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French names that start with 'O'

Only a handful of French names that start with the letter ‘O’. Female names starting with this letter include Ophélie, Odette, and Odile, as well as the more recent name Océane. Rarer names include Octavie, Oriane, and a few more more that we’ll cover below.

Two of these French names beginning with ‘O’ have the distinction of appearing in Tchaikovsky’s ballet, Swan Lake. Odette is the white swan and Odile symbolizes the black swan. The story is outlined below.

Some French names that begin with the ‘o’ vowel sound are spelled with the letter combination ‘au’. These include girl names like Aurélie, Aurore, and Aude, as well as boy names like Aurélien and Augustin.

French girl names that start with ‘O’

Odette and Odile

Odette and Odile, two French names that start with the letter ‘O’, are also central characters in Tchaikovsky’s ballet, Swan Lake. Odette is the white swan and Odile’s character symbolizes the black swan. Here’s a summary of the story:

One night, by an enchanted forest lake, Prince Siegfried comes across a group of swans. To his amazement, one of these swans transforms into a beautiful woman named Odette.

The prince learns that an evil sorcerer has cast a spell on Odette, making her a swan during the daytime and letting her regain her human form only at night. The only remedy to the curse is true love —someone loving Odette unconditionally and pledging eternal fidelity to her.

The prince falls deeply in love and decides to marry her. But the sorcerer’s daughter, Odile, tricks him by impersonating Odette. After the wedding proposal, the real Odette arrives and the Prince is horrified as he realizes his mistake.

Different versions exist for the end of the ballet. Some are happy endings while others are tragic endings.

French boy’s names that start with ‘O’

There are relatively few French male names that start with the letter ‘O’. Olivier (the French equivalent of the name Oliver) is the most common of these. The other ones are rather rare.

Here are some examples of historical figures with these names:

Individual Occupation
Olivier Messiaen French Composer (1908 – 1992)
Octave Mirbeau French Novelist (1848 – 1917)
Odilon Redon French Painter (1840 – 1916)

Few French male names start with the letter ‘O’. But many more begin with the sound ‘O’ because in French the letter combination ‘au’ is pronounced the same as ‘O’.

Another French name that starts with the ‘O’ sound is Honoré (the initial letter ‘h’ is silent). This name is the capitalized form of the French word “honoré” (which means “honored”). The 19th-century French author Honoré de Balzac is a well-known person with this name.