Chanel \ch(a)-nel\ as a girl's name is pronounced sha-NELL. It is of Old French origin, and the meaning of Chanel is "pipe". From a French occupational name and surname for pipe fitters and manufacturers. Contemporary usage may be due to the influence of the legendary fashion designer Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel (1883-1971), and a number of famous perfumes. Also the name of a 14th-century French missionary saint.