How popular is the baby name Anais in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Anais and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Anais.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Anais

Number of Babies Named Anais

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Anais

How to Pronounce French Names – Anaïs, Étienne, Guillaume, Hélène

how to pronounce French names like anais, etienne, helene, guillaume

At first glance, Guillaume always looks like gobbledygook to me. It’s the French form of William — that much I know — but it takes a few seconds for me to remember that it’s pronounced ghee-ohm, not not gwill-awm or gwee-awm.

And it’s not just Guillaume that trips me up. I find many other French names (Étienne, Edwige, Anaïs, etc.) equally tricky to pronounce.

So for those of us who struggle with French names, here are some simplified rules of French pronunciation, plus names to illustrate each rule.

This list is far from comprehensive, and my pronunciations are just approximations, but hopefully my fellow non-French speakers out there will find it helpful nonetheless.

Rules of French Pronunciation + French Names

The vowel combination “AU” is pronounced like a long o.

  • Paul, in French, is pronounced pohl.
  • Margaux, a French form of Margaret, is pronounced mar-goh.

The letter combination “CH” is typically pronounced sh.

  • Charles, in French, is pronounced shahrl.

The six consonants “D,” “P,” “S,” “T,” “X” and “Z,” when at the end of a word, are typically silent.

  • Arnaud, the French form of Arnold, is pronounced ar-noh.
  • Denis, the French form of Dennis, is pronounced de-nee (remember the Blondie song?).
  • Lucas, in French, is pronounced loo-kah.
  • Louis, in French, is pronounced loo-ee (think Louis Vuitton).

They’re not always silent, though. Here are some exceptions:

  • Alois, the French form of Aloysius, is pronounced ah-loh-ees.
  • Anaïs, a French form of Anna, is pronounced ah-nah-ees.
  • David, in French, is pronounced dah-veed.

The pronunciation of “Ë” (E with a trema) is like the e in the English word “bet.”

  • Gaël and Gaëlle are pronounced gah-el or gai-el.
  • Joël and Joëlle are pronounced zhoh-el.
  • Maël and Maëlle are pronounced mah-el or mai-el.
  • Noël and Noëlle are pronounced noh-el.

The pronunciation of “É” (E with an acute accent) is somewhere between the ee in “see” and the e in “bet.”

  • Noé, the French masculine form of Noah, is pronounced noh-ee.
  • Salomé, in French, is pronounced sah-loh-mee.

The consonant “G” is soft (zh) when followed by “E” or “I” but hard (gh) otherwise.

  • Georges, the French form of George, is pronounced zhorzh.
  • Guy, in French, is pronounced ghee.

The consonant “H” is silent.

  • Hélène, the French form of Helen, is pronounced eh-lehn.

The vowel “I,” and the forms Ï, and Î, are all pronounced ee.

  • Loïc, a French form of Louis, is pronounced loh-eek.

The consonant “J” is pronounced zh.

  • Jacques, the French form of Jacob, is pronounced zhahk.

The letter combination “LL” is typically pronounced like an l.

  • Achille, the French form of Achilles, is pronounced ah-sheel.
  • Lucille, the French form of Lucilla, is pronounced loo-seel.

But in some cases “LL” is pronounced like a y.

  • Guillaume, the French form of William, is pronounced ghee-yohm or ghee-ohm.

The vowel combination “OI” is pronounced wah.

  • Antoine, the French form of Antony, is pronounced an-twahn.
  • Grégoire, the French form of Gregory, is pronounced gre-gwahr.

The vowel combination “OU” is pronounced oo.

  • Lilou is pronounced lee-loo.

The consonant “R,” when at the end of a word, is typically pronounced.

  • Clair, the French masculine form of Claire, is pronounced kler.
  • Edgar, in French, is pronounced ed-gahr.

When the “R” is preceded by an “E,” though, it is not pronounced.

  • Gauthier, the French form of Walter, is pronounced goh-tee-yay or goh-tyay (remember Gotye?).
  • Olivier, the French form of Oliver, is pronounced oh-lee-vee-yay or oh-lee-vyay (think Laurence Olivier).

The letter combination “TH” is typically pronounced like a t (which makes sense, since “H” is silent).

  • Thibault, the French form of Theobald, is pronounced tee-boh.

The letter combination “TI” is sometimes pronounced like an s or sy.

  • Laëtitia is pronounced lay-tee-sya.

The consonant “W” is pronounced like a v.

  • Edwige, the French form of Hedwig, is pronounced ed-veezh.

And finally, just a few more French names that I tend to have trouble with.

  • Anatole is pronounced ah-nah-tohl.
  • Étienne, the French form of Stephen, is pronounced eh-tyen.
  • Geoffroy, the French form of Geoffrey, is pronounced zho-fwah.
  • Ghislain and Ghislaine are pronounced either ghee-len or zheez-len.
  • Ignace, the French form of Ignatius, is pronounced ee-nyas.

*

Those aren’t too hard, right?

That’s what I tell myself…and then I come across Guillaume in the wild and my mind goes blank all over again. :)

If you know French and would like to add to the above (either another rule of pronunciation or a more precise pronunciation for a particular name) please leave a comment.

If you’re not a French speaker, here’s my question: Which French name gives you the most trouble?

Sources: Beginning French Pronunciation, French e, è, é, ê, ë – what’s the difference?, Google Translate

P.S. Interested in seeing how popular the French names above are in the U.S.? Here are some popularity graphs: Alois, Achille, Anaïs, Anatole, Antoine, Arnaud, Clair, Denis, Edwige, Étienne, Gaël, Gaëlle, Georges, Grégoire, Guillaume, Guy, Hélène, Ignace, Jacques, Laëtitia, Lilou, Loïc, Lucille, Maël, Maëlle, Margaux, Noé, Olivier, Salomé, Thibault.


Popular Baby Names in Quebec, 2013

Quebec’s top baby names of 2013 were announced yesterday.

According to data from the Régie des rentes du Québec (RRQ), the most popular baby names last year were Lea and William.

Here are Quebec’s top 20 girl names and top 20 boy names of 2013:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Lea, 625 baby girls
2. Emma, 500
3. Olivia, 491
4. Florence, 455
5. Alice, 439
6. Zoe, 415
7. Rosalie, 404
8. Juliette, 366
9. Charlie, 343
10. Chloe, 339
11. Charlotte, 332
12. Sofia, 304
13. Jade, 302
14. Mia, 299
15. Eva, 289
16. Camille, 286
17. Victoria, 284
18. Anais, 274
19. Beatrice, 265
20. Laurence, 260 (tie)
21. Maeva, 260 (tie)
1. William, 823 baby boys
2. Nathan, 771
3. Samuel, 704
4. Alexis, 699
5. Olivier, 694
6. Felix, 692
7. Thomas, 692
8. Liam, 683
9. Jacob, 630
10. Gabriel, 602
11. Antoine, 516
12. Logan, 516
13. Raphael, 498
14. Noah, 463
15. Xavier, 441
16. Benjamin, 420
17. Emile, 413
18. Charles, 397
19. Adam, 389
20. Leo, 386

Charlie is new to the girls’ top 10. In 2012, it ranked 12th.

On the boys’ side, Jayden is on the rise as well — from 38th in 2012 to 35th in 2013. (In the U.S., Jayden has been falling for a few years now.)

Finally, here are some baby names that were used only once or twice in Quebec last year:

Rare Girl Names Rare Boy Names
Alaska (1), Alutchainah Winfrey (1), Cheleby-Prettey (1), Divine Jeremiah (1), Etye Tzirl (1), Fanny-Jade (1), Galaxyanne (1), Golding Merly (1), Iokennorehseriio (1), K La (1), Kellixia (1), Khaleesi (2), Khlde (1), Kinda Love (1), Kukuess (1), Libertad-Quillay (1), Luna Love (1), Luxshiny (1), Mamba Gabrielle (1), Marie-Neige (2), Milky (1), Nelricka (1), O-Feely (1), Nermine (2), Peggy Evie Maggie (2), Reness-May (1), Rougui (2), Rulx-Jeffrey (1), Schrolding Sarry (1), Shine Present (1), Skysea (1), Walter-Lynn (1), Zoolee (1) Aggaajuk (1), Best Blessing (1), Beckham (2), Charm Henri (1), Chumly (1), Clarenceford (1), D-Reck (1), Dick-Yan (1), Djeepy (1), Edwidge Lovensky (1), Ettuk (2), Fhitzjericho (1), Fox Henri (1), Frignol (1), Gayden (1), Hunter Chace (1), Indrix (1), Lafleche (2), Lucassie (2), Meyroi Deliver Midy (1), Micipsa (1), Nhel Rein (1), Noonard (1), Nyko (2), Queben (1), Rhodeelny (1), Sampo (1), Shragy (2), Syphax (2), Vwila (1), Warrior (1), Wedgy (1), Woody Tommy (1), Za-Ak (1)

Sources: Most popular baby names for 2013, Lea and William top baby names of 2013

Most Popular Baby Names in Quebec, 2012

The most popular baby names in Quebec were announced a little while ago.

According to the Régie des rentes du Québec, the province’s top names are William for boys and Emma for girls.

Here are the top 20 girl names and top 20 boy names of 2012:

Baby Girl Names Baby Boy Names
1. Emma (505 baby girls)
2. Lea (474)
3. Olivia (458)
4. Florence (439)
5. Alice (386)
6. Zoe (385)
7. Rosalie (377)
8. Juliette (358)
9. Camille (348)
10. Mia (344)
11. Laurence (335)
12. Charlie (317)
13. Jade (293)
14. Alicia (292)
15. Anais (292)
16. Victoria (288)
17. Maelie (287)
18. Beatrice (285)
19. Eva (282)
20. Chloe (278)
1. William (855 baby boys)
2. Nathan (839)
3. Olivier (798)
4. Alexis (746)
5. Samuel (737)
6. Gabriel (731)
7. Thomas (707)
8. Jacob (706)
9. Felix (702)
10. Raphael (590)
11. Antoine (560)
12. Liam (522)
13. Noah (462)
14. Benjamin (446)
15. Xavier (444)
16. Emile (440)
17. Mathis (417)
18. Adam (412)
19. Justin (405)
20. Zachary (389)

Check out Charlie in 12th place for girls. For boys, it’s all the way down in 145th place.

Charlie is being used more and more often as a girl name in the U.S. as well.

The next-most-popular Charl- names for each gender were Charlotte in 24th place and Charles in 21st place. (Though, if you count the hundreds of baby boys with a Charles combination-name, e.g., Charles-Antoine, the total for Charles jumps to over 750, putting the name in 4th place.)

Want to compare the top Quebec baby names of 2012 with those of 2009, or 2006?

Or, want to see some of the unique baby names used in Quebec last year?

Source: Emma usurps Lea for top spot on Quebec’s baby name list

Baby Name Needed for the Sister of Copeland

A reader named Lisa is expecting her second daughter a couple of weeks and needs some name assistance. Her first daughter is Copeland Rhine. Lisa’s main predicament is this:

[H]ow do I find a strong unique vintage name for this second precious girlie that will not wilt next to a strong name like Copeland Rhine?

And here are some other questions and points Lisa brought up:

  • “Our goal is not to have their names competing for placement but complimenting each other.”
  • “We do not want to be boxed in on unisex or surname first names.”
  • “I have been gravitating towards Sojourner Bliss or Sojourner Mercy (Sophie for short) but that is all I have and my husband is not sold on it nor on a stronger masculine name.”
  • “My husband really loves Evangeline yet he is not wanting to use it because it is becoming so popular. We both love the idea of Evie as a nickname.”
  • “I really want to honor three people in my family but all three would not wish their name on anyone: Leona, Gertrude and Lorraine. Are there any derived names that I could use?” [Other family names she mentioned are Cornelia, Josephine, Ester, Rosemary, Carmelita, Trinia (Trijntje), Johannes, Sophia, Evelientje, Alice (called Ollie), Francis, Felicia and Blanche.]

The baby’s surname will be a 2-syllable name that starts with D and also includes a z-sound. It’s somewhat similar to De Souza.

So the challenge is to find “strong unique vintage” names that work with Copeland, but that won’t lock Lisa’s family into surnames or unisex names. And to try to get a family connection in there as well.

I think Evangeline is a great idea, actually. It’s strong, vintage, and neither a surname nor a unisex name. And both Lisa and her husband like the nickname Evie. Seems like the only thing holding them back is the popularity.

Yes, Evangeline has become slightly popular recently. It’s been back in the top 1,000 since 2006. But let’s put that into context. Over 2,000,000 baby girls were born last year, and only 735 of them were named Evangeline. That’s a very small percentage. (But if it’s really that bothersome, there’s always Evangelina, which is still well out of the top 1,000.)

I’m not a big fan of Sojourner. It’s strong, and unique, and not a surname…but it’s not feminine, and it’s not what I’d call vintage, even if Sojourner Truth was a well-known 19th-century woman. I’d worry about teasing, especially with a noun-middle like Bliss or Mercy. And I think naming a third child (of either gender) after Copeland and Sojourner would be tricky.

Sophie seems like it would be an awkward nickname for Sojourner. It’s so different from Sojourner that it strikes me as more of a cover-name than a nickname–as if Sojourner were just too strong or strange to work as an everyday name.

Leona, Gertrude and Lorraine…the most interesting way I could think of to combine them was to look for names that feature their first letters (L, G, L) such as Nigella, Allegra and Gillian.

Here are a few other name ideas that came to mind:

Acacia
Adelaide
Amandine
Anais
Anneliese
Antonia
Aquila
Artemis
Astrid
Augusta
Aurelia
Aurora
Damaris
Delphina
Demetria
Freya
Ginevra
Harriet
Honora
Imogen
Ione
Isadora
Leocadia
Lucasta
Lucretia
Melosa
Merit
Mehetabel
Minerva
Morgana
Muriel
Nelle
Penelope
Petra
Sophronia
Sunniva
Theodosia/Theda
Thora
Venetia
Vera

Some are related to the family names Lisa mentioned (e.g. Adelaide/Alice, Sophronia/Sophia).

Which of the above names do you like best for the sister of Copeland? What other names would you suggest to Lisa?

French Baby Names – Heloise, Lancelot, Quitterie, Victor

While cleaning out my bookmarks the other day, I rediscovered this post on French names from francophile blog Polly-Vous Francais. It contrasts the names found in the birth and death announcements of a French newspaper. Here’s a sampling:

Male Female
Births
Anselme
Edouard
Guillaume
Hipployte
Hugo
Lancelot
Louis
Timothée
Victor
Vladimir
Deaths
Albert
Emile
Gabriel
Jacques
Jean
Paul
Pierre
Roger
Vincent
Yves
Births
Anaïs
Béatrix
Héloïse
Hermine
Irène
Margaux
Mathilde
Noémie
Quitterie
Violaine
Deaths
Andrée
Denise
Gilberte
Gladys
Huguette
Jacqueline
Jeanne
Marguerite
Marie
Michèle

Which set do you like better — birth announcement names or death announcement names?

Popular and Unique Baby Names in Alberta, Canada

Canada’s province of Alberta has just released baby name statistics for 2008. Here’s a summary:

Boys Girls
Number of Babies Born: 26,017 24,526
Number of Names Bestowed: 5,513 6,829
Popular Names Ethan
Liam
Nathan
Noah
Owen
Ava & Olivia [tied]
Isabella
Sophia
Chloe
Grace
Unique names
(used just once)
Barack
Delorian
Gonzo
Jury
Natorious
Obama
Optimus
Rexall*
Anaïs
Anarchy
Castle
Harloquinn
Jetaime**
Science
Tyranny
Valkyrie

*Rexall is a drugstore chain in Canada.
**Je t’aime means “I love you” in French.

Here are Alberta’s baby name stats for 2007 and 2006.

Sources: Service Alberta, Edmonton Sun