Francis - Meaning of Francis
[ 2 syll. fran-cis, fr-anc-is ] The baby boy name Francis is sometimes used as a girl name. It is pronounced as FRAENSihS †. Francis is used predominantly in the English language and it is derived from Italian origins. The name's meaning is Frenchman, free one. It is derived from the element 'francesco' which means frenchman. Francis (Old French) and Franciscus (Latin) are original forms of Francis. The name owes its popularity to the Italian saint, Francesco or Francis of Assisi (1181-1226). He was baptized Giovanni di Bernardone in honor of John the Baptist, but was renamed Francesco by his father Pietro, who did not want his son to be a man of the Church. His father chose this name in tribute to his business in France as well as his son's enthusiasm for all things French, as Francesco means 'the little Frenchman'. Francesco later renounced his father's wealth and went on to found the Franciscan order of friars. Due to his fame, the name became used in various forms throughout medieval Europe. It was adopted by English speakers in the early 16th century amidst an enthusiasm for Italian Renaissance culture. Another saint bearing the name was Francis Xavier (1506-1552), the co-founder of the Society of Jesus. The name Frances (English) is the female version of Francis.
The name Francis is widely used; it has 77 variants that are used in English and other languages. Variants used in English include Frances, Francesco (used in Italian as well), Franche, Franchesco, Franchesko, Franciskus, Francys, Franky, Frann, Frannie, Fransis, Franzel, Franzin, Frencis, Frisco, and Frisko. Other English variants include the contractions Fran (used in Albanian and as well), France, and Frank, and the diminutive forms Cesco, Francie, Frankie, and Franny.
Foreign variants of Francis include Chicho (Spanish), Chilo (Spanish), Chito (Spanish), Cisco (Spanish), Currito (Spanish), Farruco (Spanish), Ferenc (Hungarian), Ffransis (Welsh), Frana (Czech), Franc (Slavic), Franchot (French), Francisco (Portuguese and Spanish), Franciscus (German and Latinized), Francisek (Slavic), Francisque (French), Franciszek (Polish), Franciszk (Polish), Francois (French), François (French), Frang (Gaelic and Scottish), Franio (Polish), Franjo (Slavic), Frans (Dutch, Finnish, and Scandinavian), Fransisco (Portuguese and Spanish), Frantisek (Czech), Frants (Scandinavian), Frantz (German and Slavic), Frantzisko (Basque), Franus (Polish), and Franz (German). Specific foreign variants include the contraction Franco (Italian), and the diminutive forms Chico (Portuguese and Spanish), Curro (Spanish), Francesc (Catalan), Frangan (Scottish), Frascuelo (Spanish), Frasquito (Spanish), Paco (Spanish), Pancho (Spanish), Paquito (Spanish), and Patxi (Basque).
See also the related categories, medieval, jesus, english, latin, son (heir), honor, renaissance (revival), wealth (abundance), europe (continental), man (humanity), church, italian, baptist, john, and french.
Francis is a classic favorite. Today it is still a fairly popular baby name for boys, though to a lesser extent than it was in the past. Its usage peaked in 1915 with 0.635% of baby boys being given the name Francis. It ranked at #29 then. The baby name has since steeply declined in popularity, and is in recent years of occasional use. In 2018, its usage was only 0.031% and its ranking #480, but it was nonetheless the 3rd most popular after Francisco and Frank, among all boy names in its group. In 2018, the name was twice as popular as Francis. In the past century Francis has mostly been a baby boy name. In 1987, the name Francis was given to 5 times as many baby boys than girls.
Baby names that sound like Francis include Ffransis, Farhang, Ferenc, Ferench, Ferenk, Firenze, Frana, Frances, Francesc, Francie, Francisque, Franciszk, Franco, Francois, Francys, François, Franek, Frankea, Frankee, and Frankey.
† Pronunciation for Francis: F as in "fee (F.IY)" ; R as in "race (R.EY.S)" ; AE as in "at (AE.T)" ; N as in "knee (N.IY)" ; S as in "see (S.IY)" ; IH as in "it (IH.T)"
Details of famous persons named Francis:
Author F. Scott Fitzgerald, born Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, 24 September 1896 - 21 December 1940, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Author Bret Harte, born Francis Brett Hart, August 25, 1836 - May 6, 1902, Albany, New York.
Aviator Francis Gary Powers, born 17 August 1929 - 1 August 1977, Jenkins, Kentucky.
Explorer Francis Drake, born 28 January 1596, Devonshire, England.
Filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, born 7 April 1939, Detroit, Michigan.
Lawyer Francis Scott Key, born 1 August 1779 - 11 January 1843.
Philosopher Francis Bacon, born 22 January 1561 - 9 April 1626, London, England.
Religious Figure Francis Arinze, born 1 November 1932, Eziowelle, Onitsha, Nigeria.
Revolutionary War Figure Francis Marion, born 1732 - February 26, 1795, Berkeley County, South Carolina.
Sailor Francis Chichester, born 17 September 1901 - 26 August 1972, Barnstaple, Devon, England.