Etienne for a girl?

I’ve always loved the name [name]Etienne[/name], but for a girl. I know, I know, it is a boys name. But if you don’t live in a French speaking area, will anyone know that?

Can it work for a girl? I mean we have a ton of boys names that are now unisex or only girl’s names now. I feel like the “enne” ending makes it sound feminine.

It is all boy to me. Have you considered Etiennette?

I would NOT use [name]Etienne[/name] for a girl - just because you’re not in a French speaking area doesn’t mean your daughter won’t eventually live in one. (That doesn’t even have to be [name]France[/name] or French [name]Canada[/name] - there are large Francophone communities in [name]Maine[/name] and [name]Louisiana[/name] in the U.S.) I try to think about the child’s future in addition to right now.

There are a lot of great -enne ending names, if that’s what you like about [name]Etienne[/name] - besides the obvious like [name]Adrienne[/name] and [name]Vivienne[/name], there’s [name]Fabrienne[/name], [name]Lucienne[/name] and [name]Vienne[/name].

Ultimately, use what you like, but that’s my opinion. Good luck! :slight_smile:

Well I think it’s a general knowledge thing to know that Étienne is a boy’s name. But the -ienne is usually feminine like you said so maybe it would work. Well, I’d say it works but it is not very often that I “lose” one of my favourite boys names to the girls; I think Berries who have “lost” a lot of favourite boy names would probably oppose it. I don’t know how berries who like Étienne for a boy will feel about anyone using it on a girl.

I completely understand why you like it for a girl, but I don’t think it’s usable. There are French speakers everywhere, and your child is bound to run into one at some point in her life. I think using [name]Etienne[/name] would be a disadvantage to a girl. If she ever takes up French or travels to [name]France[/name] or [name]Canada[/name], her name may come across as culturally ignorant. There are lots of other -enne names for girls that may appeal:

Thankfully, many boy turned girl names have been experiencing a resurgence. For instance, I have been seeing more and more boy Ashleys. Still, it is really sad to see so many perfectly nice male names turned into female names. I also thought that it was common knowledge that [name]Etienne[/name] was the French form of [name]Stephen[/name], very much like [name]Pierre[/name] is the French form of [name]Peter[/name] and [name]Jacques[/name] is the French form of [name]James[/name], etc.

And as others have pointed out, (I don’t know where you live) but there are still huge pockets of French-speaking populations in the English speaking countries. For instance, I read somewhere that 6% of the population of [name]Louisiana[/name] under the age of 6 has French as their first language. I don’t know if this is accurate. And if you are in the United States, you need to take into account of recent immigrant populations from Haiti and [name]Africa[/name] whose first language is French, many of whom use traditional French names, especially Hatians. That said, I think [name]Etienne[/name] is known as a boys name even in non French-speaking areas.

Have you considered Émilienne? Similar sound, French, ends in -ienne?

[name]EDIT[/name]: Oh, I see someone has suggested it already. Lol sorry. BTW Étienne has the accent over the E. Another French feminine form of [name]Stephen[/name] would be Stéphanie, although I think that is going out of style in [name]France[/name].

Here are more enne French names:


I wouldn’t use [name]Etienne[/name] for a girl, even if I thought most people in my area would not know the difference. I see why it looks feminine with the -ienne ending, but it just isn’t. Like others have said, there’s a good chance your daughter will meet French speakers one day. I would consider a girls’ name ending in -ienne, like the others have suggested. [name]Lucienne[/name], etc.

Also, I think some people will think it’s pronounced Etty-enne.

I don’t think it matters when people are naming their daughters blatantly male names like [name]Elijah[/name], [name]Noah[/name], and [name]Joshua[/name]. It’s what YOU feel about her having a “boy” name that matters. Some people will know and some won’t. It does sound beautiful, even if it is a boy name.
That said, when I was in high school French class, my teacher named me “Etienna” for that school year and that is all she ever called me. I don’t know if that is a feminine form that you’d like or not, or if it is even a real name in [name]France[/name], but it may be an option.

Hmmm well you are British from your signature, so it might be general knowledge for you, but I don’t think it is in many parts of the U.S.

But I should have guessed that most berries would be opposed to it for a girl. :confused: I’m not one who thinks it is so tragic for boys names to be ‘lost’ to the girls.

I don’t doubt that she would run into a French speaker eventually, as DH, DS and I have spent a considerable amount of time in [name]Paris[/name] already…and we most likely will be returning every other year or so. So I guess it could be perceived that we were dumb Americans and didn’t know.

Anyways. I still like it for a girl. :slight_smile: I think it is pretty, I know about the other enne names, I love [name]Vivienne[/name] and [name]Adrienne[/name]. That’s why I was drawn to it in the first place!

(If I did use it, it would probably be in the middle spot since we are set on [name]Stella[/name] for the first name, I don’t know if that changes anyone else’s opinions. My first choice right now is [name]Stella[/name] [name]Vivienne[/name].)

i love [name]Stella[/name] [name]Vivienne[/name]…sounds better than [name]Stella[/name] [name]Etienne[/name] anyway because of the ending in vowel, beginning in vowel thing.

I do agree that it’s not general knowledge in the US that [name]Etienne[/name] is a French boys’ name. I think there are many that have never even heard of it and would think it was a female name because of the ending.

Better as a mn, but I’d still choose a girls’ name.

Go for it. Throw out the You might live in [name]France[/name] one day argument. Boys names are used for girls ALL the time. Plus it just SOUNDS very feminine. I have thought of it myself as a way to honor the dh, [name]Stephen[/name] in a unique way. Great nn like [name]Etty[/name]. I would ground it with a simple strong female name through.
[name]Etienne[/name] [name]Jane[/name]
[name]Etienne[/name] [name]Clarie[/name].
Again go for it!

I don’t see why if you love it madly you can’t use it. Yes, it’s a boys’ name. But you could just own that-- some people name their daughters [name]James[/name]. Forms of [name]Maria[/name] can be a mans middle name in some places. In my opinion it could be better under certain circumstances to give a name you love with a rich history, like if St. [name]Stephen[/name] is meaningful to you, from the opposite sex, than to just give a dumb overwrought made up chav name. Whatever you do I hope you choose something you love. Good luck.

Etienne is way too masculine imo, its a classic male name in France because of the saint and I cant see someone using its english version Stephen for a girl can you? Etienette is a female version but it’s very rare like 15 people have worn the name in 100 years.

I wouldnt throw out the “what if they live in France” argument, if you’re going to choose a name from a culture you are not a part of I think you should consider the fact that if your daughter ever travels there people are going to think her name is bizarre and assume the parents didnt know anything about the name. Sorry if that sounds harsh but I think it could potentially cause embarrassment. :confused:

I too love the name [name]Etienne[/name], but I would never use it for a girl. It’s the same as using [name]Stephen[/name].

No it’s common knowledge in the US too
I know nothing about [name]France[/name], never taken a French class, but I know it’s a man’s name. [name]America[/name] is a country of immigrants, [name]France[/name] used to own part of it. I know Haitains, French Creoles, and Cajuns

[name]Etienne[/name] is also a last name so you might get away with it if you say it’s a namesake

[name]Etienne[/name] is a new find for me but I knew that it was a boys name! I really like it and suggested the combo [name]Knox[/name] [name]Etienne[/name] to someone else on here and haven’t been able to get it out of my head.

I am from the US and it is without a doubt common knowledge that [name]Etienne[/name] is a masculine name. And I think that as someone who has spent time in [name]France[/name] you would know that it is a historically male name and if you would name your daughter that, you run the risk of bei g looked upon as if you are ignorant of a very traditional [name]MALE[/name] name and are just trying to Americanize it.

Also just because some people may not be familiar with the name, that’s not a reason to try and manipulate it into a girls name.

To be completely honest, if I met a little girl named [name]Etienne[/name] I would think the parents were culturally ignorant. Would you name your daughter [name]Stephen[/name]? If not, I would move on.