RemyBNoDpintRemy is a medieval name transformed by the long-tailed hero of 2007’s Pixar hit Ratatouille.

Thanks to Lola for suggesting our impeccably French Baby Name of the Day.

Remy: Remigius

Around the year 500, King Clovis united the Franks, founded the Merovingian dynasty, and converted to Christianity.

Saint Remigius was the Bishop of Reims who baptized Clovis.

It started out as a Roman family name, meaning oarsman.

Drop the -gius, and you have the vernacular form of the name. It was used steadily in France over the years, and Saint-Remy is a popular place name.

Remy: Tribe

Even earlier, when the Romans arrived in Gaul, they became allies with a tribe already there: the Remi.

Some say that the tribe took their name from Remus – one of the mythical co-founders of Rome.

What we do know is that the city of Reims – where Clovis converted, where future kings of France were often crowned, the seat of Bishop Remigius – took its name from the tribe.

Remy: Famous Bearers

It’s also found as a surname, and in other European languages. Other Rem- names, like the Spanish Remedios – can also lead to Remy.

It was the surname of one of the most zealous – and notorious – of the sixteenth century witch hunters.

Remy Martin was a winemaker who switched to cognac back in 1724 and has been going strong ever since.

Characters in The Da Vinci Code and The Fairly Odd Parents have worn the name. It’s also the given name of the X-Men character better known as Gambit. Gambit has appeared in several of the series’ big screen adaptations. Now Channing Tatum is set to take on the role in a stand-alone movie – which could be a big boost for the name.

Remy: Ratatouille and Ma

The name owes its rise to an unlikely combination of events.

Disney-Pixar’s 2007 Ratatouille gave this name to an aspiring French chef – who happened to be a rat. Patton Oswalt voiced the unlikely gastronome.


But it wasn’t just Disney boosting the name.

There’s also female rapper Remy Ma, born Reminisce Smith, who had her first big successes around 2006.

Hip hop also gives us Remy Boyz – most famous thanks to their successful former member, the rapper known as Fetty Wap.

Either way, the name’s ties to music gives it an edge, while the Disney connection makes it feel playground-ready.

Remy: Remington

Speaking of edge, the name also owes its success to the rise of Remington.

A surname name borrowed from a English place name, Remington is best known as a firearms manufacturer. Eliphalet Remington founded the business in 1816 in upstate New York. It remains a major manufacturer of guns and ammunition, the oldest gun maker in the US.

Remington has risen dramatically in the twenty-first century, going from a sometimes-heard family name to a mainstream favorite. Kelly Clarkson recently chose it for her son. As of 2015, it was given to over 450 girls and nearly 1,200 boys. It’s definitely part of the ready, aim, name trend that has appealed to parents in recent years.

From animated family-friendly flicks to rising rap stars, from early medieval France to an Americana pick with ties to weaponry, Remy is a name of contrasts. Maybe that’s why it appeals to so many parents today – and is quickly becoming a go-to choice for boys and girls alike.

Do you like Remy better for a boy or a girl? How about Remington?

This post was originally published on January 23, 2009. It was substantially revised and re-posted on June 6, 2016.

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. We named our son Remy and it was a great decision. There are no other Remy kids around so it is special. It is easy to pronounce in all languages. He loves it and it suits him perfectly. He is a kid who loves art and music but is also super athletic.

  2. Remy was my front-runner name for a boy for years (my kids’ dad is French), but in the end we used Jules instead. I love both names for similar reasons: they’re short and a little bit different without being obscure.

  3. I knew a girl named Remy, but I like it on a boy. I never even really thought about it, but it’s definitely worth considering. I do love Ratatouille so much:D

  4. Remy entered the top 1000 (in the U.S.) in 2009 at number 969, and was still there in 2011 at 881. Both are lower than 2010 at 868th (and all for males, not females).

    It wasn’t the most pleasant name to have as a kid, but it’s aged nicely.


  5. I have a friend who adopted twin boys one named Remy, I met a 6 yr old black Standard Poodle named Remy last weekend. He’s soon to be put up for adoption and I want him. The day I met Remy I did a “quantum physics” leap and willed to meet the poodle. My fish monger at Whole Foods had a dog named Remy and my niece has a girlfriend named Remy. I love this name!