Meaning: Diminutive of Marie
Pronunciation: muh-NOH, muh-NAWN, MAN-on
Other forms: N/A
This is one of those names where I can't decide my feelings on it. I like the way it looks, I like that it is unusual and French, but I'm not sure if I'm keen on the pronunciations. I think the first time I heard it said aloud was when Damian Lewis was talking about his daughter Manon, and he used the "MAN-on" pronunciation, which sounded nice when he said it, but I sound very stilted when I attempt it. Manon is a diminutive for Marie, and is used in France and the Netherlands.
The first Manon I think of is from "Manon of the Spring" or "Manon des Sources", the sequel to the critically acclaimed "Jean de Florette". It is about Jean de Florette's daughter who is named Manon after her mother's favorite opera role, "Manon Lescaut". The opera was adapted from the 1731 book by Abbé Prévost, which tells the tale of the Chevalier des Grieux and his lover, the eponymous Manon Lescaut. It was very controversial in its day, and was even banned, though that didn't stop people from finding ways to read it.
I also think of Manon Balletti, lover of Casanova. They started a romantic relationship when she was seventeen and he thirty-two, though they met when she was but ten. She died when she was only thirty-six. Casanova believed his many affairs caused her life to be shortened from the stress.
And let's not forget Manon Rhéaume, the French-Canadian ice hockey player who won a silver medal at the 1998 Olympics.