Francesca: Meaning, Popularity, Origin of Baby Name Francesca

Francesca

Pronunciation: fran-CHEHS-kə (key)

Origin of the name Francesca:

Feminine form of Francesco, the Italian cognage of Francis, which is from the Middle Latin Franciscus, a derivative of Francus (a Frank, a freeman). The name was borne by the 13th-century Francesca da Rimini, the beautiful daughter of the county of Ravenna, Giovanni da Polenta. In return for military support, Francesca's father betrothed her to the ugly and malformed lord of Rimini, Giovanni Malatesta. Paolo, Malatesta's handsome younger brother, acted as proxy in the marriage and he and Francesca soon fell in love. They were discovered and put to death in 1289 by Malatesta. Dante recorded the tragedy of Francesca da Rimini in his work Inferno.

From A World of Baby Names by Teresa Norman.

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US Popularity of Francesca Over Time

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Comments and insights on the name Francesca: | Edit

I love this name!! I want to name my little girl this so bad and I feel like its not to popular at all. I think I will use it!

I think of the name "FRAN" automatically.

Personal experiences with the name Francesca: | Edit

My name is "Francesca." It is certainly no walk in the park... not a single soul is able to pronounce it, I get called Frankinstein, Franklin, Fran-CHEST-Ca (as a tease suitable for both large- and small-chested girls), Frankfurter, Brittany, and Jessica (where the latar two come from-- I have no clue). Not to mention, it is so extremely Italian ethnic sounding that you must be of Italian heritage to use it, and match it with an Italian surname.

When I was eight years old there was a girl in my dance class named Francesca. For the longest time I thought her name was Fran Jessica.

Growing up I've known 2 Francescas. Both very nice and upstanding and intelligent people. It's funny that the person above me ^^ mentioned that she thought her name was Fran Jessica, because most of the people that I know thought that Francesca was Fran Jessica for a long time. And to this day some people still call her Fran Jessica. lol :D

We named our little girl Francesca, and we are definitely not Italian. Francis is a family name, though, and that's where we got it. We have had some pronunciation problems, which surprised me. I mean, it's not like we made up a name. I know it's not super-common in America, but I figured people had at least heard the name and knew how to pronounce it. They always sound ignorant to me when they pronounce it like "Fransesska," but I guess less people had heard of it than I thought.

Nicknames for Francesca: | Edit

Fran, Frannie, Franny, Frankie, Francie, Cesca, Cecca, Cicca, Chessie, Chessy, Franchu, Checka, Checky, Fancy, France, French, Frenchie, Franca, Xesca, Chicca, Frances, Fanny, Fannie, Sasha, Saskia,

Meanings and history of the name Francesca: | Edit

Italian. Ultimately, "Francesca" comes from the Late Latin masculine name "Franciscus," which meant "Frenchman."
There has also been some debate that the meaning is "Free"... but I must differ, and support what I first listed.

^^
As to the above, it does derive from "Frenchman," BUT the Franks (from which we get the word French) were the "Free people." So it's the same thing either way.

Famous real-life people named Francesca: | Edit

Francesca Eastwood - American actress; daughter of Clint Eastwood
Francesca Battistelli - American musician
Francesca Woodman - American photographer
Francesca Christine (b. 2008) - daughter of Amy Jo Johnson
Francesca Nora (b. 2006) - daughter of Jason Bateman
Francesca Natalia (b. 2000) - daughter of Erik Estrada

Francesca in song, story & screen: | Edit

"Francesca Vecchio" is Ray Vecchio's sister in the tv series "Due South."
Francesca Fiore - B Movie star played by Scott Thompson on Kids in the Hall

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