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AZ_Dawn
12-14-2008, 12:02 AM
I have some period name lists that I'd like to put on my blog, but I need to find French speakers to double check my French lists for bad puns, nasty slang, hyper-famous names, effeminate male names, etc. Unfortunately, I don't have access to French speakers in real life; I know AW has some, though.

How would I go about posting these lists? Where would be the proper section: Story Research, the Sandbox, or somewhere else? Should I ask for French speakers first and post the lists after they answer?

Theses lists are long, too, and will probably be divided into at least three posts so people won't be scrolling down til doomsday: male names, female names, and surnames. Should I divide these into more, smaller post (e.g. Male names A-M, N-Z) or would that be considered spamming the forum? Any other scroll-conserving tips?

Thanks in advance.

ETA: Added lists; see below.
I also need to know if any of these names should never be put together, like Pierre Noël (Pere Noël), or Georges and Clemenceau (politician). Anything else I need to be warned and/or warn others about is welcome, too. Thanks again.

jvc
12-14-2008, 01:13 AM
If I were to nominate a forum for this, I would say the Story Research Forum. As for whether it is ok to post a long list: if you PM the mod of that forum, Cath, and ask her, she may be able to tell you if it were okay or not.


ETA: I've ported this over to the Story Research Forum, AZ Dawn, and gave the title a little tweak :) .

AZ_Dawn
12-14-2008, 11:53 PM
Whoa! Thread moved and title changed. Guess that answers the question of where to post the lists! ;) Thanks, jvc!

Now I better ask the forum mod about posting long lists.

Cath
12-15-2008, 01:57 AM
:) Yup - post away. Thanks for checking.

AZ_Dawn
12-15-2008, 08:21 AM
Thanks, Cath! Got your PM about putting it all in a single post, too. Here goes.

ETA: Due to a bad source, I had to re-research the names. I've updated the list accordingly. I've also added and deleted a few names for various and sundry reasons. Some of the names are crossed out; I couldn't find them again in a reliabe source, but left them here so that if there's something bad about them I can be warned in case I do find them in a reliable source later.

MALE:
Abel
Abraham
Achille
Adam
Adrien
Aimé
Alain
Alban
Albéric(que)
Albert
Aldebert
Alexandre
Alfred
Allard
Amand
Amédée
Anatole
André
Anselme
Anselot
Antonin
Antoine
Aquilin
Armand
Arnaud, Arnoul(d)
Arthur
Athanase
Aubert
Aubin
Auguste, Augustin
Balthazar
Baptiste
Barnabé
Barthélémy
Basile
Baudouin
Benjamin
Benoit
Bertin
Bertrand
Bertulphe
Blaise
Bonaventure
Boniface
Brice
Bruno
Cajetan
Cantien
Casimir
César
Charles
Chrétien
Chrisostôme
Christophe
Claude
Clément
Clovis
Constantin
Cosme
Crispin
Cyprien
Cyr, Cyril
Dagobert
Daniel
David
Denis
Didier
Dieudonné
Donatien
Edmé
Edmond
Elie
Eloi
Epiphane
Esmé
Espérant
Etienne
Eugéne
Eusèbe
Eutrope
Fabien
Félicien
Félix
Ferdinand, Fernand
Fleury, Florent, Florentin
Fortuné
François, François-Xavier
Frédéric
Gabriel
Gaspard
Gauderic
Gédéon
Gentien
Geofroi
Georges
Gérard, Géraud
Germain
Gervais
Géry
Gilbert
Gilles
Giraud
Godefroy
Gratien
Gregoire
Guilhem
Guillaume
Guiraud
Guy, Guyon
Hector
Henri
Herman
Hervé
Hilaire
Hilarion
Hildevert
Honoré
Hubert
Hugo, Hugues
Ignace
Isaac
Isambert
Isidore
Jacques
Jean, Jean-Baptiste, Jean-Chrisostôme
Jeremie
Jérôme
Joachim
Joël
Joseph
Josse
Josué
Jude
Jules
Julien
Justin
Lambert
Laurent
Lazare
Léopold
Liévin
Louis
Loup
Luc, Lucas
Lucien
Lupien
Marc
Marceau
Marcel, Marcelin
Martin
Maurice
Maximin
Melchior
Michel
Moïse
Nadal
Narcisse
Nazaire
Nicaise
Nicodème
Nicolas
Noé
Noël
Norbert
Octavien
Olivier
Omer
Oudart
Pascal
Pasquier
Paul, Paulin
Philbert, Philibert
Philippe
Pierre
Prosper
Quentin
Quirin
Raoul
Raphaël
Raulin
Raymond, Rémond
Régnier
Rémy
Renaud
René
Richard
Rigobert
Robert
Rodolphe
Roger
Roland
Romain
Roustand
Salomon
Samson, Sanson
Samuel
Saturnin
Savenien
Scipion
Sébastien
Séverin
Siméon
Simon
Siret
Stanislas
Stéphane
Sylvain
Sylvestre
Symphorien
Térence
Théobald
Théodore
Théophile
Thibaut
Thierry
T(h)imoléon
Thimothée
Thomas
Tobie
Tristan
Urbain
Ursin
Valbert
Valentin
Valérien
Venant
Victor
Victorin
Vidal
Vincent
Vivant
Yves
Yvon
Zacharie

FEMALE:
Adélaïde, Adèle, Adeline
Adrienne
Agathe
Aimée
Alanette
Albertine
Albine
Aldégonde
Alexandrine, Alexie
Aline
Alisette, Alisse
Amélie
Anastasie
Anceline
Andriène, Andriette, Andrine
Anne, Annette
Antoinette
Augustine
Barbe
Basilisse
Béatrice, Béatrix
Bénédictine
Bernardine, Bernadette
Bertelaine
Berthelemette
Berthomine
Bertine
Bibiane
Blaisette, Blaisonne
Blanche
Blandine
Cantienne
Caroline, Carole
Catherine
Céleste, Célestine
Céline
Césarine
Charlotte
Chretienne
Christine
Claire
Clarisse
Claudette, Claudie, Claudine, Claudinette
Clémence, Clémencette
Clotilde
Col(l)ette
Constance
Crescence
Crespine
Danielle
Delphine
Denise
Désirée
Diane
Didière
Dieudonnée
Domitille
Dorothée
Edmée
Eléonore
Elisabeth
Elise
Emerence
Emilande
Emilie
Esmée
Espérance
Esther
Etiennette
Eugénie
Eulalie
Euphrasie
Euphrosine
Eustelle
Éve
Fabienne
Fallette
Félicité
Flavie
Fleurette, Flore, Fleur
Florence, Florentine
Florimonde
Foi, Foy
Françoise
Gabrielle
Gatienne
Georgette, Georgine
Gérardine
Germaine
Gertrude
Gratienne
Guillaumette, Guillemette
Guislaine
Guyonne
Hélène
Henriette
Hilairette
Honorine
Hubertine
Huguette
Hyacinthe
Idatte
Idelette
Isabelle
Jacqueline, Jacquemine, Jacquette, Jacquine
Jeanne, Jeannette
Jérômine
Joachime, Joachine
Joëlle
Joséphine
Josseline
Jossine
Judith
Julie, Julienne, Juliette, Julitte
Laurette
Léocadie
Lidie
Liévine
Louise
Lucienne
Lupienne
Madeleine, Magdeleine
Marceline
Marguerite, Margot
Marianne
Marie
Martine
Mathilde
Mauricette
Mélanie
Mellance
Michelle, Michelette, Michelotte
Modeste
Monique
Moricette
Nadalle
Nat(h)alie
Nicole, Nicolette
Ninon
Noëlle
Odile
Olive
Pasquette, Pasquine
Pasquière
Paulette, Pauline
Pernelle, Pernette
Perpétue
Perrine
Philippette
Pierrette
Priscille
Quirienne
Quirine
Quiterie
Rachel
Raphaëlle
Rauline
Régine
Reine
Renée
Robertine
Rolette
Sabine
Sandrine
Sara
Savinienne
Séraphine
Sidonie
Silvine
Simeonne
Simone, Simonette
Sirette
Solange
Sophie
Stéphanie
Sybille
Sylvie, Silvie, Sylvette
Symphorienne
Théodorine
Thérèse
Thomasse, Thomette
Tiennette
Toinette
Valérie
Vérine
Véronique
Victoire
Virginie
Ydette
Yolande
Yvette, Yvonne, Yvonnette
Zélie
Zoé

SURNAMES:
Abeille
Adenet
Alazet
Aldebert
Allemand
Ameline
Amiot
Ancelin
Andrieux
Arbelet
Ardilouze
Artaud
Aubert
Aubertin
Aubier
Aumonnier, Aumonier
Auradou
Authie
Avenier
Avisou,Avizou
Bacqueville
Barbot
Barondeau
Bazinet
Beaubois
Beauchaud
Beaugrand
Beaumont
Beauvais
Belpaume
Benoit
Bénureau
Berger
Berlemont
Bernier
Bernon
Berrube
Berteau
Berthomé
Berthonneau
Bertillon
Bessette
Besson
Bétourné
Biard
Bienvenot
Blanc
Blancheur
Blondeau
Boileau
Boisseau
Boisselier
Bonenfant
Bonneau
Bonnetier
Bonnevie
Bonnin
Bontemps
Bonvoisin
Bosquet
Boulange, Boulanger
Bourdon
Bourgogne
Boursin
Boussac
Braquemond, Bracquemond
Brassac
Bréval
Bréville
Brezin
Brideau
Brieux
Briot
Brocart
Broudic
Brun, Brunet
Bruyere
Burlet
Caillebotte
Canton
Cardot
Caron
Castang
Cazalis
Cerceau
Cerisier
Chambon
Chanteur
Charbonneau
Charbonnier
Chardon
Charriere
Charron
Chasseur
Chaussi(g)nand
Chauvet
Chemin
Chenault
Cheval
Chillou
Claudon
Clemenceau
Clerbois
Colleau
Cordeau
Cordonnier
Corvisier
Couderc
Couvreur
Cugnon
Dallons
D'Arbois
Darroux
Daubigny
Dauvergne
Decaux
Dechaume
Delagrange
Delarue
Delaune
Delorme
Delvaux
Denard
Denis
Denisot
Deschamps
Desjardins
Desmares
D'Olizy
Dubois
Dubosc
Duchatelet
Duclos
Ducret
Dufoix
Dufrene
Du Parc
Duval
Duvivier
Echevin
Ermenault
Escot
Esmond
Estival
Faisan
Farnault
Faron
Fauvette
Favreau
Fevre
Filoreau
Flamand
Flambeau
Flandre
Flaubert
Flavigny
Flinois
Fontenay
Fortier
Fortineau
Francillon
Fréchou
Fremeau, Fremeaux
Frémy
Fréville
Gaigneur
Galerne, Galerneau
Galichet
Gallois
Garand
Garnier
Garreau
Gaspard
Gaudet
Gauthier
Gendreau
Genevois
Geney
Ginoux
Giroux
Glémeau
Godfrin
Gosselin
Grandet
Grandjean
Grataloup
Greffier
Grelot
Grenier
Grenon
Guerin
Guerrier
Guichard
Guillemot
Guyon
Hameaux
Hamoneau
Hédouin
Herbecq
Hérigault
Hermant
Hermeline
Hermier
Honvault
Houdier
Houlette
Huberdeau
Huet
Illat
Imbault
Imbert
Issart
Izaac
Izon
Jadot
Jamelin, Jamelot
Janvier
Jardin, Jardinier
Jardot
Jarnac
Jarre
Jaulent
Jaunet
Jeannot
Jeunehomme
Joffre
Jolibois
Josset
Jourdain
Jouvin
Jumelet, Jumelin
Jusseaume
La Brosse
Lacombe
Lamaison
Lambin
Lanier
Lantier, Lanthier
Lapointe
Laprade
Largillière
Larousse
Launay
Laurier
Le Breton
Lecadre
Lefranc
Lefrere
Le Noir
Le Petit
Lestang
Letty
Leveaux
L'Heureux
Liegeois
Lievremont
Ligault
Litou
Lobry
Longuet
Lorcy
Lorgeoux
Lormeteau
Louvancourt
Luquet
Maisonneuve
Malenfant
Malherbe
Manceau(x)
Marais
Marceau
Marchand
Marmier
Martineau
Maubert
Mercier, Lemercier
Merle
Mesnier
Metayer
Métivier
Michaud
Michelet
Minet
Moncel
Montagnon
Montet
Monteux
Morier
Morillon
Moulineau
Mouton
Mulot
Musset
Nadeau
Nantillé
Narcy
Naudin
Navarre
Nedel(l)ec
Neige
Nérac
Nicoleau
Nicolet
Nizan
Nodier
Noiret
Normandin
Oléron
Oliveau, Olivet, Olivier
Omont
Ormancey
Oudant
Oury
Pacalet
Palaric
Paquin
Parigot
Parmentier
Pascaud
Pasquier
Paulot
Pavé
Pegues
Pélissier
Pelletier
Pelouse, Pelouze
Perrin
Pertois
Peslier
Petiot
Petit
Petitclerc
Petitpas
Philippeau
Picotin
Pingaud
Pinson
Pioline
Plante, Plantier
Plassais
Plouvier
Poincaré
Poirier
Poulain
Pradié, Pradier
Prémont
Prévost
Prigent
Prinet
Provins
Quellet
Queneau
Quesnel
Quincerot
Quinet
Racine
Radondy
Rameau
Raphanaud
Rateau
Regnier
Remusat
Renneville
Renouf
Riboulet
Richecoeur
Rigal
Rigaud
Rivière
Rochelle
Roquelaure
Rotival
Rouille
Rousseau, Rousselot, Rousset
Sable
Sachy
Sagot
Salvagnac
Sancey
Sanlaville
Sartelet
Saunier
Sautier
Sédilot, Sédillot
Sellier
Sené
Senechal
Senon
Sergent
Serres
Simoneaux, Simonet
Sivadier, Sivadon
Soisson(s)
Solignac
Sommier
Souday
Soutif
Steunou
Sudrie
Surette
Tabarant
Tabary
Tadier
Tailleur
Taillez
Tancrez
Tavernier
Tellier
Tenaud
Tessier
Thauvin
Thébert, Thibert
Theriault
Thévenet
Thillot
Tisserand
Tissot
Tonnellier
Tourillon
Toutain
Tranchant
Vadot
Varon
Venant
Venet
Verdier, Verdiere
Vetu
Vibert
Vienne
Vigneron
Vignon
Vigoureux
Villeneuve
Villepreux
Villeret
Vion
Voisenon
Watteau

ideagirl
12-15-2008, 10:47 PM
I have some period name lists that I'd like to put on my blog, but I need to find French speakers to double check my French lists

What period? And what country (France, or some other French-speaking country)? And, if France, what part of France? There is some definite regionalism in French names--for example, "Le Yada" last names (Le Pen...) are generally Breton, while last names that end in C (Madrignac...) are from the south.

AZ_Dawn
12-16-2008, 12:09 AM
What period?
17th and 18th Centuries, with special emphasis on the Golden Age of Piracy (roughly 1680-1730). All the surnames and most of the first names were used in the Golden Age. The rest of the first names are either pre-era 17th Century, but justifiable for namesakes, or post-era 18th Century names of pre-1600s saints, but justifiable if the character's parents were devout Catholics. If it would help you, I can indicate which first names are which.



And what country (France, or some other French-speaking country)?

I found most of the names on French genealogy sites, but the lists are intended to be useful for Carribean-set pirate fiction. I stuck with mostly France French names on the assumption that they would be useable by either characters native to France or born and raised in the New World. (Correct me if I'm wrong.)



There is some definite regionalism in French names--for example, "Le Yada" last names (Le Pen...) are generally Breton, while last names that end in C (Madrignac...) are from the south

Thanks, Ideagirl! That bit of knowledge might come in handy; I wonder if I should include it as a naming tip. Though now that I know the Le names are Breton, does that make Le Breton too pun-like? ;)

Sorry for the windy explanation; I hope, though, it was clear.

ETA: It just hit me. If by "what country" and "if France, what part of France" you mean what dialect of French I need the lists checked out in, any dialect is good. It won't do to have the French, Canadians, and Haitians be fine with these names while the Belgians and Cajuns are laughing their butts off at them!

ideagirl
12-17-2008, 11:50 PM
17th and 18th Centuries, with special emphasis on the Golden Age of Piracy (roughly 1680-1730). All the surnames and most of the first names were used in the Golden Age. The rest of the first names are either pre-era 17th Century, but justifiable for namesakes

If you already have that much info on the names, then you're probably ok. Narrow it down to ones you like (first-last combinations) and re-post to see if you've inadvertently chosen something wacky (e.g. a first-last combination that, when said aloud, sounds just like a phrase that means something else--I'm referring to the French equivalent of names like "Ima Hogg").


or post-era 18th Century names of pre-1600s saints, but justifiable if the character's parents were devout Catholics.

If the name didn't start to be used until after the 18th C, it might sound weird--overly modern. Devout Catholics had plenty of saints' names to choose from already, I don't know why you would NEED them to choose a more recently beatified saint whose name didn't become widely used until some era later than the one your novel is set in.



I found most of the names on French genealogy sites, but the lists are intended to be useful for Carribean-set pirate fiction. I stuck with mostly France French names on the assumption that they would be useable by either characters native to France or born and raised in the New World. (Correct me if I'm wrong.)

You're probably right, BUT, the possibilities are endless for Haitian names, at least black Haitians. They have fantastically colorful names to this day, and also way back when (remember Toussaint L'Ouverture? His name means "All Saint's Day, The Opening." WHAT?!?!). So if you have any Haitians of African origin in your book, you could scour the history books for amazing Haitian names and use them for those characters.



Though now that I know the Le names are Breton, does that make Le Breton too pun-like?

That might actually work just fine, if you want. There are certainly people named "Langlais" or "Langlois," which means "the Englishman," though it's uncommon. Kind of like Kathy Ireland. ;)

By the way, I'm glad you're doing the research. It pained me greatly, when I read the Da Vinci Code, to keep seeing the ridiculous name of the French cop, Bezu Foche. The first time I saw it I was like, "WTF??!!! Did this author just make no effort whatsoever to research French names?" And every time his name was mentioned after that, I winced. :)

AZ_Dawn
12-18-2008, 03:46 AM
Thanks again, Ideagirl!


If you already have that much info on the names, then you're probably ok. Narrow it down to ones you like (first-last combinations) and re-post to see if you've inadvertently chosen something wacky (e.g. a first-last combination that, when said aloud, sounds just like a phrase that means something else--I'm referring to the French equivalent of names like "Ima Hogg").
I probably should post the character names sometime, but right now I just want to put this list on my blog. Before I do, I need to know if any of the names on this list are bad or need some sort of usage warning. For instance, I had to cross off Alphonse when I learned it was slang for a pimp, the unisex Claude was too masculine for English-speaking readers, Hennecart went bye-bye because it seemed too much like "anchor" for my comfort, and Jarnac needs a warning not to pair it with Guy or give it to swordsmen (http://www.thearma.org/essays/DOTC.htm).


If the name didn't start to be used until after the 18th C, it might sound weird--overly modern. Devout Catholics had plenty of saints' names to choose from already, I don't know why you would NEED them to choose a more recently beatified saint whose name didn't become widely used until some era later than the one your novel is set in.
Sorry, I should've been clearer about that. What I meant was that all of the names were used at one point or another during the 17th and 18th Centuries, but most of the first names and all of the surnames were in use between 1680 and 1730. The rest of the first names existed either 1600-1679 or 1731-1799. Names in the last category are all saints that were canonized before 1600, like Agathon (http://nominis.cef.fr/contenus/prenom/3156/Agathon.html) (Agatho (http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/0110.shtml#agat)) and Mélanie (http://nominis.cef.fr/contenus/saint/506/Sainte-Melanie.html). Hope that clears things up.


You're probably right, BUT, the possibilities are endless for Haitian names, at least black Haitians. They have fantastically colorful names to this day, and also way back when...So if you have any Haitians of African origin in your book, you could scour the history books for amazing Haitian names and use them for those characters.
I do have a black Haitian character! Think I should drop Brideau in favor of a less average-sounding surname?


(remember Toussaint L'Ouverture? His name means "All Saint's Day, The Opening." WHAT?!?!)
As a sidenote, Toussaint is a period name, but I don't have it on this list. It sounds too much like Tucson, and since I live in Arizona...;)

Judg
12-18-2008, 04:53 AM
I'm not sure why you have to scratch Alphonse off the list because of modern usage. It was a perfectly normal name at the time.

Your lists are very daunting in terms of their length, and the permutations of possible combinations are almost endless. It would be better if you float specific names you're thinking of, because otherwise the time commitment would be immense.

Of course, if your characters are pirates, they could have been a very ethnically diverse group.

ideagirl
12-18-2008, 11:01 PM
the unisex Claude was too masculine for English-speaking readers

And they'll REALLY be weirded out by the unisex Frederique... :-)


I do have a black Haitian character! Think I should drop Brideau in favor of a less average-sounding surname?

Heck yeah. Go to town with that. I would.

AZ_Dawn
12-18-2008, 11:51 PM
I'm not sure why you have to scratch Alphonse off the list because of modern usage. It was a perfectly normal name at the time.
Good point. I named a character John despite it being slang for toilet and a prostitute's customer. Then again, John's such a common name not much is going to ruin it. Perhaps if Alphonse is common enough, I might put it back.

Why did I scratch it off? Basically, it's to avoid the Have a Gay Old Time trope (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HaveAGayOldTime).


Your lists are very daunting in terms of their length, and the permutations of possible combinations are almost endless. It would be better if you float specific names you're thinking of, because otherwise the time commitment would be immense.
I was hoping something might come to mind right off the bat, but good point again. I left off most of the combination names I was going to use as period examples to save on scrolling here. Better list 'em, then.

MALE:
Albert François
André François
André Louis
Antoine Benoît
Antoine Michel
Antoine-Paul-Jacques
Charles François
Charles Henri
Charles Jean-Baptiste
Claude Charles François
Claude Clément
Claude Michel
Denis François
François Michel
François Xavier
Georges Félix
Georges Joseph
Guillaume Louis
Guillaume Vincent
Henri-Philippe
Herman Joseph
Jacques Jean Baptiste
Jacques Philippe
Jacques Simon
Jean-Baptiste
Jean-Charles Joseph
Jean Chrisostome
Jean-Claude
Jean Jacques
Jean-Marc
Jean Michel
Jean-Paul
Jean Philippe
Jean-Pierre
Jean Simon
Joseph Gaspard
Joseph Pierre
Louis-César
Louis François
Louis Roland
Michel François
Michel Joseph
Nicaise Joseph
Noël Martin
Paul Joseph

Philippe François
Philippe Louis
Pierre Paul
Pierre Philippe
Pierre Simon
Pierre Thomas
René François
René Simon
Simon Philippe
Simon Pierre
Simon Thomas
Thierry Simon
Victor-François
Vincent Louis
Yves François

FEMALE:
Anne Claire Louise
Anne Marie
Anne Marie Jeanne
Barbe Françoise
Barbe Simone
Christine Marie
Claudine-Françoise!
Claudine Thérèse
Denise Marie
Éve Marie
Françoise Claire
Françoise Marie
Guillemette Françoise
Jacqueline Louise
Jacqueline Thérèse
Jacquemine Jeanne
Jacquette Louise
Jeanne Jacqueline
Jeanne Marie
Jeanne Michelle
Jeanne Perrine
Jeanne Pierrette
Jeanne Simone
Jossine Françoise
Judith-Marie
Lidie Victoire
Louise Jacqueline
Louise Julie
Marie Françoise
Marie Jeanne
Marie Louise
Marie Michelle
Marie Noëlle
Nicole Françoise
Perrine Marie
Reine Marie
Reine-Mathilde
Renée Charlotte
Simone Charlotte
Thérèse Françoise
Thérèse Yvonne


Of course, if your characters are pirates, they could have been a very ethnically diverse group.
Indeed they are, but this is a general naming list. I mean, Hilarion doesn't exactly say "scourge of the seven seas" to me. Family, friends, and victims need names, too! :D

Is it safe for me to read between the lines with the replies? Is it a good sign that no one's said anything like "this is slang for boogers" or "this surname belongs to a notorious neo-Nazi" or "good name, but don't give it to a dairy farmer"?

AZ_Dawn
12-18-2008, 11:57 PM
And they'll REALLY be weirded out by the unisex Frederique... :-)
Hence the abscence of Laurence. (Did the French ever use it for men? :D)

Judg
12-19-2008, 05:27 AM
I've never heard Laurence used for men. Laurent is the masculine version I know. Please note that I haven't researched this. My comments are based on two decades living in Quebec and a degree in French. So if it didn't turn up in my circle of acquaintances, in the news, or on my reading list, I don't know.

The names look OK to me. You are aware that compound names are hyphenated in French aren't you? Reine-Marie, for instance. I don't know about elsewhere, but in Quebec a second given name is virtually non-existent. They'd have a series of names given at their baptism and never used again. First name (often composite) and last name, and that's it. Again, I can't speak to other contexts. You probably know more about that.

Chrisostome with an I? I'd only seen it spelled with a Y. It comes from the Greek word meaning silver, (like chrysalis) not from Christ. But it's possible that historically, another spelling circulated for a while.

Anyway, I can't see any nasty hidden meanings in your list of names. But I can be a little clueless in this regard, so get a second opinion if you can.

ideagirl
12-19-2008, 07:55 PM
I've never heard Laurence used for men. Laurent is the masculine version I know. Please note that I haven't researched this. My comments are based on two decades living in Quebec and a degree in French.

I agree, based on years of living in France and two degrees (undergrad/grad) in French. Laure and Laurence are the feminine equivalents of Laurent.


You are aware that compound names are hyphenated in French aren't you? Reine-Marie, for instance.

And X-Marie can be (usually is) a man's name: Jean-Marie. (If the first name--the X in "X-Marie"--is a man's name, it's definitely a man--and remember, "Rene" (accent aigu on the last e) is a man; "Renee" is a woman.) When it's Marie by itself or Marie-X, it's a woman (Marie-France, Marie-Laure, etc.).


I don't know about elsewhere, but in Quebec a second given name is virtually non-existent. They'd have a series of names given at their baptism and never used again. First name (often composite) and last name, and that's it.

Ditto in France. If they bother to get confirmed in church, which the vast majority of them do not, then they'll presumably have a confirmation name; otherwise, just the first name and the last name. They seem almost unable to UNDERSTAND how middle names work; for example, buy a French translation of a book by Edgar Allen Poe, and it will say the author is "Edgar Poe." It's like they cannot PROCESS the fact that Anglophones often have AND USE a middle name.

AZ_Dawn
12-19-2008, 11:26 PM
Thanks again, guys! This is very helpful.


You are aware that compound names are hyphenated in French aren't you? Reine-Marie, for instance.

[snip]

Chrisostome with an I? I'd only seen it spelled with a Y.
The only defense I can offer for the odd spellings and missing hyphens is that's how it was written in the source. (Guess I should add the missing hyphens for consistency.)


And X-Marie can be (usually is) a man's name: Jean-Marie. (If the first name--the X in "X-Marie"--is a man's name, it's definitely a man--and remember, "Rene" (accent aigu on the last e) is a man; "Renee" is a woman.) When it's Marie by itself or Marie-X, it's a woman (Marie-France, Marie-Laure, etc.).
I've heard something like this before, though I never heard that the male name always came first. I've also heard about X-Joseph for girls, though that was in a baby name book that said the French had middle names and Andrée was a three syllable name. (Before you ask, Andrée isn't on the list because the real pronunciation was too masculine for English-speaking ears)


I don't know about elsewhere, but in Quebec a second given name is virtually non-existent. They'd have a series of names given at their baptism and never used again. First name (often composite) and last name, and that's it.

Ditto in France. If they bother to get confirmed in church, which the vast majority of them do not, then they'll presumably have a confirmation name; otherwise, just the first name and the last name.
Does this mean that Charles Jean-Baptiste might be a baptismal and a confirmation name, and there isn't a hyphen missing between Charles and Jean?
ETA: :e2smack: I just realized all those unhyphenated name pairs/trios could be baptism + confirmation names! Now I'll have to double-check my research.


They seem almost unable to UNDERSTAND how middle names work; for example, buy a French translation of a book by Edgar Allen Poe, and it will say the author is "Edgar Poe." It's like they cannot PROCESS the fact that Anglophones often have AND USE a middle name.
Hmmm. This explains why Jules Verne called him Edgar Poe in a couple of his books.

Since we're on the subject of name constrution, could you confirm something I read on a genealogy site? They said that when a French woman got married, she kept her maiden names, but the children got her husband's surname. Is that true?

ideagirl
12-21-2008, 12:36 AM
I left off most of the combination names I was going to use as period examples to save on scrolling here. Better list 'em, then.

MALE:
Albert François
André François
André Louis


I would nix that entire list--both of 'em--because, as mentioned in other posts, the French rarely use middle names. They use compound first name (Jean-François, Marie-Therese etc.), but middle names are rare. Among the nobility back in the day you might get a bunch of names--often two or more middle names, though one was probably a confirmation name as opposed to a birth name--but not among regular people. If you want a "regular person" character to have a middle name, make it a confirmation name, and therefore make it the name of a particular saint.

Also, I've never seen a three-name compound (X-Y-Z). Always just two (Jean-Marie, etc.). And come to think of it, compound names seem to be pretty limited; it's usually Jean-Something for men and Marie-Something for women. There may be a few other possibilities, but you can't just randomly plunk any two same-gender names together and call it a compound name. Well, you can, but it looks weird. :-)

ideagirl
12-21-2008, 12:54 AM
I've also heard about X-Joseph for girls, though that was in a baby name book that said the French had middle names and Andrée was a three syllable name.

That book is wack. Marie-Josephe (note the e at the end) is a girl's name, though, and so is Marie-Jose (like the Spanish name Jose, except that the J is pronounced as in French). I think you might find one or two "Marie-Joseph"s (no e) somewhere in history, but the normal spelling is with an e.



Does this mean that Charles Jean-Baptiste might be a baptismal and a confirmation name, and there isn't a hyphen missing between Charles and Jean?

Bingo. Jean-Baptiste = John the Baptist.

And see previous email about what names can be made into compound names. FYI, compound names with Charles as the first name existed in the past, but I've never met one or heard of a modern one. However, in your time period, Charles-Francois or even (I say "even" because it just SOUNDS WEIRD to me) Charles-Jean are possibilities. But you can't just go randomly adding whatever other names you can think of to Charles (Charles-Didier?! Argh!).

Basic rule if you want to avoid sounding wacky: with compound names, stick to BASIC, classic names. Jean + Marc, Francois, Marie, Rene; Charles + Jean, Francois, maybe Rene; Marie + Francoise, Therese, etc. But not, say, Laure-Amandine or Didier-Donatien or whatever! :-) The reason I recommend this is not because wacky-sounding names are a historical impossibility, but because you run the risk of combining names that would never be combined. As in any country, there are subtle nuances in names--for example, in the US today, Tiffany is not a name that upper-class parents would give their daughters--so you might combine, say, an upper-class name with a lower-class one, thereby creating a name that no French parents would ever have inflicted on their child.



Since we're on the subject of name constrution, could you confirm something I read on a genealogy site? They said that when a French woman got married, she kept her maiden names, but the children got her husband's surname. Is that true?

Yep. Official forms will list a married woman's name like so:
MARTIN Claudine, EPOUSE Dalle
Meaning, her name is Claudine Martin and she's married to a man whose last name is Dalle. Usually you would address that woman as "Madame Dalle"--that's not her legal name, it's just a social form of address that means she is the missus of a man named Mr. Dalle. It is almost impossible to legally change your name in France, whether by marriage or otherwise.

AZ_Dawn
12-21-2008, 02:54 AM
Thanks yet again, Ideagirl!

So if I've got this compound name thing correct, it's best to stick with two fairly common names (if I make them up) or proven hyphenated names of the time. Otherwise, they'll sound like they came from a bad random generator.


And come to think of it, compound names seem to be pretty limited; it's usually Jean-Something for men and Marie-Something for women. There may be a few other possibilities, but you can't just randomly plunk any two same-gender names together and call it a compound name. Well, you can, but it looks weird. :-)
Fortunately, I can't claim any of those combinations as my own creations; that's how they were written on the genealogy sites, including the lack of hyphens.


(Charles-Didier?! Argh!)
Considering some of the period combinations I've seen, Charles-Didier seems downright normal.


Yep. Official forms will list a married woman's name like so:
MARTIN Claudine, EPOUSE Dalle
Meaning, her name is Claudine Martin and she's married to a man whose last name is Dalle. Usually you would address that woman as "Madame Dalle"--that's not her legal name, it's just a social form of address that means she is the missus of a man named Mr. Dalle.
Good to have that confirmed.

Judg
12-22-2008, 04:10 AM
Marie-Josée has an e on the end too.

In Quebec, compounds are very popular now and are made with all kinds of names. Pierre-Antoine was a next-door neighbour, for instance. But that doesn`t make much difference for a period novel. Jean-Marie was quite common, and was always male. Marie-Pierre is always a girl, and remains common.

In Quebec a woman keeps her maiden name and the children can be given the surname of either parent, or a compound version of both. The father`s name and a compound version are the most common. Again, this is modern usage, dating from 1980.

The genealogy sites would be including baptismal and confirmation names, which are not used in day-to-day life at all, not even on government forms. They were a religious formality and were normally the names of the godparents at those ceremonies. For the purposes of your novel, a first and last name are all you need. Compound names are hypenated. Jean- can be stuck in front of almost anything, although some combinations are common and others idiosyncratic. Ditto for Marie- for girls. These two forms would almost never come in second place. So Jean-François is very common, François-Jean decidedly weird. Marie-Thérèse wouldn`t raise eyebrows, but Thérèse-Marie would, although Marie in second place does happen a bit more often, especially in recent years.



So if I've got this compound name thing correct, it's best to stick with two fairly common names (if I make them up) or proven hyphenated names of the time. Otherwise, they'll sound like they came from a bad random generator.

Sounds like a wise plan.

AZ_Dawn
10-09-2009, 12:50 AM
I had to re-research my names due to a bad source. I had to make several minor spelling changes and cross off a few names. I also added some new period names to replace the one's I couldn't verify in a reliable source. For those of you who've already read this and don't want to dig for the added names, I'll list them here:

MALE
Gauderic
Hildevert
Régnier
Roustand
Thibaut

FEMALE
Albine
Anceline
Fallette
Idelette
Jérômine
Joëlle
Julitte
Mauricette
Nicolette
Philippette
Ydette
Yvonnette
Zélie

I've also had to delete a few names for various and sudry reasons, including similarities to feminine products. (It's embarrassing how long it took me to realize that Duchene sounds too much like douchin'! :tmi) Please warn me about these things! I'm a big girl; I can take it!

Thanks!

fatdog
10-10-2009, 12:27 PM
The pronunciation of Roustand sounds similar to 'roustons' which is a slang word for balls; e.g. un coup de pied aux roustons = a kick in the balls.

ideagirl
10-11-2009, 01:19 AM
"Julitte" should be "Juliette." I've never heard of the following names: Ydette (compare to Odette, which was fairly common in the 19th-20th centuries); Zenie (that name just sounds odd--not old, just odd and unlikely to be used as a name in France); Fallette (again, sounds odd--what could it possibly mean/where would it have come from/why would that be a name). In contrast, I've also never heard of the other four of the first five female names on your list, but they don't sound unlikely to me; I could believe that someone way back when had those names.

Everything from Joelle on down, with the exception of Ydette (see below), sounds much more modern than the male names. The male names you're listing sound very old--like, potentially medieval--whereas most of the female names sound much more modern (last 2 centuries or so). What period are you going for here?

"Yvonnette" and "Philippette" strike me as strange and possibly inauthentic. There is not, to my knowledge, any feminine version of the name "Philippe" in French. As for Yvonnette, Yvonne is already a feminine name, so the -ette is redundant. At least it is for an actual name, though I suppose it could be an affectionate diminutive a la "my little Yvonne," such as a grandparent might say to a grandchild.

My first impression on Regnier was that it sounds like a surname rather than a first name. Apparently there was a 17th-century Dutch scientist who had it as a first name, though... but that's Holland, not France.

AZ_Dawn
10-11-2009, 02:53 AM
Thanks, guys! This helps a lot.


The pronunciation of Roustand sounds similar to 'roustons' which is a slang word for balls; e.g. un coup de pied aux roustons = a kick in the balls.
:eek: Thanks for the warning; Roustand definitely goes bye-bye!


What period are you going for here?
As I mention in post #7, the 17th and 18th Centuries, with special emphasis on the Golden Age of Piracy. If being more specific helps, the names in my last post are partly from 1680-1730, though Hildevert, Régnier, Thibaut, Albine, Fallette, Joëlle, Nicolette, and Yvonnette were from 1600-1679 (at least according to what I could find out).


"Julitte" should be "Juliette."
Yeah, I was wondering whether that name was legit or a typo.


Ydette (compare to Odette, which was fairly common in the 19th-20th centuries)
So, would it be better to ditch this one and find out if Odette was period?


Zenie (that name just sounds odd--not old, just odd and unlikely to be used as a name in France); Fallette (again, sounds odd--what could it possibly mean/where would it have come from/why would that be a name).
Ah, so these don't sound authentic. Thanks; I need to know that, too. :Thumbs:


Everything from Joelle on down, with the exception of Ydette (see below), sounds much more modern than the male names.
:o I was worried that Mauricette and Nicolette might bring up some modern images (Alanis Morrisette, Nicolette Larson), but I didn't realize it about the others. I'll definitely have to think long and hard about them.


The male names you're listing sound very old--like, potentially medieval--whereas most of the female names sound much more modern (last 2 centuries or so)
So unless I can put Pére or Frére in front of them and have them sound religious, you'd advise against them?


There is not, to my knowledge, any feminine version of the name "Philippe" in French.
I've found Philippine as a period name, too, but it seemed too corny for adventures on the high seas. :D


As for Yvonnette, Yvonne is already a feminine name, so the -ette is redundant. At least it is for an actual name, though I suppose it could be an affectionate diminutive a la "my little Yvonne," such as a grandparent might say to a grandchild.
So as a given name, it's too clunky? Got it! :Thumbs:

Okay, if I've got this right, one name needs to go for potential crudeness, a few names might need to go for sounding inauthentic, and a few might need to go for being flat-out bad. Thanks again, guys!

ideagirl
10-12-2009, 02:59 AM
Thanks, guys! This helps a lot.
So, would it be better to ditch this one and find out if Odette was period?


Sure, but frankly your best bet is just to use saints' names. I don't know if there's a Saint Odette--maybe so--but saints' names have been used in France for many centuries. Here's a link to the Catholic calendar of saints (click the arrows to see other months than the present one):
http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/Saints/ByDate.aspx
Just translate the non-French names into French and you'll probably have all the names you need.



So unless I can put Pére or Frére in front of them and have them sound religious, you'd advise against them?

You're using an accent aigu on those words--it should be an accent grave (tilted the other way). Anyway, re the names: I would be willing to bet that priests and monks, like nuns, take new names when they are ordained or when (in the case of monks) the enter the order. And those names would be saints' names, that I can guaran-damn-tee you. :-)
So putting pere or frere (with appropriate accent) before a name that is not the name of a saint would just be weird.



I've found Philippine as a period name, too, but it seemed too corny for adventures on the high seas. :D


Haha! Yeah, ridiculous. But that at least sounds like a possible name (from back before the Philippines existed, anyway), whereas Philippette... weird.

AZ_Dawn
10-12-2009, 07:53 AM
Sure, but frankly your best bet is just to use saints' names. I don't know if there's a Saint Odette--maybe so--but saints' names have been used in France for many centuries. Here's a link to the Catholic calendar of saints (click the arrows to see other months than the present one):
http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/Saints/ByDate.aspx

Thanks! I've already have three saints site bookmarked, but another can't hurt (especially if it has a few different saints than the others). I found them useful for seeing if a post-1730 was justifiable as something a devout Catholic would give their kid.



You're using an accent aigu on those words--it should be an accent grave (tilted the other way).

:e2smack: Sorry about that. I should've double-checked with the French-English dictionary.



Anyway, re the names: I would be willing to bet that priests and monks, like nuns, take new names when they are ordained or when (in the case of monks) the enter the order. And those names would be saints' names, that I can guaran-damn-tee you. :-)

So Thibaut (http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-theobald/) at least should be fine, and possibly Gauderic (if it's a French form of Godric (http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-godric-of-finchale/)).



But that at least sounds like a possible name (from back before the Philippines existed, anyway), whereas Philippette... weird.

I've seen weirder, like Annet, Bon(ne), and Fiacre (I have no idea how to say that last one, but it looks like a mispronounciation could get potentially nasty). Still, if I've got a native French speaker telling me Philippette is weird, I'd better take heed.

Judg
10-13-2009, 02:13 AM
Well, Philippette is weird now, which doesn't necessarily mean it was weird back then. If you have reliable historic sources, trust them.

ideagirl
10-13-2009, 05:21 AM
So Thibaut (http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-theobald/) at least should be fine, and possibly Gauderic (if it's a French form of Godric (http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-godric-of-finchale/)).

Google it to see--google "saint Gauderic" (saint being French for male saint).


I've seen weirder, like Annet, Bon(ne), and Fiacre

Uh, what?! Annet makes no sense if you're seeing it as a feminine name, because it's masculine (Annette would be the feminine). It's a surname, and also the name of a region (Annet-sur-Marne) and I think also a town--the geographical names are probably the reason it's a surname (it probably means "someone from Annet"). Bon means good (masculine) and Bonne means either good (feminine) or maid (as in someone who cleans a house). Apparently there was a Saint Fiacre, but a fiacre is a type of carriage that people used to use before there were cars, so it sounds weird as a name.


Philippette is weird

It's nowhere near as weird as the other three I just discussed. It is a surname (very uncommon and at least originally restricted to northern central France, as this awesome map shows: http://www.geopatronyme.com/nomcarte/PHILIPPET). And since I just googled it, I have been made aware that it did actually exist as a female first name during the time period you're discussing; this genealogy shows a Philippette born in 1727:
http://pagesperso-orange.fr/jm.ouvrard/armor/fami/l/lacroi.htm
(scroll down to the part that begins "XI) de La Croix Jacques" and you'll see a daughter named Philippette, named apparently after a family friend). So it sounds super-weird to me, but that's probably because it was always a very rare name.

AZ_Dawn
10-13-2009, 07:44 AM
Thanks again, guys!



Well, Philippette is weird now, which doesn't necessarily mean it was weird back then. If you have reliable historic sources, trust them.

Good point. And at least it's not like the infamous Latrina.



And since I just googled it, I have been made aware that it did actually exist as a female first name during the time period you're discussing; this genealogy shows a Philippette born in 1727:
http://pagesperso-orange.fr/jm.ouvra...i/l/lacroi.htm (http://pagesperso-orange.fr/jm.ouvrard/armor/fami/l/lacroi.htm)
(scroll down to the part that begins "XI) de La Croix Jacques" and you'll see a daughter named Philippette, named apparently after a family friend). So it sounds super-weird to me, but that's probably because it was always a very rare name.

I noticed the words "Famille noble" near the top of the page. If that means that these guys were nobility, that might explain Philippette's rarity.



Google it to see--google "saint Gauderic" (saint being French for male saint).

Most of the results mention travel packages to a village call Saint-Gaudéric, so that might be a good sign.



Uh, what?! Annet makes no sense if you're seeing it as a feminine name, because it's masculine (Annette would be the feminine).

Oh, heck no! Annet was mentioned as a male in everything I saw. I didn't add it to my list because it seemed effeminate to me.



...Bonne means either good (feminine) or maid (as in someone who cleans a house). Apparently there was a Saint Fiacre, but a fiacre is a type of carriage that people used to use before there were cars, so it sounds weird as a name.

Extra reasons for being glad I left them off.