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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Olivier

Number of Babies Named Olivier

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Olivier

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, 2014

According to data from the Régie des rentes du Québec (RRQ), the most popular baby names in Quebec in 2014 were Lea and William.

Here are the province’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2014:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Lea, 575 baby girls
2. Emma, 569
3. Olivia, 508
4. Florence, 482
5. Chloe, 472
6. Alice, 459
7. Zoe, 422
8. Rosalie, 410
9. Charlie, 386
10. Charlotte, 369
1. William, 773 baby boys
2. Thomas, 733
3. Felix, 711
4. Liam, 695
5. Nathan, 672
6. Jacob, 611
7. Alexis, 594
8. Logan, 593
9. Olivier, 582
10. Samuel, 579

Charlotte replaces Juliette in the girls’ top 10, and Logan replaces Gabriel in the boys’ top 10.

The biggest moves within the top 10 were the fall of Samuel (down 7 spots) the rises of both Chloe and Thomas (up 5 spots each).

Quebec is one of the wonderful places that releases all of its baby name data (yay!) so now let’s check out some of the names at the other end of the spectrum.

The following names were bestowed only once in Quebec last year:

Rare Girl Names Rare Boy Names
Aberdeen, Acacia, Alghalia, Allegresse, Alimata, Alypier, Amorelle Simo, Anabia, Aonnhi Io, Armiella Sylene, Astoria, Ausalie, Auxanne, Ayqut, Balsam, Berangere, Brunaica, Bremellia, Cassou, Coumba, Coramely, Cydra, Dahlianne, Delnaz, Edmaelle, Ejona, Eliabelle, Elielle, Eliora, Elisapie, Elowen, Eluvia, Ember, Eolie, Eunicia, Fedaelle, Felune, Greyelle, Hyzalie, Inuluk, Isatis*, Izalee, Janabelle, Jedia, Juniper, Kalixie, Kazelly, Koubrah, Lessika Sibi, Leocadie, Lilafee, Lilwenn Sage, Losokola Victoria, Lysea, Lysmee, Macdara, Massylia, Mavie, Mayura, Mazaly, Mervedie Hope, Miaphee, Mijanie, Moon, Myrannie, Nauralie, Neelamy, Nektaria, Nephthalie, Nima, Nourcine, Nuunia, Oonq, Orkida, Orzala, Ozia, Phiji, Poeme, Prunille, Quinn Logan, Quppiak, Ralph-Emma, Rivlynca, Rizelane, Rosemma, Runa, Saby-Lina, Sauriane, Sensylia, Sheltoina Nissie, Sherodie Norah, Siella, Sillija, Siska, Sonoma, Spring Kimberly, Stratus, Sylenad, Syrianne, Tassadit, Taurie, Taurielle, Tillia, Toltzy, Tshiala, Twiggy, Upoma, Velesie, Venba, Yaralee Phedianie, Yebga Johanne, Yolbie, Zazyl Alarik, Asher Zelig, Ateronhiahere, Audric, Avigdor, Benjamin Rebel, Carther, Carlvin, Charvey, Clyvens, Curry-Tianlang, Dannic, Darwin, Detroit, Dillis Della Mcnjiss, Dimaben, Donadel Theo, Dzoti-Dylan, Ednershley Josue, Eluann, Enxu, Eudovic Nicanor, Exode Baelo, Faucher-Levasseur, Fenryr, Fulgence, Fundy, Glennfrey, Glory-Honneuramons, Godlycharacter, Gonzalo Kai Fei, Harley Davidson, Heliodore, Hugolin, Imix, Jayssijay, Joelvino, Jusipi, Kaherahere, Kallytrie, Karmany Alain, Kerfala, Klooff, La Fleche, Leith, Leolo, Lowry Nessi, Madden-Steeve, Malorik, Markernald, Maverix, Maxange, Med Reda, Maydenlee, Micipsa, Monzonto Bertinel, Mor Talla, Mordechai Max, Namory, Neven, Nick-Jovi, Nils, Noeliam*, Nowlan, Ossimbo, Providence Nathanael, Renzo, Rozzel Emmanuel, Savio, Sederi, Sphinx Jones, Syphax, Taliby, Tauren, Techeley, Thymote, Trencely, Turic, Tylian, Valliant-Bob, Vanguard, Vyber Biao, William-Wallace, Willie Ittuk, Y Rambo, Xquenda, Yansyl, Yartine, Yizo, York, Yulrick, Zacchaeus Righteous, Zeegar, Zineddine Zidane, Zino

*Isatis is a genus of Old World plants/herbs that includes woad (Isatis tinctoria).

**Noeliam might be a mashup of Noel + Liam. Maybe his parents are big Oasis fans?

Here are Quebec’s top baby names of 2013, 2012, 2009 and 2006, if you’d like to compare.

Source: RRQ – List of Baby Names in Québec

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

What Would You Name the Two Frenchmen?

The image below, of the Boulevard du Temple in Paris, was captured in early 1838 by Louis Daguerre, inventor of the daguerreotype.

It may be the earliest surviving photograph of a person. Two people, actually. Both are in the lower left:

Daguerreotype: Boulevard du Temple

Here’s a close-up:

Boulevard du Temple, detail

The standing man is getting his shoe shined, and the other man (partially obscured) is doing the shoe-shining.

Of all the people on the sidewalk that day, these were the only two to stay still long enough (about 10 minutes) to be captured in the image.

Now for the fun part!

What would you name these two Frenchmen?

Let’s pretend you’re writing a book set in Paris in the 1830s, and these are two of your characters. What names would you give them?

Here’s a long list of traditional French male names, to get you started:

Abel
Absolon
Achille
Adam
Adolphe
Adrien
Aimé
Alain
Alban
Albert
Alexandre
Alfred
Alphonse
Amaury
Amroise
Amédée
Anatole
André
Anselme
Antoine
Antonin
Apollinaire
Ariel
Aristide
Armand
Arnaud
Arsène
Arthur
Aubert
Aubin
Auguste
Augustin
Aurèle
Aurélien
Baptiste
Barnabé
Barthélémy
Basile
Bastien
Benjamin
Benoit
Bernard
Bertrand
Blaise
Boniface
Bruno
Calixte
Camille
Céleste
Célestin
Césaire
César
Charles
Christian
Christophe
Clair
Claude
Clément
Clovis
Constant
Constantin
Corentin
Corin
Corneille
Cosme
Cyril
Damien
Daniel
David
Denis
Déodat
Désiré
Didier
Dieudonné
Dimitri
Diodore
Dominique
Donat
Donatien
Edgar
Edgard
Edmé
Edmond
Édouard
Élie
Eloi
Émeric
Émile
Émilien
Emmanuel
Enzo
Éric
Ermenegilde
Ernest
Ethan
Étienne
Eugène
Eustache
Évariste
Évrard
Fabien
Fabrice
Félicien
Félix
Ferdinand
Fernand
Fiacre
Firmin
Florence
Florent
Florentin
Florian
Francis
François
Frédéric
Gabriel
Gaël
Gaëtan
Gaspard
Gaston
Gaubert
Geoffroy
Georges
Gérard
Géraud
Germain
Gervais
Ghislain
Gilbert
Gilles
Gratien
Grégoire
Guatier
Guillaume
Gustave
Guy
Hector
Henri
Herbert
Hercule
Hervé
Hilaire
Hippolyte
Honoré
Horace
Hubert
Hugues
Humbert
Hyacinthe
Ignace
Irénée
Isidore
Jacques
Jason
Jean
Jérémie
Jérôme
Joachim
Jocelyn
Joël
Jonathan
Joseph
Josse
Josué
Jourdain
Jules
Julien
Juste
Justin
Laurent
Laurentin
Lazare
Léandre
Léo
Léon
Léonard
Léonce
Léonide
Léopold
Lionel
Loïc
Lothaire
Louis
Loup
Luc
Lucas
Lucien
Lucrèce
Ludovic
Maël
Marc
Marcel
Marcellin
Marin
Marius
Martin
Mathieu
Mathis
Matthias
Maurice
Maxence
Maxime
Maximilien
Michaël
Michel
Modeste
Narcisse
Nathan
Nathanaël
Nazaire
Nicéphore
Nicodème
Nicolas
Noé
Noël
Norbert
Odilon
Olivier
Onésime
Pascal
Patrice
Paul
Philippe
Pierre
Placide
Pons
Prosper
Quentin
Rainier
Raoul
Raphaël
Raymond
Régis
Rémy
René
Reynaud
Richard
Robert
Roch
Rodolphe
Rodrigue
Roger
Roland
Romain
Rosaire
Ruben
Salomon
Samuel
Sébastien
Séraphin
Serge
Sévère
Séverin
Simon
Sylvain
Sylvestre
Télesphore
Théodore
Théophile
Thibault
Thierry
Thomas
Timothée
Toussaint
Urbain
Valentin
Valère
Valéry
Vespasien
Victor
Vincent
Vivien
Xavier
Yves
Zacharie

For some real-life inspiration, here are lists of famous 19th century and 20th century French people, courtesy of Wikipedia. Notice that many of the Frenchman have double-barreled, triple-barreled, even quadruple-barreled given names. (Daguerre himself was named Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre.)

Source: The First Photograph of a Human

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

Popular and Unique Baby Names in Quebec in 2009

The most popular baby names in the Canadian province of Quebec in 2009 were:

Boys Girls
William
Olivier
Thomas
Nathan
Alexis
Felix
Gabriel
Samuel
Antoine
Xavier
Léa
Florence
Emma
Rosalie
Jade
Juliette
Camille
Gabrielle
Maika
Mia

Now that that’s out of the way, it’s time for the fun stuff. Here are some of the baby names that were bestowed only once in Quebec last year. (I didn’t see another Kierkegaard, but I did spot a Rousseau!)

  • Attila Norbert (boy) – Part ferocious, part dorky. Love the contrast.
  • Aztlan (boy) – Legendary homeland of the Nahua (Aztecs).
  • Bienheureux (boy) – French for “very happy” or “blessed.”
  • Billary (girl) – Bill + Hilary? Could it be some sort of tribute?
  • Carnegie Ursula (girl) – Interesting.
  • Fraidy (girl) – I was actually having a conversation about about cats when I noticed this one.
  • Galadrielle (girl) – Galadriel with a French twist. (Not the hairdo, of course. That would look completely out of place in Middle-earth.)
  • God-Day (boy) – Reminds me of God’s Power from a few weeks ago.
  • Greace (girl) and Alizee Greace (girl) – Is Greace supposed to be Grace? It looks more like Grease, which is gross.
  • Great-Rousseau (girl) – I love these philosopher names. Wonder who’ll pop up next year. Descartes? Spinoza?
  • Harvest (girl) – Call me crazy, but I like it. Nice associations, and Harvie makes a cute nickname.
  • Heavenly-Trinity (girl) – Either one or the other, I’d say. The combination is a bit much.
  • Jeanne-Bosco (girl) – Surely inspired by St. John Bosco.
  • Kinda Ahmed (girl) – Not definitely Ahmed, but kinda Ahmed.
  • Klervi (girl) – It looks made-up, but it’s legit. Comes from the name of an obscure saint.
  • Limerick (boy) – Lemme guess…an older sister named Sestina?
  • Nervastone (boy) – “Forget flagstone–try Nervastone!”
  • Precious-Angel (girl) – See Heavenly-Trinity.
  • Rafter (boy) – Do they hope he’ll swing from one when he’s older?
  • Ratzy (girl) – Well, much of January ’09 was part of the Year of the Rat. Maybe that’s where this comes from.
  • Rose-Desneiges (girl) – Des neiges is French for “of the snows.”
  • Schneider-Himrick (boy) – Sounds like a tool company.
  • Shadey (girl) – The government of Quebec complains about a superfluous diacritic, but doesn’t mind that a newborn has been dubbed “Shadey”? Hm.
  • Syntyche (girl) – Means “with fate” in ancient Greek.
  • Tayden (boy) – First time I’ve seen this particular -ayden.
  • Turquoise Gold (girl) – School colors, maybe?
  • Wilberlyne (girl) – Kind of a cute way to feminize Wilber.

Have you had a chance to look through the list? If so, did you notice any interesting names?

Source: Régie des rentes Québec

Popular and Unique Names in Quebec, Cananda in 2006

The most popular baby names in Quebec for 2006 were:

Girls Boys
Léa
Jade
Rosalie
Florence
Laurie
Gabrielle
Sarah
Camille
Oceane
Laurence
William
Samuel
Alexis
Nathan
Thomas
Antoine
Gabriel
Justin
Olivier
Felix

And some of the more unusual names bestowed that year include:

Girls Boys
Angelik Glory, Bambou, Cassyopee, Dang Sandrine, Eylllee, Fraidy, Garthy, Hytina, Ifza, Joody, Kashemyre, Lalla-Malak, Magenta, Neptune Elisabeth, Orthodoxia, Pornika, Qillitaq Maggie, Rym, Stormi Page, Toobah, Ujaali, Vetergul, Willyanna, Xaralambia Maria, Yoophie, Zebra Athithya, Bleart, Chinchilla-Lemus, Djimangar-Bayone, Eyob, Finhastedros, Gharthihan, Herdgee-Guerdley, Idyr, Joko, Kweency-Gabryel, Levi Summer-Sky, Mc Eder, Nylander, Oz, Poo Reum, Razmig, Schnyder, Tem-Tom, Ufuk, Vuvu Jeffrey, Wise, X-avier, Yaya, Zoik

Source: Régie des rentes Québec