Saturday, June 23, 2007

Not your average Tom, Dick and Harry

Taking time out to devour the weekend edition of Le Figaro is a special treat. After dutifully digesting the political news and analysis, I turn to my favorite section. Le Carnet du Jour gives readers the chance to take stock of the current trends in French baby names in "Naissances", and to mourn the passing of the old guard in the "Deuils". What a difference a few generations make in the first names.

Here's a sampling from this week's baby announcements, including first names of young siblings. In some cases it wasn't clear whether the name was male or female.

Filles
Margaux
Tatiana
Mathilde
Héloïse
Olivia
Rose
Agathe
Anaïs
Elisabeth
Clara
Emilie
Louise
Anne-Florence
Apolline
Aliénor
Josephine
Colombe
Béatrix
Hermine
Quitterie
Arielle
Irène
Clémence
Noémie
Violaine
Constance

Garcons
Vladimir
Louis
Hugo
Martin
Aurèle
Foucauld
Hipployte
Lancelot
Guillaume
Antoine
Alix
Mathis
Cyprian
Anselme
Edouard
Timothée
Théodore
Victor
Gauthier
Amaury

Now from the death announcements, a different era of French names. Average age is a remarkable 92, out of the ages announced.

Dames
Marie
Andrée
Huguette
Marguerite
Gladys
Jacqueline
Jeanne
Gilberte
Michèle
Denise

Messieurs
Pierre
Jacques
Jean
Yves
Roger
Vincent
Emile
Albert
Gabriel
Paul

And if you'd like to compare them to US first-name trends, check out the Social Security Administration's website, which lets you query popular baby names by year and state. Or a similar French site. A (fun) major time vacuum.

2 comments:

Sebastiane said...

What a great article. I love your blog! I'm an American who is fluent in French and loves names, so this particular post was especially exciting for me.

CAMusci said...

Merci! This is great for middle school classes! is it true the French government can refuse to let you name ypir baby something outlandish?

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