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Baby names that work in English and French

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Will your baby have a French-speaking parent or other relative? Finding a name that works in both languages can be tricky. Check out these gorgeous baby names to get you started.

While at first glance you might notice more Spanish than French names on the typical American classroom roll sheet, you might be surprised how many of those "American" names actually originated in France. We've been borrowing names from across the pond for years. This comes in handy when faced with naming a child who will need to be addressed in both languages. The romantic and musical tones in French names give them a gorgeous appeal when spoken in English.

We looked at the most popular names for baby boys and girls in France, and the similarities with popular American names astounded us. Americans, growing bored with popular names like Emily and James, turn to international variations to give their favorites a bit of flair. This works to the bilingual parent's advantage: names that might have sounded pretentious or out of place a decade ago now sound perfectly placed.

Baby boy names that work in English and French

French names for baby boys tend to be strong but beautiful. We think of them as consummate gentleman names. They suit little boys, teenagers, and grown men.

Baby girl names that work in English and French

Ultra-feminine names reign supreme among French baby girls. Dainty enough for princesses but refined enough for businesswomen, you would be hard pressed to find a more delightful crop of baby girl names.

Pronunciations, of course, will vary between English and French. Though we found several names in common, spellings might be slightly different (such as Sebastian vs. Sebastien.) Choosing the French spelling roots the name in the culture, but might be a trial for the child saddled with providing the alternate spelling. We recommend imagining the name for yourself as you make this important choice. Is the spelling so different as to be a hassle? Or does the authenticity of the French spelling outweigh any inconvenience? Only you can make that call!

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