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If you’re wondering why so many Americans associate names like Jacques or Pierre with the cheese-and-croissant crowd across the Atlantic, perhaps a law put in place towards the end of the 18th century has something to do with it — the French were restricted to naming their children after a small number of popular saints. Although a 1966 law permitted alternative spellings, foreign names, and diminutives, it wasn’t until 1993 that parents were given free reign of what to name their children.
The Daily Babble