Francis is a French and English given name of Latin origin.

Francis is a name that has many derivatives in most European languages. The female version of the name in English is Frances, and (less commonly)[citation needed] Francine. (For most speakers, Francis and Frances are homophones or near homophones; a popular mnemonic for the spelling is "i for him and e for her".) The name Frank is a common diminutive for Francis and Franny for Frances.


Francesco ("the Frenchman")[4] was the name given to Saint Francis of Assisi (born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone) by his francophile father,[5] celebrating his trade with French merchants. Due to the renown of the saint, this Italian name became widespread in Western Europe during the Middle Ages in different versions (Francisco, François, etc.). However, it was not regularly used in Britain until the 16th century as Francis.[6]

The name of France itself comes from the Germanic people known as the Franks; the origin of their name is unclear but is thought to mean "free".

The characteristic national weapon of the Franks was the francisca, a throwing axe.

Related names in other languages

Related names are common in other Western European languages, in countries that are (or were before the Reformation) Catholic. Other non-European languages have also adopted variants of the name. These names include:

List of people with the given name Francis



German-speaking countries

Iberian monarchies




Religious figures

Fictional characters

See also


  1. ^ "Francis". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 2016-02-07. 
  2. ^ "Francis". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2016-02-07. 
  3. ^ Navarro, Yvonne (2007). First Name Reverse Dictionary: Given Names Listed by Meaning, 2d ed. McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers. pp. 110–112. ISBN 9780786429349. 
  4. ^ Chesterton, Gilbert Keith (1924). "St. Francis of Assisi" (14 ed.). Garden City, New York: Image Books: 158. 
  5. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Francis". Encyclopædia Britannica. 10 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 933. 
  6. ^ Francis