Most parents like to give names to their kids that will stand out in the crowd and sound different. But sometimes it's hard to pick these names and make sure that our kids won't be laughed at in the kindergarten and at school. After all, some of the names we think are cool can actually sound ridiculous to others and create problems for our kids.
But there's a nice way out of the situation for parents, who want to find unusual names but don't want their kid to be bullied because of them. They can take a look at the foreign variations of the names we're all used to hearing here and there. For example, what if one names their son Christophe instead of Christopher? Or Adrien instead of Adrian? Or, maybe, even, Pierre instead of Peter? All of these names sound pretty and unusual, but they don't give grounds for being laughed at!
Also let's consider such names as Gabriel, Jules, or Aramis. Aren't they handsome? And they all come from France, the country that, according to the opinion of multiple people from all over the world, has the prettiest language ever! Isn't it a good idea to take advantage of it and use their names for our kids?
So let's behold the most handsome boy names from France that will give chills to all moms!
The name Gabriel was derived from a Hebrew name, gavrīēl, that means "God's bravest man" or "God is my strength." Originally, this name comes from the Bible, where one of the seven archangels is called Gabriel. He was the one, who brought the good news to Mary, telling her about her pregnancy with Jesus Christ.
Gabriel has been a popular male name for centuries and it's been used in many countries in the world with alternated spellings and pronunciations. The short for this name can be Gabe or Gabi.
The fans of Jules Verne, a writer from France who lived in the 19th century and wrote widely popular adventure novels, should certainly consider this name for their child. Originally coming from the Latin language, Julius (or Iulus) means "wearing a soft beard" or "downy-bearded." It used to be a very popular name in Ancient Rome, but later it lost its popularity.
These days, the name Jules seems to be regaining its fame because it's used more frequently. Probably, it's especially popular among adventurous parents, who like "Journey to the Center of the Earth" and other books of this writer.
We all know the name Antony, but don't you think that the variant that's more popular in France sounds much better? Pronounced as awn-TWAWN, this name comes from Ancient Rome, but we're not sure about its etymology. According to popular folk definitions, Antoine can be translated as "priceless", "of inestimable worth", or "praiseworthy."
And yes, you can still call your son Tony, if you give him this name! In case you like this name very much, but you're expecting a daughter instead of a son, you can call her Antoinette.
Leon is a variant of the name Leo that originally comes from Greece. In translation, it means "the lion man." What a great name for a boy who is to grow into a fierce and powerful man, right? So the parents who want this kind of destiny for their child are free to choose to name him Leon!
Pronounced as lee-AHN, this name is rather popular in Europe (especially in France and Spain), but in the United States, it's not given to kids that often. Isn't it a reason to think of giving it to your son, so that you're sure that he's going to be the only Leon in the classroom?
Bernard (pronounced bər-NAHRD) is a name that has a Germanic origin that can be translated as "strong as a bear" because bern means "bear" and hard or nard means "brave, strong". This name has been popular in Europe since the Norman Conquest. These days, it's encountered especially frequently in France. In accordance with the 2014 survey, 42% of all bearers of the name Bernard live in this country.
Meanwhile, only 12% of Bernards live in the United States. Isn't it time for this name to start gaining more popularity?
Adrien is the name that originates from France. It was derived from a cognomen Handrianus that came from Ancient Rome. The meaning of this name is quite simple. It only means "the man from Hadria," an ancient city in northern Italy.
Coming from the name of Hadrian, the 2nd century Emperor of Rome, this name has been popular throughout the Middle Ages and in modern times. Adrien is used especially frequently in France, Belgium, and Quebec.
Pronounced as AY-dree-ən or ah-dree-AHN, the name Adrien is more popular with the spelling Adrian in the United States. Which one do you like more?
Pronounced loo-SYAN, Lucien is a name used in France as a variant of Lucianus. This name is derived from Lucius that can be translated as "light of the day" from the Latin language. We wouldn't say that about Lucius Malfoy, right? Harry Potter fans know what I mean.
These days, the name Lucien became rather rare, even in France. Its female derivatives, such as Lucia and Lucy, seem to be much more popular. But, especially since it's a beautiful name, why wouldn't you give it to your son?
There's quite a rich history behind this name. A very long time ago, in Scandinavia, there was a name Gustaf. It derived from the Old Norse words got, which means "God" and stafr, which means "staff". So literally it means "staff of the God."
These days, there appeared a lot of variations of this name in different countries. Among them are Gosta in Sweden, Gustavo in Spain, and, of course, the prettiest variation of all is Gustave in France. Pronounced as gus-TAHV, it has a very pleasant sounding.
Do you like the name Benedict? If you do, would you prefer to give a breath of fresh air to it so that it sounds a bit differently? Then choose the name they use in France – it's Benoit, or as it's more traditionally spelled there, Benoît (with the circumflex accent).
Pronounced as ben-WAW, this name can be translated from Latin as "blessed" or "the one who says the good."
In case you're interested in giving this name to a girl, its female derivative is Benoîte (it's pronounced slightly differently – ben-WAWT).
The name Abel that's now popular in France has a long history. For the first time, it's mentioned in the Bible, where it's given to the second son of Adam and Eve. As most people know, he fell at the hands of his brother, Cain. Since this name came from the Bible, it has been used in many countries in Europe, throughout the centuries.
This name has a Hebrew origin and it means "breath" in translation from this language. Whatever your religious beliefs are, you might like the name Abel, just because it sounds really pretty.
Pronounced as ZHEEL, this name coming to us from France is a derivative of Aegidius, a Latin name. This one, in its turn, comes from the word aigis, which means "protection" or "goatskin shield of Zeus." It's easy to guess that if this name had something to do with Zeus, it was popular in Ancient Greece.
The most famous bearer of the name Gilles was a semi-legendary St. Giles, who lived in the 7th century and amazed people with miracles. He didn't take pleasure from his fame, so he escaped from his fans to southern Gaul, but he still remained popular in Europe.
Would you like your child to be as powerful and humble as him?
If you like the more habitual name Henry, but think that it's too mainstream, consider naming your son Henri. Pronounced as awn-REE, it's a variation of the same name that's popular in France.
The name Henri originated in Germanic languages and it can be translated as "ruler of the house." Possibly, due to this meaning, this name was often given to kings and other members of royalty in France, as well as in England and Castile.
So if you want your son to be the ruler of the house (and, perhaps, not only of the house), think about giving him this name.
You probably know the female name Claudia, but have you thought of naming your son Claude? In France, this name has been popular for centuries. It became common back in the Middle Ages due to Saint Claude of Besançon, a priest, monk, abbot, and bishop from France. In Britain, it started gaining popularity due to the aristocratic Hamilton family that had some connections with France. Another wave of fame began as a result of the art of Claude Monet, a renowned painter from France.
Do you want your child to carry the Christmas spirit with himself all year round? Then call him Noel! This name doesn't have mere associations with the favorite holiday of most people in the world. It actually means Christmas in translation.
The name Noel derived from the Latin phrase Natale domine, meaning "birthday of the Lord." It's been commonly given to kids born in the Christmas season and it has a female variation Noelle. In France, these names are usually spelled Noël and Noëlle.
Louis originates from Loeis, the name that was used in France in the distant past. And there're even more distant "relatives" of this name, Hluodowig or Ludwig, that have Old Germanic roots. This name (in any of these variations) means "famous in war" or "well-known fighter."
Royal families in France always liked this name, so a lot of kings in this country had it. These days, the name Louis isn't as popular as it used to be, especially in the United States. However, it still retains its popularity in France.
Did you know that in France they use Pierre as the variation of the name Peter? This name originated from the language spoken in Ancient Greece and it means "rock" in translation. As a name of one of Christ's apostles and co-founder of the Christian Church, it has been popular over centuries in many countries in the world in many variations. The most popular of them are Peter in England and the United States, Pedro in Spain, and Pierre in France.
If you think that the latter variant has the nicest sound, think about giving this name to your son!
Sebastien is a common name in France that literally means "from Sebaste." Sebaste was the name of a town in Mauritius. Interestingly, this name, in its turn, can be translated as "venerable." So we might assume that the name Sebastien actually means "someone from a venerable place." Sounds nice, doesn't it?
This name became popular in Europe (and especially in France) due to the life of Saint Sebastian. He lived in the 3rd century and he fell from the hands of the emperor Diocletian, who persecuted Christians. These days, it still remains popular there.
We've already covered the fans of Jules Verne in one of the previous entries. Now it's time to speak for the fans of Alexander Dumas, another famous writer from France, who wrote the book "The Three Musketeers." What was the name of one of these musketeers? Right, it was Aramis!
In fact, Dumas was the one who created this name. He derived it from his friend's surname, Arammitz. This surname had been used for people coming from a village called Aramits, located in Southwest France.
Pronounced as aw-lee-VYEH, Olivier is a variant of the name Oliver that is commonly used in France. Do you agree that since it sounds a bit differently, it has some special charm to it?
It's interesting that this name originated from the Old Norse name Áleifr (or Olaf), but its spelling was changed due to the association with Latin oliva ("olive tree"). In France, this name gained popularity in the Middle Ages because Olivier was the best friend and advisor of Roland, the main character of the epic tale "La Chanson de Roland." It retains popularity to these days, so you should take a look at it!
In France, the name Emanuel is rather popular. It comes from the Bible (like some other names on this list) and it means "God is with us" in translation from the Hebrew language.
In the 16th century, parents in England began using this name, as well. It was commonly spelled as Emmanuel and Immanuel. But in continental Europe, it was more widespread. Even these days, it's still frequently used in France, as well as in Spain and Portugal.
Would you like to make it popular in your country, as well?
Here's another version of the name we're all used to hearing. It's Christophe instead of Christopher!
Pronounced as krees-TAWF in France, this name can be translated as "the bearer of Christ" and it's been popular in France, as well as in many other countries in Europe since the middle ages. Many interpretations of this name's etymology lead to the legends about Saint Christopher, who is considered to be the patron saint of travelers.
So if you like to travel a lot, it's a good idea to call your son Christophe!
This is a very unusual name. It doesn't have the origin related to a religious teaching, to a saint, or to a famous person. It originated from some location that, as we can safely assume, was really, really pretty.
In translation, the name Beaumont literally means "a beautiful mountain" (beau means "beautiful" and mont is "hill" or "mountain"). In the past, it's been used for the people, who came from a settlement located near a pretty hillside. But these days, anyone can use it and, perhaps, think that it'll give them the steadiness of a mountain!
What do you think?
Pronounced as deed-YAY, this name from France appeared in the 5th century AD. Back then, the Christianisation of ancient pagan names began. When the name Desiderius was taken into consideration, it turned into Didier. This name is also related to a Latin word desiderium that means "the longed-for" or "ardent desire."
In other words, the name Didier can be translated as "desire" or "desired." So if the child for whom you're selecting a name has been long-awaited one, feel free to call him Didier.
You'll be surprised to learn that Etienne is one of the variants of a more popular name Stephen. It's hard to believe that these two names are related, because they sound so different and because in France they also have the name Stephen along with Etienne. Do they realize that they are actually one and the same name?
Anyway, the name Etienne (and Stephen, as well) can be translated as "crown." This name originated in France and it's rather popular there. It's pronounced ay-TYEHN. Pretty, huh?
Looking for a fresher variant of the good old Theodore? Then pick Thierry (pronounced tye-REE), the name coming from France. It's a variation of Theodoric, a Germanic name that derives from the words thiuda (meaning "people" or "race") and reiks (translated as "powerful ruler").
Thus, the meaning of the name Thierry is "the ruler of the world." Sounds powerful, doesn't it? No wonder that one of the most popular bearers of this name was Theodoric the Great, a 6th-century king, who managed to become the ruler of Italy.