Last names are likened to bridges, with their extraordinary ability to form a connection between a family or clan’s past and present. Yes, there are many baby name trends, most of which wax and wane with time. But last names, those are forever. Last names or surnames can be passed on from one generation to the next and even bestowed upon little ones via personal names as a way to give them the gift of culture, history, and tradition.
French last names are among the most beautiful and intricate, both in their form and meaning. Surnames in France came from locations, occupations, and personal names. Some also originated from other countries through historical invasions, which led to a fantastic fusion of cultures. Like the country from which these come, French last names have an innate sophistication and elegance.
Whether you would like to connect with your family’s roots and lineage or you want to honor a culture so rich and beautiful, French last names would make for captivating options for naming your little one. We’ve got a list of popular French last names that will inspire you as you choose the perfect name for your baby.
83 French Last Names With Meanings
Say “bonjour!” to these 83 popular French last names that will captivate you with their intricate beauty, both in form and in meaning.
Abreo is a French last name that is a variation of the French word “abreu.” It means “a wise counselor,” and this family name belonged to an ancient house hailing from Normandy. Abreo came into use as the last name through the Countship of Evreux in France.
Among the French last names, one that has an unmistakable charm and strength is Alarie. This French family name is said to be a reflex of “Alaric,” which is a Visigothic personal name for boys and holds the meaning of “all-powerful.”
Of the French last names, Allaire has a certain mysterious allure to it. This surname was used for those who came from the town bearing the same name. It is said that in North America, two branches of the Allaire lineage were established. One Allaire branch planted roots in Quebec, New France, back in 1658, while the other went to New Rochelle, New York.
Andre is among the more popular French last names that are used as first names as well. This surname is the French, Dutch, Portuguese, and German variations of “Andrew,” which means “masculine.” Andre means “second” in Danish.
The French last name Archambault carries the meaning of “bold master.” It is said to have come from the Germanic language. The largest French-language e-commerce site situated in North America is called Archambault.ca. This e-commerce site focuses primarily on music-related items such as sheet music, instruments, and reference books.
The French last name Arnaud is a Germanic name that has the meaning of “eagle power.” This is also the name of the biggest restaurant located in New Orleans, Louisiana, and it serves traditional Creole cuisine.
Among the more well-known French last names is Arquette. This surname carries the meaning of “little arch” and can also mean “little bow.” It is said that Arquette was derived from “arcus,” which is a Latin word that means “arch.” Another theory states that Arquette was a name for archers because the French word for “bow” is “arc.”
Aubert is derived from “Aedelbeort,” which is a compound word of Old German origin. This French last name has the meaning of “noble” and “bright.” Aubert is said to be the French variation of the personal name “Albert.” Jean Aubert came from Thionville and was a merchant. He was inducted into the noble class in 1612, and those who descended from him became Norwegian and Danish nobility.
The French last name Augustin was derived from “Augustus,” an Ancient Roman name that means “to increase.” A known bearer of this name is D.J. Augustin, a professional basketball player who is currently playing for the Milwaukee Bucks.
If you are looking for French last names that have a magnificent vibe, a good pick would be Babin. Babin is said to have evolved from “Babylon,” which carries the meaning of “gate of the gods.” The Babin Republic was founded in Babin, Poland, back in 1568 and was considered “The Onion” or “Mad Magazine” of its time. An extended variation of this last name is “Babineaux.”
If you are curious about French last names that are on the shorter side, Barre is one that has a certain chic vibe to it. This surname was given to those who resided near barriers. Barre is also the name of a French car company founded by Gaston Barre back in 1899.
The surname Barbier got its popularity from the very famous Danie Barbier. He was a French astronomer, after whom the crater in the southern part of the moon was named Barbier crater. An unknown object hit the surface of the moon and caused this impact crater.
The French word for a barber is Barbier.
This surname with French roots comes from the word Barrer. It has a sophisticated vibe to it, and it holds the meaning of to close, to bar, or to block off.
People say that Barreau is an occupational surname for doorkeepers or jailkeepers.
The surname Bassett has its roots in the Old French language. It has a certain vintage vibe, adding to its appeal.
It holds the meaning of short or low. It could refer to a person with a short height or someone with humble origins.
This is an uncommon surname with French roots. It is taken from the words Basquebazter and Ecehe. While the former word means border, the latter translates to house. Did you notice the poshness it has?
Bastarache refers to someone who stays in a house that has a boundary.
Have you heard the very popular name Sebastian? You might have come across it in movies and books.
The surname Bastien is taken from this name. It holds the meaning of “from Sebaste.” In Asia Minor, there is a town named Sebaste.
Bazin is a cool surname of French origin. It is taken from the word Basil, and Basil is taken from the word Basileios, which has Greek roots and holds the meaning of royal.
Also, some people believe that Bazin comes from the word Bombasin. It is an occupational surname that translates to some kind of cotton cloth.
Do you fancy French last names that have a certain sophisticated flair about them? A great option would be Beaufort. This surname has the meaning of “beautiful fortress.” A notable bearer of this name is Francis Beaufort, an Irish hydrographer who created the Beaufort wind force scale in 1805.
Stately and elegant, Beaumont is a French last name that is derived from the French place of the same name. This geographical last name has the meaning of “beautiful mountain.” In 1918, the Beaumont Tower was built after Michigan State University’s College Hall building collapsed. This tower is still, to this day, one of the most frequented and photographed places on that campus.
Are you on the lookout for French last names that are full of grace and beauty? A lovely pick would be Bellerose. This surname means “beautiful rose.” Bellerose is the name of a Belgian-based international clothing brand known for its pledge to provide lifetime-free repairs to their clothing.
This surname has its roots in France and translates to a beautiful place. Also, it is the name of a common town in that country.
The Beaulieu House, which is commonly known as only Beaulieu, is a historic mansion in Rhode Island. Calvert Vaux, the famous architect, designed it.
The French surname Belanger is made up of two Germanic word elements that translate to bear and spear.
A famous personality with this surname is Denis Belanger. He is a singer and songwriter from Canada and has won several prestigious awards. He is commonly known as Snake.
Simple and chic, Blaise is a French last name that was derived from “Blaesus,” a Latin name that has the meaning of “stammering” or “lisping.” Robert de Blay, then-Magistrate of Toulouse, is the earliest documented Blaise surname, dating back to 1459. By 2019, Blaise had broken into the top 1000 boys’ names in the United States.
Blanc is another of the French last names that gives off a very chic vibe. Thus, surname is the French word for “white.” It is said that traditionally, this last name was actually “le Blanc,” which translates to “the white,” and started as a nickname for those with very pale skin or white hair.
There are a handful of French last names that mean “white.” Among them is Blanchet. In French, many names evolved from adding “het” or “ette,” which is how Blanchett came to be from “Blanc.”
If you are a parent to a baby boy, Bonfils can be a good surname for him. This French surname holds the meaning of a good son, and we all want our kids to be good, right?
In the south of France, there is a popular family-owned chateau company named Bonfils Wine & Chateau. They have ten estates where you can choose to stay and explore the different kinds of wines.
Cartier is an Anglo-Norman French last name with aboriginal roots. Cartier is an occupational surname that means “a person who worked as a transporter of goods.” Cartier is very well-known all over the world as a luxury jewelry brand.
Carrel is a surname with multiple meanings.
Some say it is taken from the word quarrel, which originates in Old French. It holds the meaning of bolt for crossbow. It could be an occupational surname for people who make crossbow bolts.
Also, some people believe Carrel holds the meaning of paving slab. It could be carried by people who make street layers.
The French last name Charpentier is an Old French word that has the meaning of “carpenter.” The English variation of this name is of course, “Carpenter,” and its German variation is “Zimmerman.”
There are quite a few French last names that are well known in Hollywood circles. Among them is Chastain. This surname comes from “castanea,” which is Latin for “chestnut tree.” A popular bearer of this last name is actress Jessica Chastain.
Among the French last names, one that is very familiar to many people all over the world is Chevrolet. This is because of the Chevrolet Motor Company, a car dealership co-founded by Louis Chevrolet in 1913. Chevrolet is derived from “chèvre,” a French word that means “goat.”
Another French last name that is well-known in the entertainment industry is Colbert. This surname comes from the Germanic words “helmet” and “bright.” A famous namesake is beloved host/comedian Stephen Colbert.
If you are looking for French last names that are all about style and fashion, what better than Couture? In Old French, this surname translates to “tailor.” “Haute couture” is a classification awarded to fashion houses that meet the standards, and this classification is protected by the law in France.
DeGarmo is a surname in France that is the American variation of “de Garmeaux.” The French term “Garmeaux” is said to have likely been derived from the town of the same name in Normandy. “Gare” has the meaning of “station,” while “eaux” has the definition of “water.”
- DE LA FONTAINE
The French surname De La Fontaine means “the fountain” in French. A well-known bearer of this last name is Jean De La Fontaine, considered among the greatest of French writers. His fables can be read online and are published to this day.
Deschamps is a French last name that carries the meaning of “from the fields.” A notable bearer of this surname is Louis Auguste Deschamps, a naturalist. The genus of grass called “Deschampsia” was named after him.
Of the French last names, Dior is one that is very well-known worldwide, particularly in fashion circles. This surname is from “D’or,” which is French for “golden.” A very famous and respected name bearer is Christian Dior, one of the most lauded and famous fashion designers in the world.
Dubois is a French surname that carries the meaning of “from the forest.” This last name is one of the most prevalent in France, and as of 2015, it ranked third in most common last names there, with almost 96,000 people bearing the name. In the United States, Dubois is the 1459th most common last name.
If you are looking for French last names that will leave a lasting impression, why not take a gander at Durand? This Old French name literally means “enduring” and ranks 8th among the most common last names in France.
Among French last names, one that is very similar to a classic name is Edouard. Edouard has a close similarity to the English surname that is “Edwards” as well as the personal name that is “Edward.” It is said to mean “a prosperous guardian.”
Emile sounds lovely and sweet, which makes it even more fascinating that this surname of Latin aemulus actually has the meaning of “rival.” Emile is said to have been derived from “Emil,” a Roman family name that evolved into the personal names “Emil” for boys and “Emily” for girls, then back to a French last name, “Emile.”
Fabian is a French last name that holds a certain sophistication. This surname is from “faba,” a Latin term meaning “bean.” There is a military approach called “The Fabian Strategy,” in which smaller, harassing actions are carried out to wear down opponents instead of large-scale attacks.
Favreau is another of the French last names with prominence in the entertainment industry. This surname is of Old French origin and has the meaning of “blacksmith.” A famous namesake is Jon Favreau, an actor, screenwriter, producer, and director of French-Canadian roots. He directed, produced, and acted in some of the biggest Marvel movies.
Fournier is a French last name that has a gentle, classy air about it. This occupational surname carries the meaning of “baker.” In Vitoria, Spain, you can find the Fournier Museum of Playing Cards, featuring more than 20,000 card decks!
As you look at French last names, one that, of course, will top any list is Francois. Francois literally and straightforwardly means “Frenchman.” A notable bearer of this name is Elvis Francois, an American orthopedic surgeon known as Dr. Elvis, who has made significant contributions to raising money for COVID relief and was among the list of People Magazine’s 2020 Sexiest Man Alive.
Garcon is a surname that any list of French last names would be amiss to exclude. This last name is French for “boy.” Interestingly, Garcon is mistaken for “waiter.” The root of this curious confusion can be traced back to when English-speaking customers first frequented French restaurants and, upon hearing locals call out “Garcon!” to servers, mistook the meaning.
Those who are familiar with all things hair care will also be familiar with the French surname Garnier. Garnier is the modern variation of the Old French terms “Gerner” or “gernier.” It is an occupational last name that means “keeper of the granary” or “storehouse for corn.”
If French last names connected to literature are what you are seeking, check out the surname Granger. This last name comes from “granicarius,” which is Latin for “granary.” Granger is the slightly shorter English variation of “grangier,” which in Old French refers to a farm bailiff. A very famous literary namesake is Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series.
Among French last names, one that has become a bit more mainstream as a personal name is Hubert. This surname holds the meaning of “bright heart” and has become a less common alternative to other “-bert” names like “Gilbert” and “Herbert.”
Of the French last names, one that definitely stands out is Jacques. This surname is the French variation of “James” and means “the one who follows.” Jacques was first documented in Medieval France when it was used by a knight who returned from the Crusades.
If you are looking for French last names for a baby born in January, or if January is a significant month for you, a great surname to check out is Janvier. Janvier means “January” in French. It is favored as both a last name and a personal name in the country.
For French last names with religious leanings, a strong option would be Jean-Baptiste. A known bearer of this name is Marianne Raigipcien Jean-Baptiste is a British actress who is part of the cast of the Hollywood series Without a Trace.
Kaplan is a French surname that came from “Captain,” an Old Norman French term that means “charity priest.” A charity priest was the one who sang Mass every day for the souls of the departed.
Lachapelle is a French last name that translates to “the chapel.” This charming surname is shared by David Lachapelle, an American photographer who is well known for his music videos and standout photography.
Among the French last names, Lacroix is one that has been utilized many times in naming businesses and brands. Among the famous companies that bear this name are a sparkling water business, a fashion house, and a luxury Swiss watch brand.
Of the French last names, one that brings a level of sophistication and class is Laurent. This surname has the meaning of “laurel.” An immensely famous bearer of this name is Yves Saint Laurent, a French fashion designer. He is highly revered in fashion circles. He was the first living designer honored via an exhibition within the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Magnificent and stately, the French last name Leandre is said to have been derived from the Greek words that mean “lion-man.” It is the French variation of “Leander.” According to Greek mythology, Leander was a man that a priestess named Hero fell in love with. Unfortunately, he drowned during a storm, and Hero submerged herself in the sea to be with him.
Macon is a French last name that carries the meaning of “mason.” In Fort Macon State Park, located in North Carolina, there is a five-sided brick and stone fortress called Fort Macon. Fort Macon was named for Nathaniel Macon, who is a politician in North Carolina with French roots.
Among the French last names, one that has a distinct, handsome charm is the surname Martin. This last name is a derivative of Mars, who was the Roman god of war and fertility. Its root is “Mar,” which means “gleam.” Martin is a name that has likewise enjoyed much favor as a personal name.
As you look at French last names, one that definitely shines with overflowing charm is Mathieu. This surname is the French variation of “Matthew” and holds the lovely meaning of “gift from God.” It originated from “Mattaeus,” a Latin name that was derived from the Greek name “Matthaios.”
If you are wondering about French last names with artistic leanings, an excellent pick would be Monet. Monet is a variation of the personal name “Simon,” which means “to be heard.” This surname is common in the French Alps, particularly in the Rhone-Alpes region. A very famous bearer of this surname is the French painter Claude Monet.
Moreau is a surname that was derived from “Maurus,” which is Latin for “dark-skinned” and “Moorish.” This is another of the French last names that have literary ties. The Island of Dr. Mreau is a novel by H.G. Wells about a scientist making experimental part-human, part-animal creatures within his private island.
Are you searching for French last names that have made a lasting impression on pop culture? The surname Moulin is one that many are probably familiar with. It is derived from “Molina,” a Latin word that refers to the occupational moniker for a mill worker or a miller. A cabaret in Paris called Moulin Rouge is incredibly famous as the place where the modern can-can dance was born.
In French, Noyer is a word that has the meaning of “walnut.” This French last name is said to be a transliteration of “Nogueira,” a Galacian name that means “walnut tree.” Noyer is used by those who reside close to walnut trees.
The French last name Paquet carries the meaning of “bundle.” It is an occupational last name and was used by individuals who gathered firewood, tied it up into bundles of wood, and then sold them.
Parent is a French last name that means exactly like the word “parent.” It can also hold the meaning of “notable.” This surname is ranked 339th among the most common last names in France. As of 2011, there are upwards of 11,000 people in France with this last name.
If you are on the prowl for French last names that connote a certain steadfastness about them, take a look at Perreault. This surname has the meaning of “stone.” A known namesake is Mathieu Perreault, a pro ice hockey player who’s played for many NHL teams.
Rayne is a French surname that connotes enlightenment and guidance. It is said to be a derivative of the German “Ragin” or the Old French “Reine.” The French last name Rayne has the meaning of “counsel” or “advice.”
Are you seeking French last names that have likewise successfully crossed over to being used as a personal name? Richard is a great one to consider. This classic surname carries the meaning of “strong” or “brave.”
Riviere is a French last name that has a touch of stately elegance. This Old French surname carries the meaning of “shore” or “river.” It is a topographic moniker for one who resides near a riverbank.
For French last names that are on the shorter side and have a certain posh flair, take a gander at Roche. This surname means “rock” or “rocky outcrop” and is given to those residing near hills.
Very sophisticated and with a stylish flair, Rousseau is a French last name derived from “russus,” a Latin word meaning “red.” A notable bearer of the name is Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a writer, composer, and philosopher whose works are considered the foundations of modern politics.
Of the French last names, Sartre is one that truly makes a mark with its mysterious appeal and undeniable charm. This surname comes from “sartor,” which is a Latin word that means “tailor.” Thus, Sartre is an occupational last name given to those who sew clothes.
If you are curious about French last names that have a certain unpredictable energy, a good option would be Sauvageon. This surname comes from “Sauvage,” an Old French word meaning “untamed” and “wild.” The French Minister of the Interior, named Jean-Pierre Chevenement, caused outrage when he referred to young, working-class males in France as “sauvageons” or “savages” back in 1999.
Sauveterre is a French last name derived from the French words “sauve,” which has the meaning of “safe,” and “terre,” which has the definition of “land.” A village located in southwestern France is called Sauveterre-de-Bearn.
- ST. PIERRE
If you are leaning towards French last names that have Biblical leanings, check out St. Pierre. This surname translates to “Saint Peter” in French. A famous namesake is George St. Pierre, an MMA fighter who is known to be among the greatest fighters in sports history. He also has a massive love for dinosaurs and even hosts a show about them titled The Boneyard.
When looking at French last names, one that is well-known in Hollywood is Theroux. It is said that the meaning of this surname is not certain but that it could mean “by the well.” A well-known bearer of this name is Justin Theroux, an actor, screenwriter, producer, and director.
As you sift through French last names, Tremblay is a lovely surname, perfect for nature lovers. Tremblay holds the meaning of “aspen” and may be a topographic name used by those residing near aspen trees. This last name is the third most common in Quebec as well as in Canada.
If you seek French last names that have roots in mythology, a terrific choice would be Trudeau. Trudeau is the French variation of “Torvald,” an Old Norse name that means “Thor’s ruler.” A well-known and much-respected namesake is Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada.
For French last names that have a presence in the beauty industry, take a gander at Vidal. This surname was derived from “Vitalis,” which is a Latin word meaning “vital.” Vidal Sassoon was a British hairstylist and businessman who made a considerable impact on haircare.
Another French last name that has also enjoyed popularity as a personal name is Vincent. This surname comes from “Vicentius,” a Latin name that means “to conquer.” Vincent is a very common last name in France as well as in Italy.
When looking at French last names with literary leanings, one that has a certain enigmatic appeal to it is Voclain. This surname is the modern variation of “Vauquelin,” meaning “foreign.” In the novel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a jewelry store is named Vocalin & Co.
If you fancy French last names that connote beauty and grace, a wonderful pick would be Zabelle. This last name is a variation of the word “beautiful,” as it is composed in part by the word “belle,” which is French for “beautiful.”
French last names are chic and intriguing and never fail to make an impression. These popular French last names are sure to bring inspiration as you search for the right name to gift your precious little one.
French surnames are mostly taken from occupations, personal names, and locations. They are beautiful and have a classy vibe to them.
If you want your little one to honor French culture and beauty, going for a surname with French roots would be a great choice.
I hope you like my list of French surnames. So, which of them did you like the most?
I will wait for your reply in the comments!