Think Sohan, Camélia, and Tidiane

You know when you see a child (or a picture of one) and think, “Dang, that kid is cooler than I’ll ever be”? That’s how we feel when we hear a lot of the most popular names in France.

I mean, imagine having a playdate with little Capucine or Timéo. You just know they’ll turn up with strong style choices, creative game ideas, and snacks that make you drool (but that your kid probably won’t eat).

If you want a head-turning cool name with international appeal, looking at hot French baby names is a great place to start. Imagining them on all those chic bébés might just make you see them in a new light.


The name Aminata is a girl’s name meaning “trustworthy, faithful.” This elaboration of the Arabic amīn, meaning “trustworthy” or “to feel safe” was a fast riser in 2022.


The name Brune is a boy’s name of French origin meaning “brown.” Possibility for a dark-haired babe.


The name Camélia is a girl’s name meaning “camellia flower.” Flower name that is fairly popular in France, but little used (either in this spelling or Camellia) by English speakers.


The name Célestin is both a boy’s name and a girl’s name meaning “heavenly.” You may be familiar with Celeste, but have you considered this beautiful choice for a boy, currently highly fashionable in France, derived from the Latin Caelestis (“of the sky; heavenly”).

The name Garance is both a boy’s name and a girl’s name. Garance is the vivid deep red color that comes from the madder flower, and that has become a fashionable name for baby girls in France in recent years.


The name Hélios is a boy’s name of Greek origin meaning “sun.” It is the name of the young Greek sun god, brother to the moon goddess Selene, who rode across the sky each day in a chariot pulled by four horses.

The name Loup is a boy’s name meaning “wolf.” A rare French name derived from the Latin lupus “wolf”. It is most often found in the compound name Jean-Loup, as in Jean-Loup Chrétien, an astronaut and the first Frenchman in space.

little boy with a French baby name in a lavender field


The name Mahaut is a girl’s name meaning “battle-mighty.” A medieval French form of Matilda (equivalent to the English Maud) that’s made a comeback in France in recent years.


The name Malo is a boy’s name of Breton origin meaning “shining hostage.” Malo, the name of an important sixth-century Breton saint who founded St. Malo, the charming port town in Brittany—is considered quite au courant in France right now, ranking firmly in the Top 100.


The name Mazarine is a girl’s name. Mazarine is a deep blue color also used as a first name in honor of Cardinal Mazarin, a leader of France in the 17th century. As a first name, Mazarine is as charming as it is unusual.


The name Fanta is a girl’s name meaning “captivating, a woman who abstains.” A West African version of the Arabic name Fatima, is also used by diaspora communities, e.g. in France.


The name Ninon is a girl’s name of French origin meaning “grace.” It is a sweet and charming French nickname for Anne, à la Manon for Marie.


The name Sohan is a boy’s name. Sohan is a modern French invention. It may be related to Jean or a variation of the similar name Yohan.


The name Swann is both a boy’s name and a girl’s name meaning “nature and literary name.” A unisex French name that ranks in the Top 200 for boys and the Top 500 for girls there, inspired by a character with the surname Swann in Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time.


The name Tidiane is a boy’s name meaning “follower of Tijaniyyah Sufism.” This rare name comes from Tijaniyyah, an order of Sufi mysticism from North Africa. It is used among African diaspora communities in France.

Related: Revealed! The Top Baby Names of 2023 (So Far)

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