The name comes directly from the French word for angel, and has been used as a given name since at least the 8th-century C.E.
It is techinically an epicène name, that is, one among the several names found within the French lexicon which has always been gender neutral. However, Ange by itself is more often given to males, while for females, it is usually paired with a feminine name, such as Marie-Ange.
The name was borne by a few medieval saints. One of the most notable being St. Angelus of Jerusalem (1185-1220), a Christian convert of Jewish ancestry who left his native Palestine to join a friary in Sicily. He was eventually martyred by Berenger, a local knight, who killed him in anger after the saint rebuked him for living in an incestuous relationship.
Ange was a very common name among the early Acadians (Cajuns), of Louisiana and French-Canadians.
As of 2009, Ange was the 264th most popular male name in France.
Other forms of the name include:
- Àngel (Catalan)
- Angelus (English/German/Late Latin)
- Angel (French/Romansch)
- Angeli(n) (French)
- Angely (French)
- Angelo (Italian)
- Anġlu (Maltese)
- Àncilu (Sicilian)
- Ángel (Spanish)