The article analyzes certain lexical units of the Russian and French languages which function as semantic and morphological derivatives of ethnonyms and macrotoponyms: in Russian - derivatives of the ethnonyms француз, галл and toponyms Франция, Париж; in French - derivatives of the words Russe, Russien ´Russian´, Cosaque ´Cossack´ to ´a Russian soldier´ to ´Russian´, Moscou ´Moscow´, Moscovite (archaic) ´an inhabitant of Muscovy, Russian´. Additionally, the article focuses on set expressions containing the above-mentioned words. Considering this material, the authors conduct a contrastive study of cultural and linguistic images of the French and the Russians (in Russian and French, respectively). The article studies the following thematic spheres of secondary semantics: „Character traits, behaviour“; „Diseases“; „Appearance“; „Language“; „The quality of life, welfare“; „History“. The authors reveal the motivation of language facts, analyze the evaluative components in their meaning and draw conclusions about the main patterns in the development of the images of the nations in question.