As a lifetime francophile, French names have always held a special place in my heart. While pronunciations can be a bit difficult in the US, that's no reason to reject these names entirely! Here are a bunch of short-and-sweet options from l'Hexagone.
Image va Flickr
Special thanks to JolisPrénoms for the inspiration and name ideas!
A variation of Anne, Anouk ranks in the top 200 in France, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. This stylish import was used in Chocolat, and could gain favor with parents who want a different sort of sound for their little girl's prénom.
This attractive form of Naomi is a favorite in France and Belgium; for Americans, the initial vowels will sound closer to those of Noelle. Since the "em" syllable is so popular - Emily, Emma, Emerson - Noémie might fit right in.
With single-syllable names on the rise for girls, sophisticated Laure is an appealing update to the Lauren-Laura-Lori family. Pronounced "Lohr", this name would work especially well as a unique middle choice.
Positive and perky, Eulalie is a vintage throwback that may find favor in the states soon! The "L" sounds and "E" beginning fit with modern trends, and Eulalie's literary connections (see Poe and Spence) add another kind of charm.
What sounds like a combination of Maya, Mila, and Elise is actually the feminine form of the name Maël, meaning "chief" or "prince". This gorgeous choice may also be confused with Miley, but the original French form is beautiful.
It's a wonder that Coralie hasn't gotten more fans in the US - its closeness with Cora and Coraline lend it to the playground, but it has an adorable personality all its own. The name comes from the word "coral", of course, and has both religious and musical connections.
Another variant of Anne, Ninon is a sweet and simple option, great for both a first name or a nickname. One famous Ninon was Anne de Lenclos, a seventeenth-century Parisian courtesan and author, who is now famous in France for her writing.
From the Latin for "dawn", Oriane is an alluring alternative to Italian Arianna and the more masculine Orion. The name can be found in Proust, and its unusual O-beginning may lend it to fans of Olive and Olivia.
Made famous by author Anaïs Nin, this pretty moniker is also the name of a perfume. It's yet another form of Anne, this time from the Provençal and Catalan dialects. Anaïs ranks in Spanish, English, and French-speaking countries, making it a multicultural option.
Though the name gained popularity from the sci-fi classic The Fifth Element, Lilou was already a diminutive of Liliane. With today's interest in Lily and Liliana, Lilou may be a great alternative with a more chic vibe.
In my opinion, Mireille is one of the loveliest names on this list! It's a literary invention, derived from classic M names Mary and Miriam, as well as the Occitan verb mirar, "to admire." Pronounced "meer-AY", this name has elegance and meaning.
A classy choice for a coastal baby, Océane - "oh-say-AHN" - combines an uncommon word name with a stylish French sound. It's another name with the O-factor that's hardly used in the US, but well-loved overseas.
Tell me your favorite French names in the comments!