Ideas for girls names that work in French and English

Hello! I am expecting my first baby (girl), and need some help for first names that work in English and in French (hubby is French and we live in a French-speaking country). I have Chinese origins and the middle name will probably by Suan or Mae, but am open to other suggestions. I quite like Elsa Suan but would like some alternatives to choose from. Any ideas?


November 28, 2017 4:03 PM

Elsa Suan is lovely


Amy, Adele/Adeline

Angeline/Angelique/Annabelle, Arielle,  Avril

Beatrice, Brielle

Celeste, Caroline, Charlotte, Camille, Chantal

Claire, Coralie, Delphine, Dominique

Elise/Eloise/Elodie, Estelle, Francine

Genevieve, Gabrielle, Isabelle, Giselle, Helene

Jacqueline, Janine/Jeanette, Jocelyn

Josephine/Juliette, Justine, Lizette, Louise


Madeline, Margot/Marguerite

Michelle, Monique, Nadine, Nicole, Nicolette, Colette, Suzette, Noelle, Prudence, Renee, Rosalie, Simone, Sidonie, Solange, Suzanne, Sybille, Vivianne, Yvette, Yvonne, Natalie, Sophie, Valerie, Marie, Odette, Rochelle, Sylvie

November 28, 2017 11:55 AM

I think Suan is a gorgeous middle name. Mae is very pretty, too, and flows well with lots of names—it's a little harder for me to get as excited about it because around here it is very common in the middle spot, thanks to those characteristics. I also like Elsa. You probably already know that in the US it's so strongly associated with the Disney movie Frozen that many parents are currently steering away from it, but that doesn't need to be an issue for you.

I really think most French feminine names work in English, so your best bet if you want to expand your list may be to get a French baby names book or list of some sort and see what you like.

I'd probably very cautious about names that include the letter R (the French R is notoriously difficult for English-speakers, and the English R is often difficult for other speakers), and also keep in mind how stress might change between languages (for example, English Genevieve sounds nothing like French Geneviève). These things don't have to be a deal-breaker if you're relaxed about the variation between different speakers, but it is something to be aware of—maybe use both versions from an early stage, for example, so that both feel like "her" name.

Are there any other criteria for names? Sounds or styles you like, ideas or people you might want to honor, maybe a "message" you'd like the name to convey about your daughter? For a message, I don't mean like the name origin, but more like how some names suggest "free-thinking music lover" or "bookish romantic" or "conservative classic". We had one mother who was looking for "warrior princess" names; that kind of guideline can sometimes help us better identify names you'll like.

November 28, 2017 7:11 PM

FYI, I moved your thread over from the Expecting sub-forum, because it gets so little traffic compared to this one. If you'd prefer that it be moved back, let us know and a mod will revert it for you.