Top French Names for Baby Boys and Their Meanings

Have you been thinking of beautiful and melodic French names for your baby boy? Whether you have some French blood or are searching for a boy’s name with some joie de vivre, you’re in the right place. You’ll find many options in this list of 86 French names for baby boys, including ones you could use for a first or middle name. Our categories include popular, unique, cute, pretty, beautiful, and old-fashioned French boy’s names.

Popular French Boy Names

Here is the list of the top French boy names in France from 2020:

1. Aloïs. As the French and Dutch version of the name Aloysius, this name is another version of the name Louis. A simpler spelling option is Aloys.

2. Mathéo. This is a modern French version of the names Mateo and Matteo. Ultimately the name is derived from Matthew, a biblical boys' name that means “gift of God” in Hebrew. Other spelling variations include Matheo, Mattheo, Matthéo, Mattéo, or Matéo.

3. Raphaël. Remove the accent, and you’ll surely recognize this name. Firstly as the name of the famous Renaissance master, and, secondly, as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. The name is Hebrew in origin and means “God heals.” Other spelling options include Rafael, Rafaël, and Raffael.

4. Éliott. This French boy’s name was originally used as an English last name. It’s derived from the medieval name Elias, which has biblical origins. Other spelling variants include Elliot, Eliot, Ellioth, or Elliott.

5. Lyam. This is the modern French version of the Irish boy’s name Liam, which is short for William. The name became popular during the 1980s. In France, both spellings of the name shot up to popularity in 2016.

6. Mylan. You’ll find this name used in both France and the Netherlands. It’s a Slavic name originally, and means “gracious” or “dear.” A city in Italy also has this name, but its origins are from a different source. Other spellings you could choose from include Milan, Milann, Milàn, or Mylann.

7. Gabriel. You’ll find this popular name in practically every language. In French you’d pronounce it GA-BREE-YEHL. The name was given to the biblical archangel and means “God is my strong man” in Hebrew. Gabriel also appears in the Koran.

8. Théo. This is the short French form of the boy’s name Théodore, which has Greek origins. It means “gift of God.” Several saints bore this name. Other spellings include Theo, Teo, or Téo.

9. Lucas. This boy’s name appears in other languages, not just French. It’s the Latinized version of the Greek name Luke, which refers to someone who came from Lucania, an area in Southern Italy. The name also appears in the New Testament. Other spellings include Loucas, Loukas, and Lukas.

10. Maël. This French boy’s name is popular in the Brittany. It likely derives from a Celtic word that means “chieftain” or “prince.” The name can also be spelled Mael or Maél.

11. Samuel. This biblical name appears in many languages besides French. It’s Hebrew in origin and can mean either “name of God” or “God has heard.” In French it’s pronounced SA-MWEHL.

12. Elias. This Latin variant of the boy’s name Elijah is popular not only in French but also in many other languages and cultures. The biblical name means “God is Yahweh” in Hebrew (Yahweh is the name of God in Hebrew). Elijah appears in both the Old and New Testaments. And, many saints also bore the name, often using the Latin spelling. You may also consider these spellings: Elyas, Elias, Eliaz, Elijas, Eliyas, Eliyaz, Ellias, and Élyas.

13. Matis. This is the modern French spelling of the biblical name Matthias, which is Greek in origin and means “gift of Yahweh.” Variant spellings include Mathis, Mathys, Mattis, Matiz, Mathijs, Matthijs, Matthis, Matiss, Matys, and Mathies.

14. Timéo. This is the French version of a Spanish and Italian boy’s name Timeo, which is derived from the Latinized name Timaeus. In Greek, it means “to honor.” The name appears in the works of Plato. Other spellings you might choose from include Timeo, Tymeo, and Tyméo.

15. Louis. This French boy’s name is pronounced LWEE, and not LOO-is as you would pronounce it in English. The name has origins in the German name Ludwig, which means “famous battle.” A total of 18 French kings have had this boy’s name, making it very popular among royals. Add your little prince to the group!

Unique French Boy Names

If you’re looking for French boys’ names with a unique sound and/or meaning, including some famous middle names for boys, choose one of these options:

16. Adélard. You’re more likely to see this boy’s name used in Canada, specifically in the French-Canadian province of Quebec. It originated as a German name and means “noble” and “brave,” both strong meanings for a boy.

17. Aldéric. This is another French-Canadian name that comes from the German boy’s name Aldric, which means “old” and “mighty.” A ninth-century saint bore the name.

18. Alexandre. This is the French form of the boy’s name Alexander, which is common in countless languages. The writer of The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas, was a famous bearer of the name.

19. Amédée. This unique French boy’s name comes from the Latin name Amadeus, which was Mozart’s middle name. It means “love of God.”

20. Anthelme. This French boy’s name originated as the German name Anthelm, which means “zeal” and “protection.” A famous twelfth-century French bishop bore the name. It was also the middle name of Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, who was a famous French politician and gourmand. A triple-cream French cheese is named after him. Yum!

21. Aristide. As the French and Italian version of the Greek boy’s name Aristides, this name has lost popularity, making it quite rare and unique. The name means “the best,” which would be a great meaning for your little boy.

22. Arsène. The French form of the Greek boy’s name Arsenios, which means “virile,” has a unique sound when pronounced AR-SEHN.

23. Bérenger. Pronounced BEH-RAHN-ZHEH, this elegant-sounding French boy’s name is based on an ancient German one. It roughly translates to mean “bear” and “spear.” The French name was used by royalty but it’s still very rare, making it a unique choice for your baby boy.

24. Côme. This French name was derived from the Latin and Greek boys’ names Cosmas and Kosmas. It means “order” or “decency.” Pronounced simply KOM, the name shot up in popularity in 2019.

25. Dieudonné. This unique French boy’s name means “given by God,” and is pronounced DYUU-DAW-NEH. The name is based on the Roman name Deusdedit, which was the name of two popes. As Dieudonné, the boy’s name is very popular in French-speaking African countries.

26. Émeric. Based on the German name Emmerich, in French the boy’s name is pronounced EHM-REEK (with just two syllables instead of three). It means “whole ruler.” The English name Henry may also be related.

27. Gaultier. This is the rarer spelling of the names Gauthier or Gautier, both of which mean Walter in French. The boy’s name is of German origin and means “ruler of the army.” Quite the moniker for your little general!

28. Gervais. This beautiful-sounding French boy’s name has roots in the Latinized ancient German name of Gervasius, which was also the name of a saint. You may also recognize it as the last name of the English actor and comedian Ricky Gervais.

29. Honoré. The French boy’s name comes from the name Honoratus or Honorius, and its meaning is (as you might guess) “honor.” It was the given name of French writer Honoré de Balzac. You could honor your little boy with this distinguished-sounding French name.

30. Maxime. With roots in the Latin name Maximus, this French name means “greatest.” Why not choose this name for your greatest achievement? And, here’s a chance to use the nickname Max. The boy’s name is highly ranked in the French-Canadian province of Quebec.

31. Régis. In the Old French Occitan language, this boy’s name means “ruler.” You may also recognize this name from the late and popular TV presenter and host Regis Philbin.

32. Sévère. Harry Potter fans, you may recognize this boy’s name, as it’s the French equivalent of the Latin name Severus. The name means “stern” and was originally a Roman last name before it was used as a given name. Several saints also bore the name.

33. Zacharie. This playful French boy’s name comes from the biblical name Zechariah, which means “Yahweh remembers.” The name appears in both the Old and New Testaments. Feel free to give your son the nickname Zach or Zac!


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Cute French Boy Names

Many French boys’ names seem inherently cute in the way they are pronounced or in their meanings. We’ve included some of the top ones in this category:

34. Adrien. Even though pronouncing this name in French as A-DREE-YEHN may sound like it’s feminine, the name is actually a boy’s name. (In French the feminine form is spelled Adrienne; however, both have the same pronunciation.) The name is derived from the Roman name Hadrian, which was also the name of a Roman emperor. The name of the Adriatic Sea was also derived from this name.

35. Aimé. Like the name above, this is also the masculine form of a female name, in this case Aimée. Both boy and girl versions mean “beloved,” rooted in the Latin word amata, which means “love.” The French boy’s name isn’t very common, but with such a special meaning, it should be!

36. Alain. You’ll recognize this name as Alan in English. The name actually originated in Brittany, making it an authentic French boy’s name. It has two meanings: “little rock” or “handsome.” Either meaning will be ideal for your little boy!

37. Arnaud. This is Arnold in French, but it sure sounds a lot cuter pronounced AR-NO. As Arnold, the name derives from German and means “eagle power,” quite the meaning for your little one.

38. Aubin. Derived from the ancient Roman name Albinus or Albus, this name means “white” or “bright.” It’s a short and cute French boy’s name that also alludes to the famous Harry Potter character.

39. Barnabé. What could be cuter than this boy’s name? Derived from Barnabas, an Aramaic name that means “son of the prophet,” the name appears in the Bible. You may recognize the more modern version Barnaby, which is closer in pronunciation to the French name.

40. Cédric. This name began its life as an English name popularized by the author Sir Walter Scott. The meaning of the name is unknown but it may be related to the Old English name Cerdric. In modern times, you may recognize the name from the comedian Cedric the Entertainer.

41. Edmé. This is the short French form of the boy’s name Edmond, which is based on the English name Edmund. In Old English the name means “wealth” and “protection.” The short French version is rather rare and a unique choice for your baby boy.

42. Évariste. This name is derived from the Latin name Evaristus, which in Greek means “well pleasing.” In French the boy’s name has a unique sound as it’s pronounced EH-VA-REEST. 43. Fabien. This French boy’s name is derived from the Latin last name Fabius, which has origins in the word meaning “bean.” A famous Roman general bore the name, but we think it would make a cute name for your little bean.

44. Gilles. Based on the English name Giles, which means “young goat” in Greek, the French version of the boy’s name has a unique pronunciation as ZHEEL. For this short name, just ignore the meaning!

45. Guy. A Norman French name in origin, Guy is also a popular boy’s name in England. In French it’s pronounced GEE. Based on the ancient German name of Wido, it can mean “wood” or “wide.”

46. Henri. Pronounce this name as AHN-REE. However, it’s also a Finnish name, and can be pronounced exactly as the English name Henry, which means “home ruler” in German. The French boy’s name has been popular with royalty. Its popularity in France has dwindled whereas its popularity in the French-Canadian province of Quebec has soared.

47. Hugo. You’ll find this cute French boy’s name in almost every language. It’s the Latin version of the English name Hugh, which can mean “heart,” “mind,” or “spirit.” What a terrific combination of meanings for your boy!

48. Joël. Pronounce this French boy’s name as YAW-EHL. It’s a name of Hebrew origin and means “Yahweh is God.” Joel was the name of a prophet in the Bible. In France, the name has declined in popularity since the 1950s, but in the United States it’s been gaining ground.

49. Noël. This name literally means “Christmas” in French. It used to be given to children—both boys and girls—who were born on the holiday. Well, why not keep the tradition going? English playwright Noël Coward was a famous bearer of the name.

50. Pascal. Prevalent in French, Dutch, and German, this boy’s name comes from a Latin word meaning “relating to Easter.” Originally the Latin word comes from pesach, which is the Hebrew word for the Jewish holiday of Passover. Although the history is quite convoluted, the name has a cute ring to it.

51. Pierre. Used in both French and Swedish, this boy’s name means Peter in English. It’s been very popular in France since the thirteenth century, but has fallen in popularity in recent years. In Greek the name means “stone” and became prominent after the apostle Peter.

52. René. Of Latin origin, this name means “born again.” You may also recognize the name as Renée, which is the female version. Both names derive from the Roman name Renatus.

53. Ruben. Many languages, including French, use this spelling of the boy’s name Reuben, a Hebrew name that means “behold, a son”—a perfect meaning for your baby boy! The name's popularity peaked in France in 2014.

54. Sylvestre. The French form of the name Silvester, which means “of the forest” in Latin, this name could be the perfect name option for a nature lover. You might like to check out additional baby names inspired by nature.

55. Yannick. This name from Brittany is derived from another Breton name, Yann, which is John. A famous bearer of the French boy’s name is the French-Canadian conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Beautiful French Boy Names

Whether it’s the sound or the meaning, there's something that make these French boys’ names beautiful:

56. André. You’ll recognize this French boy’s name that starts with A as Andrew in English. As André, with or without the accent, it’s a common French, Dutch, German, and Portuguese boy’s name. Although its popularity has dipped in France, it’s holding steady in the United States. The name means “manly.” In the Bible, Andrew was Jesus’ first disciple.

57. Antoine. Common in France, the French-Canadian province of Quebec, and the United States, this French boy’s name is also a popular African-American boy’s name. It’s based on the Roman name Anthony, Mark Antony being the most famous Roman with the name. If you’d like a name that connotes power and might, choose Antoine!

58. Aubert. This is the French form of the boy’s name Albert, which means “noble and bright” in German. Both names are used in France, but Aubert is the rare, unique version.

59. Benoît. This name is derived from the Latin name Benedictus, which means “blessed.” The boy’s name was very popular among Christians and was borne by 16 popes. However, the French version of the name sounds more beautiful.

60. Hervé. Would you recognize this French boy’s name as the equivalent of Harvey? Possibly! However, it has a much more unique and beautiful sound in French. Of Breton origin, the name means “battle worthy” and used to be rare until it was revived in the nineteenth century.

61. Julien. You’re more likely to recognize this name as Julian, which is the more common spelling of the name, but in French it’s spelled with an e. The name’s origins are in the Roman name Julius—think Julius Caesar. If you’re looking for a name that implies valor, choose the name Julien.

62. Laurent. This is the French version of the boy’s name Lawrence or Laurence. It was originally a Latin name, meaning “from Laurentum,” which refers to an ancient Italian city. In France, Laurent was very popular in the 1970s, but while its popularity declined there, in the French-Canadian province of Quebec it has climbed.

63. Olivier. The French and Dutch both use this form of the boy’s name Oliver, which has German, Old Norse, and Latin origins. In Latin, it means “olive tree,” whereas in Old Norse it means “ancestor’s descendant.” Pronounce it AW-LEE-VYEH for that authentic, beautiful, and melodic sound.

64. Philippe. You don’t have to take a wild guess to realize this is the French form of the name Philip. The name isn’t as favored as it once was in France, but it’s holding steady in the French-Canadian province of Quebec. Greek in origin, the name means “friend of horses.” Many royals have had the name, so why not include your little one among such a group?

65. Rainier. This is the French form of the archaic English boy’s name Rayner. With German origins, the name means “advice” and “army.” Rainier was the first name of the late prince of Monaco. He was famously married to the American actress Grace Kelly.

66. Tristan. An Old French version of the Celtic boy’s name Drust, the name Tristan appears in Celtic and Arthurian legends. In the Celtic language it can mean “riot” or “tumult” but means “sad” in Latin. However, you can choose it for its beautiful sound—it's pronounced TREES-TAHN. If you like legendary names, you might also appreciate these names based on Greek mythology.

67. Yves. This French name might be more recognizable in its female versions, Yvette and Yvonne. Well, Yves is the boy’s version and is considered the medieval French form of the German name Ivo, which means “yew,” referring to the tree that is known to live for hundreds of years.

Old-Fashioned French Boy Names

If you’re looking for a classic name with old-fashioned charm and character, take your pick from among these French boys’ names:

68. Charles. A popular boy’s name in both English and French, this name starting with the letter C has German origins and means simply “man.” Despite the plain meaning, countless royals have used the name, the most famous one being Charles the Great. In French it’s pronounce SHARL.

69. Denis. A medieval French form of the Greek name Dionysios, which was also the name of the Greek god of wine and fruitfulness, you may recognize it in English as Dennis. In French it’s pronounced DU-NEE, and not DEHN-is.

70. Didier. Based on the Latin name Desiderius, which means “longing” or “desire,” the French boy’s name was used by several saints before being considered common. In France it peaked in the 1960s but has declined since then. Why not bring back this old-fashioned French boy’s name?

71. Édouard. Originally from the Old English, this French boy’s name means “rich guard.” The name was given to various saints and kings. French painter Édouard Manet was another famous bearer of the name.

72. Émile. French author Émile Zola was a famous bearer of this boy’s name, which means “rival” in Latin. The name is also common in countless other languages with variant spellings. Although the name has fallen out of favor in France, in the French-Canadian province of Quebec, it’s among the top choices.

73. Étienne. In French, this boy’s name simply means Stephen. Of Greek origin, it means “crown” or “wreath.” The name became very common among Christians partly because St. Stephen was the first martyr in Christianity.

74. Eugène. This French boy’s name of Greek origin means “well born,” which is a pretty swell meaning for your little guy. Several saints and popes used the name, which wasn’t common in Europe until the French-born general Prince Eugene of Savoy popularized it in the 17th and 18th centuries.

75. Félix. You’ll find this boy’s name is commonly used in France, Spain, and Portugal. Without the accent, it’s also common in countless other languages. With Roman origins, the boy’s name means “lucky” in Latin. The name was used as a nickname in Roman times and eventually came into use by saints and popes. Your little boy would be lucky to have this auspicious name!

76. Gaston. Derived from a German name that means “guest” or “stranger,” the name was used by a saint and several French counts. You may think of the character from the animated Disney film Beauty and the Beast. Despite his villainous characterization, the name itself is still appealing.

77. Geoffrey. This Norman French name has German origins and means “peace” and “territory.” The Normans introduced the name to England, so it’s also considered English. The name was peaking in France and the United States some time ago, but why not bring back this unique, old-fashioned French boy’s name?

78. Georges. If you’re familiar with modern art, you may recognize this name from the French artists Georges Seurat and Georges Braque. The name was derived from the Greek word that means “farmer” or “earth worker.” Another famous George, as it’s spelled in English, was the saint, who is often depicted in art as defeating a dragon. Despite the humble meaning, this old-fashioned French boy’s name has some power!

79. Gérard. You’ll find this name used in English, Dutch, Polish, Catalan, and French—sometimes with or without the accent. It means “spear” and “brave” in German. It often gets confused with the name Gerald, which is also another French boy’s name option.

80. Grégoire. French for Gregory, this name means “watchful” or “alert” in Greek. The boy’s name was popular as early as the third century. A total of 16 popes bore this name. In French it’s pronounced GREH-GWAR, giving the name some romanticism.

81. Guillaume. This is the boy’s name William in French. Germanic in origin, it means “will helmet” and was popular among Normans. It became a common English name after William the Conqueror, first Norman king of England. The French pronunciation might throw you as it’s GEE-YOM without any W sound.

82. Jean. As you may have guessed, this is the French form of the English name John. Pronounced ZHAHN, it’s been one of the most common French boy’s names since the twelfth century. Typically, the name is paired with another name to form a hyphenated moniker. Some examples include Jean-Charles, Jean-Claude, and Jean-Luc, among others.

83. Jérôme. This French boy’s name has been very popular in Italy and France before making it to England. Its popularity is due to St. Jerome, who famously translated the Bible into Latin. Based on a Greek name, it literally means “sacred name”—a good choice for your baby boy!

84. Maurice. Pronounce MAW-REES, this French boy’s name originated in Rome as Maurus, which means “Moorish.” Many saints and royals used this name. In English it’s more often spelled as Morris. Choose this French boy’s name for its old-fashioned charm.

85. Thibault. Germanic in origin, this French boy’s name that starts with T means “bold people.” The Normans took the name to England, where it’s spelled Theobald. You could nickname your little boy Theo.

86. Timothée. This French version of the boy’s name Timothy is derived from a Greek name that means “honoring God.” Even though there was a biblical figure with the name, Timothée and Timothy didn’t become popular until after the Protestant Reformation. In France, the name is pronounced TEE-MAW-THE, and has held steady over the past two decades. American actor Timothée Chalamet may also have something to do with that.

The Bottom Line

Have you found the best French boy’s name for your son on this list? If you still need more name ideas for your little guy, there are plenty of other articles you can check out. Take a look at our international baby names and our top 1,000 baby boy names for more inspiration. Our Baby Name Generator can also help you find the perfect name for your son. Search thousands of names using filters like first letter and theme to narrow down names more easily.