Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Francine

Francine is a French name (pronounced frawn-SEEN in France); it’s the diminutive of Françoise, itself the female form of François – the masculine equivalent of Francis.  All of the “Francis” names are ultimately derived from the Latin Franciscus which means, literally, “Frankish” (cognate with “French”). The Franks were the precursors to the present-day French people; originating as a Germanic people that conquered northern Gaul from the Romans during the collapse of the Roman Empire and established France for themselves. The origin of the ethnic tribal name is uncertain, though some etymologists surmise it may be derivative of *frankon, an ancient Germanic word for “javelin” (in reference to the tribe’s preferred weapon of war). The Medieval Latin Franc, however, came to mean, quite literally, “a freeman, a Frank” in reference to the French people in general, ultimately borrowed from the Old French “franc” meaning “free, liberal, generous.”   Therefore, as a feminine diminutive, Francine basically means “little free one” or “little French girl.”  Frances (English), Francesca (Italian), and Françoise/Francine (French) are all female names that came into circulation around the 14th century and exclusively in honor of one man: St. Francis of Assisi. Interestingly, St. Francis’s baptismal name was actually Giovanni, but his father gave him the nickname “Franciscus” in honor of the French people who he greatly admired.  One of the most important and popular saints ever (and certainly in his own life time), St. Francis established the Franciscan Order.  He and his disciples dedicated themselves to humility, poverty and the love for all living creatures. St. Francis is often depicted surrounded by animals, particularly birds (not only is he the patron saint of animals and the environment, but he is also the patron saint of Italy).  Indeed, Francis (and all of his linguistic off-shoots) is a very holy name among Catholics. Even today’s Pope Francis chose his papal name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi.

All About the Baby Name – Francine

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME FRANCINE

The number Seven personality is deeply mystical and highly in tune with their spirituality. They operate on a different wavelength than the average joe. Spending time alone comes easily to Sevens, as it gives them time to contemplate philosophical, religious and spiritual ideas in an effort to find "real truth".  Sevens are wise, but often exude mystery as if they are tapped into something the rest of us don't understand. They love the outdoors and are fed by nature. Sevens are constantly seeking to understand human nature, our place in the universe, and the mystery of life in general. This makes them quite artistic and poetic, but they are also keen observers with high intellect - so they are equally scientific-minded. Sevens are charitable and care deeply about the human condition.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME FRANCINE

French names have never gained super-popularity in the United States simply because we have never seen a large wave of immigration of the French to America (as we have with Italians or Irish, for example).  However, from time to time French-inspired names do appear on the U.S. popularity charts. Francine first appeared on America’s Top 1000 list early last century in 1916, and she quietly grew in popularity. The name saw most of her success during the 1940s and 50s – reaching a high on the charts at position #216 in 1946. However, by the 1970s, Francine was losing her luster. In fact, 1987 marks the last year Francine would claim Top 1000 status. Only 39 baby girls were given this name in 2013 – clearly she’s off the American radar. This is great news for parents looking for a unique, underused name, but one that’s loaded with interesting history and meaning.  Francine is also one of those darling names for a young girl, but one that ages nicely into adulthood – plus there’s a myriad of nicknames associated her: Fran, Frannie, Frankie, Fannie, Sissy, CiCi, etc. 

Quick Facts

ON FRANCINE

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

French

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

N/A

PRONUNCIATION:

fran-SEEN

SIMPLE MEANING:

Little French One; Little Free One

Characteristics

OF FRANCINE

Mystical

Wise

Eccentric

Intuitive

Imaginative

Philosophical

Solitary

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Francine

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME FRANCINE

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Francine

Popular Songs

ON FRANCINE

Francine
a song by ZZ Top

Famous People

NAMED FRANCINE

Francine "Fran" Drescher (actress)
Francine Prose (writer)
Francine Pascal (writer)

Children of Famous People

NAMED FRANCINE

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Francine

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME FRANCINE

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Francine