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French first names

Choosing a first name for a child is not always easy: between rare or popular, archaic or modern, long, short, classic, biblical or unusual first names, the choice is vast. Some draw their ideas from literature or cinema, others from their family tree in order to establish a link between past and present generations. Either way, choosing a first name is the start of a new chapter full of promise in the history of a family.

Original first names

Many parents want to stand out by giving their child a unique and unusual first name. Old names offer this opportunity, as do international names, such as those from France, because they are often less common in the current generation. Choosing a French first name can also allow you to reconnect with distant family roots.

Popular first names

In France, every year, INSEE (the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies) publishes the list of the most popular French first names for girls and boys. Thanks to our section dedicated to first names, learn more about their origins and the popularity of these first names over time and their geographical distribution! A similar section exists for surnames.

French girls’ names

Here is the list of popular French girls’ names in 2022. Click on each name to learn more:

Jade
Louise
Ambre
Alba
Emma
Rose
Alice
Romy
Anna
Lina

Of these ten first names, the first nine already occupied the ranking of the most popular French female first names in 2021. The first name Jade has also been in first position since 2020. Only the first name Lina enters the top 10 in 2022, replacing the first name Mia. Do you have a preference for any of these first names?

Here is the continuation of the ranking of the most popular French girls’ names in 2022:

Léna
Mia
Lou
Julia
Chloé
Alma
Agathe
Iris
Inaya
Charlie
Juliette
Léa
Victoire
Luna
Giulia
Adèle
Jeanne
Nina
Eva
Olivia

Zoé
Léonie
Romane
Victoria
Nour
Inès
Lya
Lucie
Lyana
Lola
Alix
Charlotte
Mila
Sofia
Louna
Ava
Margaux
Elena
Emy
Mya

French boys’ first names

According to INSEE, here is the list of popular French names for boys in 2022:

Gabriel
Léo
Raphaël
Maël
Louis
Noah
Jules
Arthur
Adam
Lucas

These ten first names already occupied the top of the ranking in 2021, in a slightly different order. The first names Gabriel, Léo and Raphaël were already in the top 3 of the most popular first names in 2021, Maël went from 7th position in 2021 to 4th position in 2022, Noah from 8th position to 6th position, Louis and Jules each lost a place and Arthur went from 5th to 8th place. Here is the rest of the ranking:

Liam
Sacha
Isaac
Gabin
Eden
Hugo
Naël
Aaron
Mohamed
Léon
Paul
Noé
Marceau
Ethan
Nathan
Théo
Tom
Nino
Marius
Ayden
Malo
Mathis
Gaspard
Martin
Lyam
Victor
Rayan
Elio
Timéo
Eliott
Milo
Robin
Tiago
Valentin
Ibrahim
Axel
Augustin
Amir
Enzo
Imran

Archaic first names

The world of first names is constantly changing, and what was once considered out of fashion can suddenly come back into the spotlight. As we can see from these rankings, recent first names in France like Jade or Romy are appearing next to older first names like Louise or Emma (Emma Bovary is, for example, the main character in the novel Madame Bovary by the famous French writer Gustave Flaubert, published in 1857). The first name Emma is also very popular in the Netherlands, Belgium and Norway, where it ranked 1st and 2nd among the most popular names given to girls in 2022.

As for boys, first names of Hebrew origin like Gabriel, Raphaël, Isaac or Aaron rub shoulders with first names popular in the 19th century and back in fashion like Jules and Arthur, or even first names whose popularity is much more recent, like Maël, Liam, Sacha, etc.

However, not all archaic first names are coming back into fashion. A century ago, the first names Paulette and Marcelle were very popular in France, but they almost completely disappeared in the last quarter of the 20th century. The first names Jacqueline, Yvonne and Simone also experienced a similar fate…

What were the first names of your ancestors?

To obtain the list of first names mentioned in your family tree at Geneanet, click on the menu of your online tree then on “genealogical statistics”. The “first names” page will give you the complete list of your ancestors’ first names and the number of people with each of these first names in your ancestry. Geneanet Premium members also have access to illustrated statistics, including a donut diagram displaying the 10 most common first names in their family tree.

Donut diagram displaying the 10 most common first names in a family tree.
This statistics chart is from an online family tree at Geneanet.

Start discovering first names on Geneanet now!