Baby Names Trends: Cassia, Caspian and Cash
Here in our baby name bubble, in case you haven’t noticed, we tend to parse every element of every name for hints of incipient baby name trends. This would include first syllables, middle letters (like the current x), and endings like en and er for boys.
Just recently we’ve been noticing some suddenly increased attention focused on a group of Latinate names starting with the syllable Cas, which seem to be marching ahead in tandem. They all have a soft a sound, eliminating such oldies as Casey— and the Cas element is often pronounced Cash.
Here are the main contenders in this latest of baby name trends:
Cassia—This lovely, elegant name carries the scent of cinnamon, which is what its meaning is in Greek.
Cassian —Has the stylish Roman feel of names like Atticus; associated (not in the best way) with Julius Caesar, and also with abolitionist Cassius Clay, who inspired the birth name of Muhammad Ali. Variation Cassian is an ancient saints’ name primed to burst onto the modern scene ala Asher.
Cashel—A neglected Irish classic that could provide an uncommon route to the nickname Cash, similar in sound to the ascending Dashiell. Cashel was picked for their son by Rebecca Miller and Daniel Day Lewis.
Castor—One of the mythological twins that make up the constellation Gemini, Castor is on the cutting edge of fashion. Metallica’s James Hetfield was ahead of the curve when he chose it for his son in 2000.
Casper—Though not Latin-based, Casper—the Dutch form of the hip Jasper—does seem to fit into this group. Having pretty much shed its old ghostly image, it’s beginning to be seen as a stylish, formerly funky choice, after being stashed in the attic since 1933. Claudia Schiffer and Jenny Frost have sons named Casper, while name-contrarian Jason Lee picked it for his little girl.
Cassiopeia—The intriguing if somewhat bulky five-syllable name of a Greek mythological queen, the inspiration for a northern constellation appellation. Cassiopeia Black is a pure-blood witch in the Harry Potter novels, and the name has appeared in several video games and pop and rock songs.
Casimir—A Cas–name brought over by immigrants from Poland, where it is a saint’s and royal name, and has a peaceful vibe via Casimir the Pacific, a renowned eleventh-century monarch. New Jerseyites will recognize the connection to Casimir Pulaski, the Polish general who fought in the American Revolution, after whom the Pulaski Skyway was named.
Cass—Once a popular unisex nickname name—it even made the Top 1000 a century ago—Cass can be remembered as the stage name of Mama Cass Elliot (born Ellen) and the eponymous hero of the Sinclair Lewis novel Cass Timberlane. Maybe with the new interest in Cas–names and preference for short boys’ names, Cass could make a comeback.
Cassie—One of the relaxed and friendly retro nicknames with a country feel that was revived in the 1980s (when it hit Number 137), Cassie now looks like it could be headed for a second restoration. A onetime soap opera staple, it was later seen on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Skins. After the long-running spate of Kates, Cassie can make a fresher nickname for Catherine.
Cash—Cash is king, when it comes to the names on this list. It popped onto the registry in 2003 at #966, and seven years later it’s at 261, picked by several celebs and seeming to get hotter every year, in inverse proportion to the credit crisis. Actor Cash Warren is dad to Jessica Alba’s daughters Honor and Haven.
NOT SO NEW
Cassidy—This Irish-Western surname ambled onto the boys’ and girls’ lists at just about the same time—in the early 80s—but it wasn’t long before it was completely lassoed by the girls—quite probably at least partly due to Kathie Lee Gifford’s dropping her daughter’s name almost daily when there was still a Regis & Kathie Lee. Cassidy is still hanging in on the girls’ list at Number 248, but has all but hopped-along for the cowboys.
SOME WORD NAME POSSIBILITIES
Cascade—A waterfall name with an energetic flow that can fit right in with the trend for aquatic names, and is also the name of a range of mountains. Downside: a brand of dishwasher detergent as well.
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on December 1st, 2011 at 2:08 am
I know a toddler (boy) named Cas. Nothing more, nothing less.
on December 1st, 2011 at 7:50 am
I’m not so sure about Castor. It’s the French word for beaver.
on December 1st, 2011 at 9:44 am
I do like Casper, but I like Jasper a little bit new 🙂
on December 1st, 2011 at 9:52 am
Cassia and Caspian have been near the top of my list for a while, Cassiopeia is very nice but a bit of a mouthful 🙂
on December 1st, 2011 at 9:53 am
on December 1st, 2011 at 10:58 am
I like Cascada, but Cascada or Cascata work better on a girl. I like Cassidy for a boy, also Caspian. Still not sold on the usability of Casper though…
on December 1st, 2011 at 11:53 am
Cassius & Casimir sit high on our boy list, I am wildly in love with Cass on a boy. I also toy with Magnus/Maggie/Mag(s) because I find Mag- very hard and rather ugly sounding, not fit for a girl. I’m not fond of Cassie on a girl either. Blah. No offense meant.
on December 1st, 2011 at 6:05 pm
I love Cassia and Casper. I think Cass/Cassie/Cassidy would be awesome on a boy.
on December 1st, 2011 at 6:54 pm
*sigh* I love Caspian, but with Cross as a last name, and the NN Cas as a possibility it just isn’t going to happen!
on December 1st, 2011 at 7:41 pm
I love Cassius, Cassian, Caspian, & Cash. I’ve been a fan of Cassius and Cash for a while, but recently added it to our list.
on December 1st, 2011 at 7:42 pm
I will say that while I love that Cassian is a less used variant of Cassius, it sounds too much like “cash in” for us to actually use it.
Sarah A Said
on December 1st, 2011 at 11:59 pm
I absolutely love Caspian. It’s romantic without being overt like Romeo or Heathcliff. And there aren’t that many great 3-syllable boys names. Rafferty and Caspian would make great brothers!
on December 2nd, 2011 at 12:59 am
The name Casper first caught my attention as a viable possibility when I saw the movie “Kids” back in the 90’s. The best friend of the protagonist is named Casper and I remember liking the name although he was a shady character in the movie.
I seriously considered both Cassandra and Cassidy for my second daughter (Lynette) but I have an aunt named Sandra and I felt that was too close and I have a son Kody and I def. didn’t want a Kody and Cassidy! People would think I was a Kathy Lee Gifford groupie.
Back in 2007 when I was expecting my son(before I knew it was a boy) I decided I really liked the name Cashmere (spelled Kashmere) for a girl. When I mentioned this idea to my family, they looked at me as if they were legitimately worried I had lost my sanity. I had actually heard the name while watching an episode of the MTV reality show “Juvies” which showed various teens arrested and detained in an Indiana juvenile lockup. One girl arrested for pretending to ring up her friends merchandise but not charging her was named Kashmiere. I thought her named sounded lovely and she was obviously proud of it as they showed her making an artistic poster featuring her name during rec time. This girl was prob born around 1990 so her mom gets points for a creative and risky choice.
on December 2nd, 2011 at 2:29 pm
Wow! We named our daughter Cassia almost four years ago. Looks like we were ahead of the trend, but I hope it doesn’t become wildly popular. I’ve only met one other Cassia and she was in her mid thirties.
on December 3rd, 2011 at 7:19 pm
What about Cashlin? It’s an unusual name that could be substituted for Ashlyn or Ashley. Plus it’s fun to say!
on December 4th, 2011 at 3:43 am
We named our first son Cashel – I love it! So far, I’m only aware of two others, neither of whom we’ve actually met in person.
on December 5th, 2011 at 9:29 am
Cas is an adorable nickname. My favourite way to get to it is Castiel. Ya, a tv name but what a role model to name your child for!
on December 23rd, 2011 at 5:43 pm
I love being Cassie. Though I myself am a country girl, I never thought it had a “country feel”. I think Cassie is fun flirty and SASSIE! haha
on December 30th, 2011 at 1:52 pm
I knew a Cassiopeia in high school and you guessed it- she went by Cassie. Pretty name though. I love the name Cassia. (What a lovely choice Lellbell!)
what is fashion trends Said
on June 1st, 2012 at 10:52 am
what is fashion trends…
[…]Baby Name Trends: Cassia, Caspian and Cash – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry[…]…
on August 21st, 2012 at 6:18 pm
I’ve loved Cassia for about a year or so, and Cassian and Caspian have also been on my list for a few weeks. I’m not a fan of Cassidy, but the rest I like.
on August 28th, 2012 at 9:04 am
Caspian is one of our final four names for our December baby – we just need to wait and see if baby is a he, and if he looks like a Cas (we started with that as a nickname and picked Caspian as our favourite long form).
on September 13th, 2012 at 11:29 pm
I cannot think of castor without the oil part. Which is a shame, because one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard is an aria from Castor et Pollux called “Tristes apprêts” and would love it as a naming inspiration.
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on May 9th, 2013 at 6:22 am
I love the name Cassian, and Casper, only spelled Caspar!
on March 21st, 2018 at 8:34 pm
For names like Cassian, Cassia, Cassius, etc, I like them pronounced Cass-ee-an, Cass-ee-uh, Cass-ee-us, but I dislike the “Cash” pronunciations.
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