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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Antony

Number of Babies Named Antony

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Antony

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.

Baby Name Needed – Latin or Italian Name for Baby #1

A reader named Claudia is expecting her first baby (gender unknown). She’s looking for a Latin or Italian baby name.

She mentions that her middle name is Elisabetta, the baby’s father is named Simon Edmond, and the baby’s surname will be a 2-syllable D-name similar to Downie.

Here are some names that I think might work:


Which of the above do you like best?

What other Latin and Italian names would you suggest to Claudia?

A Rose by Any Other Name – Burnaby, Natali, Zelda Lloyd

Sure, a rose by just any other name would not smell as sweet. But what if the name were as cool as “Madame Azélie Imbert” or “Victor Emmanuel”?

Other intriguing rose names I found in the database include:

Abraham Darby
Admired Miranda
Betty Uprichard
Clementina Carbonieri
Cyril Fletcher
Dagmar Spath
Dainty Bess
Edna Marie
Fiona’s Affection
Fraulein Octavia Hesse
Gentle Hermione
Ghislaine de Feligonde
Hawaiian Queen Martha
Henry Bennett
Ida Belle
Imperatrice Eugenie
Jan and Rick
Kaitlyn Ainsley
Konigin Beatrix
Lady Duncan
Mrs Erskine Pembroke Thom
Noble Antony
Oskar Cordell
Our Terry
Phyllis Bide
Proud Titiana
Queen Margrethe
Rex Anderson
Sharifa Asma
Smokey Joe
Tara Allison
Uncle Walter
Uwe Seeler
Victoria’s Song
Whisper Louise
Wise Portia
Xavier Olibo
Yolande d’Aragon
Young Quinn
Zelda Lloyd
Zephirine Drouhin

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably now wondering: So how can I name a cultivar of my very own?

Well, just grab your credit card and get in touch with a company that hybridizes roses. Some charge as little as several thousand dollars; others ask for as much as $75,000 to name a rose.

If you don’t have that kind of money lying around, and you happen to live in British Columbia, you may be able to name a rose for free. Just submit a name to the GardenWise Name a Rose contest before the end of August.

Will Same-Sex Couples Affect Baby-Naming Trends?

I read an article yesterday that featured 15 D.C. power couples. Most of the people mentioned had common names (e.g. Cathy, Katie, Tom, Chris). One name did fake me out, though.

Right after a section about Jeremy Bernard and Rufus Gifford (two men), there was a section about Antony Blinken and Evan Ryan (not two men — Evan is a female).

My first question was: Why would the writer place Antony and Evan right after the only same-sex couple? Is he purposefully trying confuse readers?

And, going beyond the placement issue: Do you think the growing visibility of same-sex couples could drive parents to start curbing their use of male and dual-gender names for female babies? (To avoid mix-ups like the one I experienced?)

Baby Name Needed – Familiar-Yet-Uncommon Boy Name

A reader named Rachel is expecting a baby boy. She says:

We had two girls’ names that I adored — Jane and Marjorie. Both of these are very uncommon (400s for Jane, not in top 1000 for Marjorie!) yet are utterly familiar (and unpretentious).

I am completely unable to find a boys’ name that fits that bill. All of the familiar, classic names are common. All of the uncommon names make me fear trendiness; few have that classic simplicity.

To add another wrinkle, if possible we’d like to honor a relative with an S-name. The only two I’ve found that I like so far are Samuel (but so common) and Silas (uncommon, but maybe trying too hard?) Other contenders are Henry and Edmund.

How funny — as soon as I read that second paragraph, the name Henry popped into my head.

I don’t think Silas is necessarily one of those “trying too hard”-types of names. (Unlike, say, Ptolemy.) But it will sound more natural in some areas than in others. Are future playmates going to have names like Victoria and Robert, or names like Jayden and Kayla? That could make a huge difference to a boy named Silas.

Here are a few other S-names that might be tempting (along with current rankings, for those in the top 1,000):

Simon (261)
Solomon (429)
Stanley (653)

And, along with Edmund and Henry, here are some non-S-names that could work:

Antony (895)
Bernard (940)
Carl (490)
Curtis (380)
Duncan (717)
Eugene (691)
Francis (656)
Franklin (467)
Frederick (523)
Gerald (603)
Howard (903)
Jerome (616)
Lane (319)
Leonard (621)
Lewis (640)
Matthias (772)
Milton (923)
Philip (378)
Roger (463)
Victor (111)
Walter (393)

What other names would you suggest to Rachel?

Update: The baby is here! Scroll down to find out what name Rachel chose.

Shakespearean Makeovers for the Top 20 Baby Girl Names

Wish the the top 20 names had a more Elizabethan ring to them? Well, wish no more!

I did my best to match each of the most popular baby girl names with similar-sounding names from Shakespeare:

Modern Names Shakespearean Names
Emily Emilia, Othello; Winter’s Tale; Two Noble Kinsmen
Aemelia, Comedy of Errors
Hermione, Winter’s Tale
Isabella Isabella, Measure for Measure
Dionyza, Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Ursula, Much Ado About Nothing
Volumnia, Coriolanus
Emma Anne, Merry Wives of Windsor; Henry VIII; Richard III
Ava Viola, Twelfth Night
Valeria, Coriolanus
Madison Miranda, The Tempest
Rosaline, Love’s Labor’s Lost; Romeo and Juliet
Regan, King Lear
Sophia Phebe, As You Like It
Bianca, Othello; Taming of the Shrew
Julia, Two Gentlemen of Verona
Olivia Olivia, Twelfth Night
Octavia, Antony and Cleopatra
Ophelia, Hamlet
Lavinia, Titus Andronicus
Abigail Imogen, Cymbeline
Agrippa, Antony and Cleopatra; Coriolanus
Margaret, Much Ado About Nothing
Hannah Helena, All’s Well That Ends Well; Midsummer Night’s Dream
Hermia, Midsummer Night’s Dream
Helen, Troilus and Cressida; Cymbeline
Elizabeth Elizabeth, Henry VI; Richard III
Eleanor, Henry VI; King John
Addison Adriana, Comedy of Errors
Diana, All’s Well That Ends Well; Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Desdemona, Othello
Rosalind, As You Like It
Samantha Tamora, Titus Andronicus
Katherina, Taming of the Shrew
Paulina, Winter’s Tale
Ashley Audrey, As You Like It
Portia, Merchant of Venice; Julius Caesar
Luciana, Comedy of Errors
Alyssa Nerissa, Merchant of Venice
Jessica, Merchant of Venice
Cressida, Troilus and Cressida
Mia Maria, Twelfth Night; Love’s Labor’s Lost
Marina, Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Mariana, All’s Well That Ends Well; Measure for Measure
Chloe Hero, Much Ado About Nothing
Cordelia, King Lear
Cleopatra, Antony and Cleopatra
Natalie Nell, Henry IV; Henry V; Merry Wives of Windsor
Juliet, Romeo and Juliet
Perdita, Winter’s Tale
Lucetta, Two Gentlemen of Verona
Sarah Silvia, Two Gentlemen of Verona
Celia, As You Like It
Alexis Alice, Henry V; Merry Wives of Windsor
Thaisa, Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Beatrice, Much Ado About Nothing
Grace Blanche, King John
Gertrude, Hamlet

These are by no means equivalents, of course. Some of my “matches” don’t match at all. But I did as well as I could using about three-quarters of all the female characters mentioned by Shakespeare.

And, if you were curious about the names Dionyza and Thaisa, as I was, they seem to be based on Dionysus and Thaïs.