents searching for a very unique baby name.
Peaking in the 1950s, Yvonne has now dropped out of the top 1000. It fell off the list in 2003 and doesn’t look set to return soon. Yvonne is a fabulous French baby name for girls that means “yew wood.” We would absolutely love for this name to return to favorability.
Clarisse is a French baby name and the preferred form of Clara, a name meaning “bright” or “clear.” If you love the name Claire but wish for more nuance, Clarisse could be the perfect answer for you. Clarisse Bader was a famed French historian with this cherished appellation.
Elodie derives from Elodia, the Spanish variation of Alodia, a gothic German name associated with Saint Alodia. Saint Alodia was a child martyr in 9th century Spain, along with her sister Nunilo. In France, Elodie is spelled Élodie, with an accent over the E. This French baby name means “foreign riches.”
Noémie is a French baby name for girls and a form of the Hebrew name Americans spell Naomi. Noémie is a top 100 baby name in France today, but this form of the name is virtually unknown to most Americans. Pronounced no-AY-mee, this name is distinctly no Amy.
Another baby name with Hebrew origins, Simone is a French baby name and form of Simon. Simone has historically been a mildly popular name in the US, it ranked in the top 1000 last year. However, we do not think it gets nearly as much play as it should here. Simone means “hearkening.”
Odette was last popular in the US in 1905 which means it is past time to bring this hidden treasure back. Odette is a French baby name that can be traced to German origins, meaning “wealthy.” The name became renowned during World War II via the courageous French Resistance heroine Odette Brailly, who risked her life to supply information to the Allies, and a subsequent film was made of her life.
Julienne is a French baby name that comes from the Latin name Julius. Thus, this name means “youthful.” Though well-known, this baby name has scarcely been used in America. Perhaps its association with thinly sliced vegetables is too front-of-mind for many parents. We can cut through that noise and see this gorgeous name for what it is.
Eulalie hasn’t ranked in the US top 1000 since 1899, but its French roots might make it more appealing to modern ears than its cousin Eulalia. Eulalie has Greek origins that mean “softly speaking.” Eulalie Spence was a playwright from the British West Indies who contributed to the Harlem Renaissance.
Although Sylvia seems to be having a revival of sorts among trendsetting new parents, we’d still opt for the even gentler and more unique Sylvie. Despite being dated in its native France, where it was popular during the 1950s and 60s, in English-speaking regions it still feels fresh and exotic without being unfamiliar. Sylvie is a French baby name for girls meaning “from the forest.”
Arlette is a French baby name and diminutive form of Charlotte. Arlette actually debuted in the US top 1000 last year, but barely squeaked that out. It’s just now beginning to get noticed so you would be wise to get ahead of the trend. Arlette means “free man.”
Reine, a regal French baby name is a descendant of the Latin Regina. Thus, Reine means “queen.” Pronounced ren, this name has somehow never been popular in the US despite its winning meaning and approachable sound.
Too eggy for most parents, Eglantine is a charming French baby name that has yet to be adopted in the US. This nature name for the sweetbriar shrub is probably most recognized by Americans as a character from Bedknobs and Broomsticks.
Prnouncced ah-LEEX, Alix originated as a French medieval form of Alice. Several members of European royal family have borne this name, including Alix of France, Alix, Duchess of Brittany, and Alix of Hesse, Empress consort of Russia. Like Alice, this name means “defender of men.”
Odile is a French baby name, a form of Otthild, that means “prosperous in battle.” The name was last popular in the US in 1907! You might recognize the name as Odette’s evil twin in Swan Lake.
This rather ornate sounding French version of Eloise was borne by one of the most profound women of the Middle Ages and, recently, by a prolific supplier of household hints. Héloïse is a French baby name that means “famous warrior.” It was a top pick among French parents last year.
Garnet is a jewel name used a hundred years ago that’s due for revival along with sisters Ruby and Pearl. Garnet is a French baby name that means “pomegranate.” This dazzling name checks a lot of boxes as it is the name of a precious stone, a nature name, and a vintage find.
Name to an old saint, Maelys is an alternative French form of Mael. This name has never been popular outside of Europe which makes it a safe bet for parents looking for an ultra unique name. Maelys means “chief” or “prince.”
Manon is an endearing French baby name and a common nickname for Marie or Marianne. It has the exotic yet approachable feel that makes it a viable import. Manon was the fourth most popular name in France last year and we expect it to catch on in the US as well. Get ahead of the trend, parents! Manon takes its meaning from Marie, “bitter.”
Pronounced se-rees, Cerise sounds evocative to American ears. This charming French baby name means “cherry” which may or may not appeal to you. We find it very sweet. It works well as an excellent alternative to Clarice or Clarisse.
The Indre is a river in France. Spelled Indra, it’s the name of a powerful deity worshipped by Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains. Indre is a French baby name that means “beauty.” If you are looking for an alternative to Kendra, this would be the one!
There you go! We hope you enjoyed these rare French baby names with plenty of vintage charm and feel inspired by their sounds and meanings. These baby names deserve attention from new parents even though they may not be popular in the US today. Happy baby name hunting!
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Baby Name Generator
No baby name sounding good? Want a quick way to generate unique baby name ideas? Try our baby name generator below!
Set your terms (sex of the baby, number of letters, popularity, etc.) and then get a list of names that meet your criteria. Maybe the perfect name is just waiting to be generated for you.