> First and last names

First and last names - Culture

Nadine Girard tells us what her name is.


Do you know how French first and last names have formed?

Last names and first names have been formed from

nicknames
LEGROS
= he is big
LEPETIT and PETIT = he is small
 
trades
BOULANGER = he makes bread
 
native places or addresses
DUPONT = he lives near the bridge
DUBOIS = he lives near the wood
DUMONT = he lives near the mountain
 
Latin names
BENOÎT = Benedictus = blessed
 
Germanic (German) names
ROBERT = Hrod-bert
BERNARD = Berin-hardt

Sometimes, first names can also be family names

Claude François was a famous singer.
Alain Bernard is a swimming champion.
Beware: Jean Michel and Michel Jean are not the same person!

Today, last names in France hark from all over the world

Nicolas Sarkozy has a Hungarian last name.
Zinedine Zidane is a French footballer whose parents were Algerian.
Qui suis-je ?
This memo is part of the workshop
Qui suis-je ?

Did you know?

In France, children traditionally had their father's last name.
But things are changing, and nowadays parents can decide to give their child the mother's last name or both of their last names.

Anecdote

French people often have several first and middle names, like the Romans in the olden days.
Julie, Anne, Véronique Dupont
Jean-Marc, Guillaume Michel

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