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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Maelle

Number of Babies Named Maelle

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Maelle

Wanna Talk Names? Give Me a Call!

I’ve created a couple of videos recently (on YouTube) and I’m looking forward to creating similar audio/video content in the future.

But here’s the thing: It’s no fun if it’s just me! I’d love to feature audio from you — your stories, opinions, questions, requests, and so on.

So I’ve set up this phone number (should go straight to voicemail) for collecting anything you’d like to tell me about names: 305-204-NAME (6263).

Just call in and leave me a message!

What should you say? Here are some ideas:

Tell a story about your name.

This is the type of audio I’m most excited about. Lots of people have great name stories, and would be willing to share them…but don’t feel compelled to write those stories down and send them to some random baby name blogger. But what if they could call a number, speak their stories over the phone, and have those stories magically turned into YouTube videos (with no other effort on their part)? That sounds way more fun, right?

A few prompts:

  • What’s the story behind your name?
  • Have you had any unique experiences because of your name?
  • Has your name opened/closed any doors for you?

I’m particularly interested in name origin stories — I’ve been collecting/posting them in the name stories category for years — but I’d be happy to hear any story you want to tell me about your name and your experience of living with it.

Pronounce a name or two (or ten, or twenty).

This is the type of audio I’m next most excited about. Remember that Maryland mom who named her baby Ottilie with the British pronunciation in mind? She was so disappointed by the way Americans pronounced it that she ended up changing the name to Margot. This story makes me eager to gather recordings of names being spoken by all sorts of different people — particularly in various English accents — so that we can easily hear the differences.

Some ideas:

  • If you’re an English speaker, what’s your take on “Ottilie”? How about “Ione”?
  • If you’re from Ireland, how would you say “Aoife”? “Pádraig”?
  • If you’re Hawaiian, how do you say “Ikaika”? “Nāinoa“?
  • If you’re a native Spanish speaker, how would you say “Xiomara”? “Jacinto”?
  • If you’re a native French speaker, how would you say “Maëlle”? “Loïc”?
  • If you’re a native Italian speaker, how would you say “Letizia”? “Enos“?

I think it would be most efficient to work from a pronunciation “wish list” so that the trickiest names get priority. To nominate a name for the list, leave a comment below.

If you call in with pronunciations, please remember to mention your accent and/or location as well. (“I’ve got a Southern Irish accent.” “I was born and raised in Omaha.” “I grew up in Jamaica.”) Same for people pronouncing non-English names. (If you speak Spanish, did you grow up in Buenos Aires? Barcelona? Bogotá?) With this context, the recordings are more useful.

Submit a baby name request.

The videos I’ve made so far are based on written Five-Name Friday requests, but it would be just as easy for me to splice in a spoken request. Be sure the request is still just two sentences long, though. (Check out the Need a Name? page for more information.)

Talk about anything else related to names.

Opinions, questions, observations, rants…anything! I’m happy to listen, and I appreciate anything you’re willing to give me.

And on that note, a few general comments about the recordings:

  • Call as many times as you want, but each voicemail can only be up to three minutes long.
  • Speak clearly, particularly if you’re demonstrating how to pronounce a name.
  • Identify yourself…or not. It’s up to you. But if you’re telling a story about your name, we do need to know what your name is. :) Likewise, for pronunciation recordings we need information about your accent/language.
  • I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to use every single recording in a future video/audio, unfortunately.
  • By calling and leaving a message, you grant me (Nancy) perpetual license to use your message, in whole or in part, in any future piece(s) of media. (Here’s the policy page, btw.)

The number again is 305-204-6263. Those last four digits spell the word “name” on the telephone keypad, which is pretty cool. They also spell “oboe,” incidentally. :)

Hope to hear from you soon!


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.

French Pronunciation + French Names

AU: 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.

CH: The letter combination “CH” is typically pronounced sh.

  • Charles, in French, is pronounced shahrl.

D, P, S, T, X, Z: 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.

Ë: 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.

É: 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.

G: 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.

H: The consonant “H” is silent.

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

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

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

J: The consonant “J” is pronounced zh.

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

LL: 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.

OI: 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.

OU: The vowel combination “OU” is pronounced oo.

  • Lilou is pronounced lee-loo.

R: 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).

TH: 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.

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

  • Laëtitia is pronounced lay-tee-sya.

W: 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.

Names from France – Capucine, Ludivine, Rémi, Tanguy

Two weeks (and two million croissants) later, I’m back in the States…with photos!

I’ll be posting them in batches over the next few days. This first batch consists of names I spotted in various commercial settings. (Names for sale, if you will.)

These zipper charms (called “Les Zippers”) were in a shop close to Notre-Dame in Paris:

Capucine zipper charmGaëlle zipper charm

Maëlle and Maëlys zipper charm

Nolwenn zipper charmTanguy zipper charm

Rayan and Rémi zipper charm

Traditional names like Jean and Marie were also represented, but I found the trendy names a bit more interesting. (Photos for Corentin, Noémie, Océane, Ophélie, Tiphaine and Yanis ended up being too fuzzy to post.)

These name “cards” (not sure exactly what their purpose is) were in a shop in Monaco:

Ludivine name card

Joris name card

Ségolène and Séverine name cards

If Ségolène looks familiar, it’s likely thanks to former French presidential contender Ségolène Royal.

Finally, I found some street signs featuring given names (e.g. Bruno Boulevard) at a rest stop in Italy, but didn’t have the camera or a pen with me at the time. The only name I can recall now is Tiziano.

Names from France series: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5