Free to a Good Home: Girls, pt. 3

Françoise -

Origin: French
Gender: Female
Meaning: "Frenchman"
Pronunciation: FRAHn-SWAZ
Other Forms: Francine, France, Francette, Fanny, Frances; Francis, Franciscus, François
Combos: Françoise Lily, Françoise Odette, Françoise Marianne, Françoise Vienne, Azélie Françoise

If you haven't caught on yet, I'm obsessed with French names. This one is another favorite, but I'm really unsure of how it would do in English speaking countries. To me the pronunciation is pretty intuitive, but you really never know. Françoise is the feminine version of François, the French form of Francis. Francis came from Latin Franciscus, which meant "Frenchman" and Franciscus itself came from the Germanic tribe called the Franks, who were called so for a type of spear they carried. It was because of the popularity of St. Francis of Assisi the name became so widespread in Europe.

Órlaith -

Origin: Irish
Gender: Female
Meaning: "Golden Princess"
Pronunciation: OR-la
Other Forms: Órfhlaith, Orlaithe, Orlagh, Orla
Combos: Órlaith Adeline, Órlaith June, Vivian Órlaith, Penelope Órlaith, Órlaith Daisy

This was probably one of the first names I can really imagine being absolutely fascinated by. In mythology Órlaith íngen Cennétig is the sister of King Brian Boru of Ireland. She married High King Donnchad Donn, and was later accused of having an affair with his son Óengus from his first marriage. Órlaith was executed, and Óengus was spared, going on to succeed his father as High King. The original spelling is Órfhlaith, though I believe the more modern and common version is now Órlaith (or Orla). I obviously wouldn't be able to use any other spelling other than Orla, but to me it loses some of its charm that way.

Beatrix -

Origin: Latin
Gender: Female
Meaning: "Voyager, traveler" or "Blessed, happy"
Pronunciation: BEE-eh-tricks, BEE-tricks
Other Forms: Beatrice, Viatrix, Beatriz, Betrys, Beatrycze

Combs: Beatrix Rosemary, Beatrix Juno, Beatrix Fern, Mary Beatrix, Beatrix Marigold

I think Beatrix is hands down one of the most gorgeous names ever. The feisty "X" ending adds a bit of oomph and modernity to this classic that makes it wearable for any time. It likely comes from the latin Viatrix, which is the feminine form of Viator, "voyager, traveler". The switch to Bea instead of Via came from beatus, "blessed, happy", and was extremely popular among early Christians. It then led way to Beatrice in the 19th century which became the more popular form. Beatrix Potter as a namesake lends an extra bit of sweetness to this name.


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