What’s in a name?

When I was at school, my French text books were peopled by characters such as Jean-Claude, Jean-Charles, Jean-Paul, Jacques and Georges.  There were Marie, Marie-France, Marianne, Jeanne and Jeanette.
My own classmates answered to names such as Valerie, Jean, Judith, Janet and Mary while the boys’ school along the road had types like Alan, Norman, Brian, Keith, and inevitably, John.
These names identify us firmly as children of the 1940’s and ’50’s.
So over the last week, on our journey through France, I’ve had fun looking for evidence of the latest trends in French first names, via Coca-cola’s latest marketing scheme of personalising drinks bottles with the current most popular given-names.

30 thoughts on “What’s in a name?”

  1. yeahhhhhhhhh, they always find an other stupid game to sell their so very healty sodas……….grrrrrrrrr – lots of fun, AnnAxx


  2. I’m willing to put money on the fact that my name will never make it on one of these Coke bottles. Not unless I pay to get one personalized. (Don’t worry, I’ve got no such plan to do so!)


  3. Very true, names identify us to set periods in time, or at least certainly in England they do. The most popular French names around at the moment seem to be Anaïs, 3 in our youngest daughter’s class alone! Zoe, Oriane, and Marine for girls and Aurélien, Noah and Baptiste for boys!

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  4. I have seen the Coke names in the US–it’s fun to see the variety in France! Names really are fascinating–the way they identify us by gender, era, national origin. My full name–Kerran–was made up by my mother and a source of endless confusion in doctors’ offices, etc.!

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  5. Fascinating! Lots of Pauls, Stephens, Michaels and Davids; Julies, Anns, Carols and Jennifers when I was at school. My eldest daughter had a number of Kylies and Charlenes in her year – I wonder why?! I had a French pen-friend called Annick which I thought so exotic!

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      1. I admit to having watched it a bit when it was first broadcast. My daughter had just been born and I sat exhausted in front of the TV, sometimes feeding her sometimes not. I gave it up when she started sleeping longer at night.

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  6. My mother is 97 (and from Yorkshire) and she and her sisters were named after characters in books my grandmother read. She was probably reading Ibsen as my mother’s name is Nora. After always thinking it such an old fashioned name it scored higher than Margaret (mine)or Elizabeth (daughter) on the popular names. for 2016.

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    1. Now that IS surprising. I was at school with a Nora, but we thought it quite old fashioned then too. Margaret is so dated these days, isn’t it? When I meet fellow Margarets, I always expect them to be more or less my age.


      1. My middle name is Margaret and I am more or less your age as are all the other Margarets I know. We chose traditional long names for our 3 “boys” to give them flexibility but I still prefer the full name. This is why our oldest is known to Jeremy, me and himself as Toph; I got so irritated by small children calling him Chris that we always added Topher which inevitably got shortened. For inexplicable reasons they call each other Bob!

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