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Origin, Meaning, And History Of Frances

Frances is a female version of the English name ‘Francis,’ which in turn is the English form of the Italian name ‘Francesco.’ Frances is derived from the Latin ‘Franciscus’ and means “from France” or “the free one.” Franciscus is believed to be derived from the seventeenth-century Germanic tribes called the Franks, who used an ax called Francisca in battle. Until the seventeenth century, the names Frances and Francis were used interchangeably for both genders.

The name Frances has been around for quite a long time and is believed to have originated in Britain. Now, it has become popular all over the world, including the US. The Italian Franscesca and the French François are both derivatives of Frances. The variants of this name include, Francés (Spanish), Francês (Portuguese), and Francès (Catalan).

Francis was a nickname of a famous saint called St. Francis of Assisi. His original Italian name was Giovanni, and he was known as the “man from France” or Francis because of his love for France and French people.

The name Frances was popular in the early 20th century. In 1918, Frances became the most popular girl name (1). In the intervening years, the popularity of this name gradually dropped, but in the last decade, it started to gain popularity again in the US. The name Francesca is also climbing the popularity charts in recent years (2).

Frances is a gorgeous name and has a number of nicknames, such as Franny, Fran, Fanny, and Francey. Famous personalities like Amanda Peet, Courtney Love, and Kurt Cobain have named their children Frances which influenced many millennial parents to choose this moniker for their little ones.


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A feminine replacement for 'Franceis' which refers to a French person or a free person
 F..  Fi..  Fir..  Far..  Fer..  Fio..  Fra.. 

How To Pronounce Frances?

Pronounced as fran-sis

Famous People With The Name Frances

  • Frances McDormandAward-winning American actor with a career spanning over four decades
  • Frances Hodgson BurnettAuthor with acclaimed works like A Little Princess and The Secret Garden
  • Frances Ruth Shand KyddMother of Princess Diana, grandmother to Princes William and Harry, charity worker
  • Frances DickinsonAmerican physician and the first woman who was admitted in the International Medical Council
  • Frances WillardAmerican reformer and women’s suffragist

Frances On The Popularity Chart

Frances has been a fairly popular name for girls in Europe and America. Check out how this name fared over the years.

Popularity Over Time

Until the seventeenth century, Frances was not exclusively a girl’s name. Francis and Frances were used for both genders. However, once Frances became a girl’s name, it became highly popular. In the early 20th century, the name Frances saw a steep rise in popularity. However, after the year 2000, its popularity started to decline. Then after 2010, the popularity of this name is slowly rising again. So, the name Frances has seen a fair amount of ups and downs in its popularity.

Source: Social Security Administration

Rank Over Time

In 2021, the name Frances held the 393rd rank, which is higher than the rank in 2020 (417). In 1918, it was one of the most popular names, with rank 8, while in 2007, its rank went down to 828 (2).

Source: Social Security Administration

Names With Similar Sound As Frances

Did you like the name Frances and looking for a name that sounds the same but has a different, deeper meaning? Take a look at these names.

Names With Same Meaning As Frances

Do you like the name Frances but are looking for a name that sounds more exotic and mysterious? Or are you looking for a name for a sibling? These names might help you.

Name Numerology For Frances

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