While I speak French, it’s my husband’s side that is really French. They are one of those families that can trace their family line back 150 years, all the way to France. When we decided to have kids, I knew our children would have bilingual names. They would have to sound great in both English and French in order to work for both of our families. That was easier said than done.
We decided on our first daughter’s name while we were engaged, more than 2 years before she was born. While driving home from visiting family, we started chatting and the name Alexie came up. We both loved it instantly. Later we choose Rose as her middle name. We also had a boy’s name too but I don’t think we’ll get to use it since our second baby is also a girl. Now we have to come up with a name for her.
I’ve made a list of some of my favourite bilingual names to help make the process a little easier. Wish us luck!
- Rose – This floral name became our daughter’s middle name. We loved that it was easy to read and spell in both languages. It also pays homage to Stéphane’s grandmother whose favourite colour is rose (pink in French)
- Sofia/Sofie – With the meaning “wise”, it’s no coincidence that this name is at the top of many lists around the world. It’s the name of a very famous giraffe baby toy that was created in France of all places.
- Stella – This is a celestial name meaning star. I loved this name but hubby wasn’t so thrilled because it reminded him of a lady from his past. But if I could erase that memory from his brain, this would have been a top contender.
- Renée – This is a great name meaning reborn. A popular name in french circles, it does well with English speakers as well. It has a vintage vibe, mixed with the french countryside.
- Eva – this name means giver of life. It’s a great alternative to the popular Ava. A nice short name, it has biblical roots but still has a fresh feel.
- Adѐle – This name, meaning noble, is, of course, the name of a famous songstress. But it definitely has an antique flare while still being fun and current.
- Maelie/Mailey/Maely – There are several meanings for this lovely name. They include calm and loved. It’s a nice french option for those who like the more popular Bailey.
- Mélodie/Mélody – Meaning to sing or a song, this is a great name if you or your partner are musical or have musical aspirations for your little one.
- Giselle – Pledge is the meaning of this beautiful name. A creative name, it shares the name with the title of a very popular ballet. It’s also the name of supermodel Gisele Bündchen, with a slight variation in the spelling.
- Jenelle – While technically an English name, it has french roots meaning God is Gracious. Jen is a great nickname and is a nice option instead of Jennifer.
- Zoé – This beautiful name means life and it is a wonderful name that works in both English and french. It exudes calm and peacefulness, and
- Alexie – meaning Defender of Men. We actually picked Alexie as the name of our first born. We loved that it was an easy for both sides to read, write and say, while still being current and popular. It is also a nice alternative for the more popular female name Alexis.
- Noah – Meaning rest and peace, Noah is a great name for a bilingual little boy. It’s at the top of many lists around the world and has a great history, dating back to biblical times.
- Louis – Pronounced Lou-EE, this name is more popular overseas. A strong and royal name meaning renowned warrior, it’s on the up and up and works well in both English and French.
- Sébastien – With a meaning like honourable and respected, this name has great potential. It’s regal and strong. And Seb is a super cute nickname.
- Mattéo – A wonderful name with an equally wonderful meaning, Gift from God. A nice alternative to the overly popular Matthew/Mattieu, which are very popular in bilingual families.
- Samuel – A name you don’t hear too often, but works great in a bilingual family. Meaning His name is God, it’s a great name with biblical roots. Sam is also a great nickname.
- Théo – This is one of my favourite names. If we had a boy, this would be his name. It means Divine Gift, and really a child is just that.
- Félix – Happy and Prosperous, who wouldn’t want that for their son. A fun and quirky name, it’s a great hipster name.
- Justin – This name was in the top 10 in the 1990s, but its popularity has dropped since making less common. It means just and fair and is one of the few names that doesn’t change it spelling from French to English.
- Rémy/Rémi – A nautical name meaning oarsman, this is a name that is rising in popularity. It’s modern and fresh but still has some good historical roots.
- Phillip/Philip – Meaning a lover of horses, this name is a classic name choice that works well in both languages. And you’ve got some cute nickname options, including Pip, and Phil.
- Gabriel – A friend’s son is named Gabe and I loved the name. It is a fantastic name meaning God is my strength but is a name with Jewish, Muslim and Christian roots.
- Dominic – With a meaning like Belonging to God, it had a unique historical tradition of being given to boys born on Sundays. It’s strong and classic and it is well ranked internationally.
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