Saturday, December 29, 2012


Just because it's winter and she's super cute!

FRANCES Gender: Feminine
Usage: English
Pronounced: FRANT-səs [key]
Meaning & History: Feminine form of FRANCIS. The distinction between Francis as a masculine name and Frances as a feminine name did not arise until the 17th century. A notable bearer was Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917), a social worker and the first American to be canonized.
Diminutives (Nicknames): Fanny, Fran, Frankie, Frannie, Franny, Sissy, Cissy, Fannie, Sissie
Other Languages: Frantziska (Basque), Franseza (Breton), Francesca (Catalan), Františka (Czech), Françoise, France, Francette, Francine (French), Franziska, Fränze, Franzi, Ziska (German), Franciska, Fanni, Franci (Hungarian), Franca, Francesca (Italian), Francisca (Late Roman), Franciszka (Polish), Francisca, Chica (Portuguese), Frangag (Scottish), Frančiška, Francka (Slovene), Francisca, Paca, Paquita (Spanish)
{Entry from Behind The Name database}

I've always like Frances because it is a family name for me - a great-grandmother on my dad's side was Mary Frances - and I've considered using it as a middle name. But recently I've grown even more fond of it as the image of the name has changed from decrepit to youthful.

There's a young lady at a Bible study I go to named Frances - she's African-American, about 19 years old, sweet, friendly, encouraging and very cute.

A pretty college student at the same Bible study, named Susan, has a younger sister named Frances. If her sister looks anything like her the name would be so very sweet.

Another red-haired young lady (a longtime friend) gets called Frances by her family quite a bit because it's one of her two middle names and honors someone on her family tree.

The old-fashioned literary connections also make Frances more appealing to me. In Jane Austen novels there's sweet Fanny Price of Mansfield Park, Fanny Harville - the deceased young fiancee of Captain Benwick in Persuasion, smart but selfish Fanny Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility and Fanny Knight - the a favorite niece of Jane Austen herself. So using Frances would have the double charm of honoring family and my favorite author!

I do like the nickname Fanny, mostly because of the old-fashioned and Jane Austen connections, but it's also used as a slang word (do not on any account Google it) which gives the nickname unpleasant associations. But if I were to use Frances as a first name then the nicknames Fran, Frannie / Franny and even Frankie would be alright too. Also I've wondered if Fancy Day from Under The Greenwood Tree had the first name Frances. Francie or Francy would probably work too.

I've found myself falling for this name in the past few months and what's more my sister, who prefers more trendy names, said Frances was cute too!

What do you think of the name Frances?
Do you know any younger people with this name?

1 comment:

BatZion said...

Thanks a lot for this post Miss Laurie! Frances is very special to me because it is close to my name... and I also like to use the nickname Fanny. The only other person of my acquaintance that has the name 'Frances' is a mother of 6 children who is friends with my family. So, not really too common among my circle of friends!