Élodie is a distinctively French name with a graceful and melodic sound that gives it a feminine charm. Pronounced as “ay-lo-dee”, its three syllables make it a mid-length name. You may come across it written as “Elodie” without the accent.
Éloïse is the feminine form of the much rarer male name Éloi. These can be interpreted as meaning “chosen one” because they originate from the Latin word “eligere” which means “to choose from”.
The two dots above the letter ‘i’ indicate that the neighboring vowels are pronounced separately instead of being merged as a diphthong. As a result, the name is pronounced “ay-lo-ez”.
While Éloïse is a name that starts with an ‘e’, there is a variant, Héloïse, that starts with an ‘h’.
Eugénie is an elegant and sophisticated French female name, just like its male counterpart, Eugène. These names originate from Ancient Greek, specifically from the term “eugenes”, which means “well-born”.
Both these names contain two Greek roots: “eu,” meaning “well” (as seen in words like “euphoria”), and “genes,” meaning “born a certain way” (as seen in the word “genealogy”).
This name is featured in classical French literature: Eugénie Grandet is the main protagonist and also the title of a novel by Balzac, a well-known 19th-century novelist.
Élise is a French girl’s name that is derived from the English name Élisabeth. Classical music lovers may associate this name with “La Lettre à Élise”, the French title for Beethoven's famous piano composition, originally titled “Für Elise” in German.
Unisex names are somewhat rare in French, with Dominique, Claude, and Camille being some exceptions. However, there are also names where the female and male versions have similar pronounciations despite spelling differences. Emmanuelle falls into this category.
Emmanuelle and its male counterpart, Emmanuel, are French names that are easy to distinguish in writing but hard to tell appart in speech. In situations where the ambiguity would lead to confusion, the feminine form can be pronounced as “Emmanuel-le”, but in everyday conversations this is rarely done.
This name comes from Hebrew and exists in many languages, sometimes in the form Immanuel as in the name of the German philosopher Immanuel Kant
In French, Émilie is the female form of the male name Émile. This name has been used in France for centuries, for instance, Émilie du Châtelet was a scholar from the early 17th century. She is known for her French translation of Isaac Newton's “Principia Mathematica”.
Émilie can be traced back to the ancient Latin name Aemilia, and it has variants in many other languages besides French; for instance, it corresponds to Emily in English and Emilia in Spanish.
Here are some rarer French girl names that start with the letter ‘e’:
Several French male names that begin with the letter ‘e’ have a sophisticated, high-society vibe, for instance, Édouard, Edmond, and Eugène. But there are also simpler ones like Éric and Étienne.
Éric is a widely-used French name that comes from the Swedish name Erik, itself derived from Old Norse, the language spoken during the Viking Age.
One exception in this name’s spelling in France is the famous French composer and pianist Erik Satie. He was born with the French spelling of the name (Éric) but later started signing his name as Erik.
Emmanuel is the masculine form of the female name Emmanuelle. This is almost a unisex name because the two forms are pronounced similarly despite the spelling difference.
Émile is a French boy’s name with classic appeal. This name has been in use in France for centuries, appearing for instance in Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s 18th-century educational treatise titled “Émile ou De l'éducation” which describes the ideal education of a fictional young boy named Émile.
It is also the name of one of France's most famous 19th-century novelists: Émile Zola.
A famous person with this name is the 19th-century French painter Eugène Delacroix. One of his masterpieces, titled “La Liberté guidant le peuple” is on display in the Louvre Museum, in Paris.
In France, the name Edmond corresponds to the English name Edmund. The name appears in French literature: Edmond Dantès is the protagonist of “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas.
Also, in Paris next to the Luxembourg Gardens, one finds the Place Edmond-Rostand named after the French poet and writer Edmond Rostand.
Erwan is a frequently encountered name in the western part of France, in the Region of Brittany. This is because it is a name that comes from Breton, the Celtic language native to Brittany.
Édouard is a sophisticated French boy’s name that corresponds to the English name Edward. This is the name of a famous French painter, Édouard Manet, whose masterpiece “Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe” is on display in the Musée d'Orsay, in Paris.
Étienne is a fairly common French boy’s name. In the center of Paris, there is both a street and a metro station named Etienne Marcel. These are named in honor of a 14th-century Provost of the Merchants.
Émilien is a charming French boy's name that is related to the more common male name Émile.
There's also a rare variant, Émilion, which, while not commonly chosen as a name these days, still resonates with many in France because of its connection to Saint-Émilion, a scenic wine-producing village close to Bordeaux.
Elouan is another name from Breton.