Each day of the week in a French diary has a saint’s name written under it. These are the 365 classic names that are safe to choose for your child. From Napoleon’s time until 1993 parents had to choose from an official list.  Jean-Marie and Marie-Anne comeout as the most popular. I have 15 people named Marie, and variations of it, on my address list. The cruellest usage of the name must be the parents of twin girls who named one, Marie-Anne, and the other Anne-Marie. Imagine being the considered as the mirror image of your twin all your life. But, woe betide you if you try to think of something a little out of the ordinary. When you register your new-born, the registrar has the right to veto the name you have chosen. A judge nearly refused to let a family call their daughter Megane because their surname was Renaud. It sounded too much like a brand of car. Another story relates that the parents of twin boys were refused the choice of Orly and Oissy because they are the names of the two Paris airports. Just recently a family who wanted to call their daughter Nutella were taken to the Family Court and fortunately lost the case! An incentive for choosing one of the classic 365 is that your child gets 2 birthdays! Not only do they celebrate their actual day of birth, but they might also get flowers or a small gift on their saint’s day.

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