French names have similar origins to those of other old-world European nations. They are often derivations of place names or trade names, or have their basis in history, mythology, religion or nature. They may also be created names.
The popularity of hyphenated names is a unique feature of French given names. For example Paul-Henri or Anne-Marie. A hyphenated name is considered a single unit first name, not separate first and middle names. Hyphenated names may be of the same or different genders. The first part of the name will always indicate the holder's gender.
Masculine names may be made feminine with the addition of -e, -ette, or -ine as suffixes.