Anyone who has spent time trying to say French names will appreciate this list of French boy names that are easy to pronounce.
France has traditionally been linked with delightful food culture, fine wine, and romantic love. As a result, French baby boy names convey romanticism and sophistication, as well as a certain je ne sais quoi that you may want to pass on to your child.
Different nations have different naming customs, and first names in France reflect the country’s language and culture.
Most of us, especially those with uncommon names, have been in situations where someone we’re speaking with is butchering our names by pronouncing them incorrectly.
Imagine what it’s like for people with traditional French names in France! For non-French speakers, French words and names are famously not easy to pronounce.
We’ve produced a list of our favorite 21 French masculine names to assist you in finding the best French names for your baby boy. Plus, if you are a dog lover, you can also check the best French dog names.
French Equivalents From Other Languages
The majority of French names have translations in other languages, particularly English. Éléonore, for example, is Eleanor, and Guillaume is William. However, there are just a few that are purely French.
This article will also mention the names with the most uncommon spellings; the majority of traditional French names are gendered.
By adding or removing a few letters, French male names can be transformed into their feminine counterparts and vice versa. You can often make it feminine by adding –e, -ine, or –ette to a masculine name. With the addition of the suffixes, Jean becomes Jeanne, Jeanine, or Jeanette.
In some circumstances, such as Frédéric (M) becoming Frédérique (F), the spellings shift to accommodate the feminine equivalent. Dominique, Camille, and Maxime are examples of gender-neutral or unisex names.
However, just as they are in other languages, French names are becoming more modern and unorthodox.
21 French Boy Names with Their Meanings
If you’re having a baby and seeking a lovely and distinctive French boy’s name, you’ve come to the perfect place.
Here are some of our top French male names to help you narrow down your choice for a name for your baby.
Pronunciation: /a.ʃil/ [A-sheel-eh]
Achille is one of the cool French names derived from the Greek name Achilles, meaning “pain” and was a popular name in France at the turn of the twentieth century, but it fell out of favor in the 1960s.
Achille was rediscovered in the 1990s and grew in popularity until in 2019 it was given to 510 newborns!
Pronunciation: /a.de.laʁ/ [A-du-lar] (throaty “r”)
Meaning: “Noble, Brave”
Adélard is a French word that means “noble, brave.” Adélard Took is a fictional figure from Tolkien’s world; a librarian who likes umbrellas and appears in The Lord of the Rings.
Pronunciation: /ɛ.me/ [ee-me]
Aimé is an Old French name for boys that means “beloved.”
Aimé Leon Dore is a famous fashion and lifestyle company established in Queens, New York. The main store on Mulberry Street in Manhattan, known for collaborations with Puma, New Balance, and Porsche, has a Parisian living room type design.
Pronunciation: /a.lɛ̃/ [AL-aahn] (nasal “n”)
Meaning: “Little Rock, Handsome”
The French variant of Alan is Alain, which means “small rock, handsome, lovely.” Alain was the third most common boys’ name in France when it peaked in 1950.
It hasn’t been in the top 100 since 2002. In 1985, it made a brief but surprising appearance on the US charts when 83 boys were given the name Alain.
Pronunciation: /ˈalbˠənˠ/ [AHL-bon] (nasal “n”)
Alban is derived from the Latin word Albus, which means “white.”
Saint Alban hosted a priest in his home in the fourth century. When the house was searched, Alban pretended to be the priest, was apprehended, and subsequently killed without ever revealing that he was not the priest they were seeking.
Pronunciation: /ˈælˌsaɪd/ [Ahl-SEED-de]
Alcide is a French First name for boys that means “strong.” Alcide is the French variant of the Greek name Alcides, which is also Hercules’ natal name in Greek mythology.
Pronunciation: /ə.ləkˈsan.dɾə /Alexandra but with a throaty “r”
Meaning: “Man Defender”
Alexandre is a French word that means “man defender.” Alexandre Dumas, a prolific 19th-century French author, wrote plays, romances, and travel novels.
However, his works of great adventures, such as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers, have made him famous.
Pronunciation: /ælˈfɒnzəʊ/ [aal-fOHn-soh]
Meaning: “Noble, Ready”
Alphonse, the French version of Alfonso, means “noble, ready.”
“Alphonse and Gastoning” is a phrase used by the French when two people are too courteous to each other. You are Alphonse and Gastoning if you and a friend are standing in front of a doorway and both respond, “You go first,” and “No, after you.” (Also known as a Canadian stand-off!)
Pronunciation: /aˈma.β̞le/ [ae-mAH-bluh]
Amable is a French men’s name that signifies “lovable.” During the Napoleonic Wars, Amable Troude was a naval officer in the French Navy. This connection, we believe, provides a fantastic French boys’ name for a family with a nautical background.
Pronunciation: /bɛnˈwɑː/ [bur-nwa]
Benoît, the French form of Benedict, means “blessed.” Benoît was spelled Benoist at first. However, the “s” in many French words has gradually been replaced with a circumflex emphasis above the “i.”
Pronunciation: /blɛz/ [blayz]
Meaning: “Lisp, Stutter”
The cool French name Blaise is derived from the Latin word blaesus, which means “lisping.” Blaise Castle was erected in 1766 near Bristol, England.
On the other hand, Blaise Castle is a folly, erected solely for amusement and adornment rather than a real castle designed for defense.
Pronunciation: /ˈsɛdɹɪk/ [SED-rik] (throaty “r”)
The name Cédric is a Celtic boy’s name that means “bounty.” Our research shows that Cédric is the French form of Cedric and not the other way around.
For a novel, Sir Walter Scott developed the name Cedric, which experts say was influenced by the Brythonic name Caratacos. In Ancient Britain and Brittany, France, Brythonic names were employed.
Pronunciation: /klod/ [claw-duh]
Meaning: “Crippled, Lame”
The name Claude is derived from the Latin word claudus, which means “crippled, lame.” Claude Monet, a French painter, is widely regarded as the creator of the Impressionist movement in France.
Impressionism was derived from the title of one of his paintings, Impression, soleil levant, which means “Impression, Sunrise.” Claude can also be used as a French middle name for your baby boy.
Pronunciation: /dudən/ [Dyuu-doh-nay]
Meaning: “Given By God”
It was a trendy French boy’s name in the early twentieth century, but it never caught on and made periodic appearances on the name charts after the 1930s, but the last time it appeared was in 1953.
Pronunciation: /ˈdôrēən/ [dOR-ee-en]
Meaning: “Gift of the Sea, Child of the Sea”
Dorians are Ancient Greeks from the Doris district. Dorian means “gift of the sea, child of the sea.” Oscar Wilde first used the name Dorian in his novel The Picture Of Dorian Gray.
It is thought that he got his name from the Dorians, an Ancient Greek tribe from Greece’s north-eastern regions.
Meaning: “God is With Us.”
This French baby boy’s name comes directly from the Hebrew Immanuel, which means “God is with us.”
Emmanuel College was established in 1584 and is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. The most illustrious of Harvard College’s founders, John Harvard, graduated from Emmanuel.
Pronunciation: /e.tjɛn/ [EH-tee-en]
Meaning: “Crown, Wreath”
Étienne, the French equivalent of Stephen, means “crown, wreath.” Étienne Fjord is on the west side of Graham Land, part of the Antarctic Peninsula and Antarctica’s closest point to South America, making it a popular stop for small cruise ships.
Pronunciation: /ɡas.tɔ̃/ [ga-stawn] (nasal “n”)
Meaning: “Stranger, Guest”
Gaston is a French men’s name, derived from the Ancient Germanic gast, which means “stranger, guest.”
Gaston, a character from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, is possibly the most well-known bearer of this name.
Interestingly, Gaston does not appear in the original story. The one-of-a-kind and memorable character was created by screenwriter Linda Wolverton… who based him on her ex-boyfriend!
Pronunciation: /ˈɒnri/ [ON-ree]
Meaning: “Home Ruler”
Henri is a French male name that means “home-ruler.” Henri, le Chat Noir is a famous web series about Henri, a longhair black tuxedo cat whose existential musings are the focus of the videos.
A book based on the series, Henri, le Chat Noir: The Existential Musings of an Angst-Filled Cat, was published by Random House.
Pronunciation: /ʒɑ̃.ba.tist/ [zhaw-bah-teest]
Meaning: “God is Gracious, to Dip”
A popular French name, Jean-Baptiste, means “God is gracious, to dip.” The French male name Jean-Baptiste evolved as an affirmation of the significance of John the Baptist who, in other religions like Islam, Christianity, Mandaeism, and the Bahá Faith, is regarded as a prophet.
The “J” at the beginning of Jean is said like the “g” in judge.
Pronunciation: /lo.ʁɑ̃/ [law-rOHn] (throaty “r” – nasal “n”)
Meaning: “The Bright One, the Shining One”
Laurent is a Latin-inspired French masculine surname. It is commonly used in France, Canada, and other French-speaking countries.
The surname Laurentius was derived from the Latin surname Laurentum, which meant “from Laurentum.” It is also derived from the Old Greek word lavrenti, which means “the bright one, the shining one.”
Laurent Schwartz, a French mathematician, was awarded the Fields Medal in 1950, considered the most prestigious award in mathematics, comparable to the Nobel Prize. He was also deeply committed to making math and science accessible and relevant to everyone.
What is a Traditional French Name for a Boy?
Babies’ names inspired by French Boys’ names can range from the classic to the rare, from traditional names to the trendy.
Gabriel, Leo, Raphael, and Arthur were the most popular baby boy French names in the country in 2020 – unquestionably having withstood the test of time.
Here are our top three traditional French boy names:
Pronunciation: /kɑ̃tɛ̃/[kay-teh] OR [kahn-tehn]
Quentin is derived from the Latin quintus, which means “five.” Quentin is pronounced KAHN-TEHN in French, with the “n” indicating nasalization. This name was used to traditionally given to the fifth child or born in the fifth month.
Pronunciation: /te.o/ [teh-oh]
Meaning: “Gift of God, Bold People”
A diminutive of the name Theodore, derived from the Greek words theos, that means “God,” and doron, meaning “gift.” One of the most well-known is Theodore Roosevelt, who served as President of the United States from 1901 to 1909.
What is a Popular French Boy Name?
Following are the most popular French names for boys:
Pronunciation: /luˈi/ [loo-EE]
Meaning: “Famous Warrior”
The most popular French name for a boy is Louis. It is the French equivalent of the German name Ludwig, meaning “famous warrior.”
Louis was the name of 14 French kings and is a well-known name in the French aristocracy. Louis Theroux is a well-known British documentary filmmaker and broadcaster.
Pronunciation: /ˈmiːkäel/ [mi-kai-el]
Meaning: “Who is Like God”
Michael is a cool French name beginning with M, and very popular among almost all countries. It is ultimately of Hebrew origin and can be both a given name and a surname.
A traditionally male name with Hebrew origins the meaning of Michael is “who is like God, a gift from God.” Saint Michael is the patron saint of soldiers and, quite awesomely, defeated Satan in the Bible!
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Pronunciation: /kaːˈnɔn/ [can-on]
Meaning: “Young Wolf, Church Official.”
Kanon is a French name for boys that means “church official,” a variant spelling of the occupational name Cannon (French). It is a rare male first name and makes a one-of-a-kind surname for both adults and children.
First listed in 2014, Kanon reached a high of #1368 in the United States in 2015, and is currently ranked #1678.
Pronunciation: /ʃas/ [shah-ze]
Meaning: “Hunter, Huntsman”
Chase means “hunter, huntsman.” With its sleek and opulent appearance, Chase evokes the worlds of high finance and international banking.
Chase has been well-utilized over the last few decades, appearing a characters on 24, House and in several shows aimed at a younger audience.
Pronunciation: /tɑ̃.ɡi/ [tong-ghee]
Meaning: “Fire Dog”
Tanguy is a French name for a boy that means “fire dog.” Tanguy is a French film about a 28-year-old teacher who still lives with his parents at home – they try to make his life miserable so that he will leave, but he has other plans!
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Pronunciation: /fi.li.bɛʁ/ [FIHL-iy-B-er]
Meaning: “Friend, Lover”
Philibert is a French name for baby boys that means “friend, lover.” The Melotte catalog, an inventory of 245-star clusters, was published in 1915 by astronomer Philibert Jacques Melotte. He also discovered a Jupiter moon, first known as Moon VII, which he later named Pasiphae.
Pronunciation: /mak.sɑ̃s/ [MAX-awns]
It is pronounced MAX-awns, but it’s distinct enough that you almost certainly won’t run into anyone else with the same name.
What Are Some Old French Boy Names?
Pronunciation: /nɔ.ɛl/ [No-el]
Meaning: “Born On Christmas”
The name Noel or Noël is taken directly from the Old French word noel, which means “born on Christmas.” Since the Middle Ages, children born during the Christmas season have been given this name. While it is a popular name for both males and females, the feminine form of the name is sometimes spelled as Noelle.
Pronunciation: /ˈpɝsi/ [pear-see] (throaty “r”)
Meaning: “One Who Pierces the Valley”
Percy is a French male name that means “one who pierces the valley.” Percy is a sweet old-French, powerful boy name that has shed its privileged Little Lord Fauntleroy image of boys with soft but traditionally male names in this modern era.
Percy, an aristocratic Norman name, became fairly common in England — and to a lesser extent in the United States — as a byproduct of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley’s fame.
Pronunciation: /ˈrɛ.ne/ [ruh-nay] (throaty “r”)
René is popular for French first names for boys, Spanish, and German-speaking countries. In French, René means “born again, reborn.”
The feminine form of the name is Renée.
So, there you have the list of our favorite French boy names, complete with definitions, fun facts, and trivia.
We hope our efforts have added to your list of possible baby names or helped you cross a few off your list.