Cyrus, Cosette and Marigold: This week’s Nameberry 9

In this turned-around pre-holiday week, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel offers her baby name wish list, as well as her picks of the newsiest Nameberry 9 names.

With the holidays in full swing, I thought it was time for a wish list.

I’d love to magically know how to pronounce every child’s name at first glance.

A crystal ball to find out which noun names will wear well, and which just plain won’t work.  Or, alternately, a detailed explanation as to why Pilot and Apple still seem outrageous while Chase and Genesis are mainstream.

A trip to the most fashionable of playgrounds in Paris and the ability to speak fluent French in order to grill expectant mamans about their favorite baby names.  Cosette probably isn’t one of them … but in Pittsburgh or Pensacola, I think she could be a smash.  Or wait, maybe I’ll visit Toronto, because their list is just different enough from the US to pique my curiosity.

A promise that there will be a bunch of fabulously named starbabies every week … never mind, Santa – we have Claire Danes!

The nine baby names that inspired my wish list are also this week’s nine most newsworthy appellations:

Calin – Television veteran Samaire Armstrong is a new mom.  She welcomed son Calin a few days ago.  But t riddle me this: does Calin sound like Caylen, Colin, or Calvin without the v?

KevanThe Children’s Place announced this year’s PlaceKids modeling contest winners, and they’re adorable.  My eye went immediately to Kevan’s beaming smile.  But then I found myself repeating the same questions: does Kevan sound like Kevin andDevon, or is it more like Steven?  Or is the emphasis on the second syllable?  Hmmm …

Marigold – A sneak preview of 1600 Penn revealed the name of the newest fictional First Family.  President Dale Gilchrist, wife Emily, and kids Skip, Becca, Marigold, and Xander.  Yes, First Daughter Marigold.  It’s a great name, as botanical as Lily, nearly as substantial as Margaret.

Peace – A Swistle reader asked about Peace as a girl’s name.  The comments are mixed, with many suggesting Paz and Pax as alternatives.  A commenter named Peace suggested Peaceful as a possibility.  But is Peace all that different from Faith, Hope, and Grace?

Cosette – The newest big screen adaptation of Les Misérables debuts on December 25 in the US, and the name to watch has to be Cosette.  She’s played by Amanda Seyfried, with Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean and Anne Hathaway as FantineNancy points out that Cosette’s origins are uncertain, but she may be based on chose, the French word for thing.

Olivia Ontario announced their most popular names for the year 2012, and Olivia took the top spot for girls.  She’s also the name of the current MissUSA, who won the Miss Universe title this week.  Olivia has held the #1 position since 2008.  In theUS, Olivia has been in Top Ten since 2000, but has never made it higher than #3 and is currently #4.

Liam – Ontarians are mad about Liam.  He knocked Ethan out of the #1 slot this year, becoming the most popular boys’ name in the province.  William is just a few paces behind, at #8.  Liam’s been leaping up the rankings in theUS, too, from #30 to #15 in 2011.  Could he make the US Top Ten this year?

William LucaJames Marsden welcomed a third child this week.  He’s already dad to Mary James and Jack Holden with ex-wife Lisa Linde.  William Luca is James’ new son with Brazilian model Rose Costa.  I like the pattern of classic firsts with interesting middles.

Cyrus Michael Christopher – This week’s real treat was the birth announcement from actors Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy.  We’ve been watching Danes for decades, from My So Called Life to Juliet in Baz Luhrman’s Shakespearean production to HomelandCyrus is an ancient choice, and a stylish one, too.  Michael is one of dad’s middle names; Christopher comes from his maternal grandfather.

Do you think Marigold and Cosette will be big for girls?  Could Liam move into the US Top Ten?  And what’s on your baby name wish list?


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16 Responses to “Cyrus, Cosette and Marigold: This week’s Nameberry 9”

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Flick Says:

December 20th, 2012 at 11:10 pm

Cosette is a long time love of mine – I remember it was a yearly tradition with my family to sit and watch Les Mis and I’m very excited about the new movie. (Finally Hugh Jackman makes an appearance on the silver screen for his amazing voice!)

I also love Marigold. It’s a little offbeat and very, very uncommon, but Mari and Goldie are adorable nicknames. I question it’s ability to age, but I suppose if Lily, Rose, Dahlia and Violet are usable, why not Marigold?

Stormshine Says:

December 21st, 2012 at 7:00 am

I have long loved Marigold. A beautiful name with fewer than 20 girls named this last year – if I remember correctly.

aunt_ning Says:

December 21st, 2012 at 7:45 am

Instead of Peace, what about Shalom? I love Shalom as a middle name. In fact it is the middle name of one of Rebecca, from the Girls Gone Child blog, daughters.

dotmyiis Says:

December 21st, 2012 at 9:20 am

I’m feeling extremely territorial about Cyrus, which is strange because I’m normally more open about that sort of thing.

niteowl13 Says:

December 21st, 2012 at 9:33 am

Oh no! I don’t want Marigold to get popular! I have loved it since I was a child and there was a doll named Marigold on a kid’s show I watched. sigh

LyndsayJenness Says:

December 21st, 2012 at 10:13 am

I’m happy for Marigold to get a little exposure. It’s one of my favorite but just a bit too unusual for me. If that show gets popular and people start hearing that name, maybe I’d actually use it. I don’t think it’s going to be in the top 1000 anytime soon. It’s so lovely.

I think you’re right, Peace isn’t much different than Grace. I wouldn’t use it as a first name, but it’d be nice in the middle.

While my first instinct is to pronounce Calin like Kaelyn, I would bet they pronounce it like Calvin without the V. They probably liked Calvin but hated Vinny.

Neve realized James Marsden even had kids, let alone such classically named ones. I’m kind of surprised by that.

Also, I love Olivia. Don’t care how popular she is. When my husband and I first started talking about baby names (way before we were having babies) the first name we ever picked out was Olivia Lane. Yeah, its’s L heavy, I know. I still think it’s pretty though.

aunt_ning Says:

December 21st, 2012 at 11:03 am

Also, when I see Calin, I pronounce it the same as the character Callen on NCIS, C-al-In with a long a

lilennox Says:

December 21st, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Cosette: probably from the word ‘cosset,’ meaning ‘to treat like a pet, to indulge.’ There’s even a noun form of cosset, meaning pet or lamb.

Abby Says:

December 21st, 2012 at 3:49 pm

@aunt_ning – Very nice point about Shalom! Great name …

@lilennox – Thanks for that factoid, and that fits with the story, doesn’t it? There’s a play on Cosette/chose in the novel, which is why the assumption is that the name is linked to the word. Nancy quotes it here:

Sounds like Marigold gets the thumbs up from most berries!

LadyCap Says:

December 21st, 2012 at 7:14 pm

I know a baby named Peaceable.

dayjoysky2815 Says:

December 21st, 2012 at 9:42 pm

My best friend’s name is Kalen and he pronounces it KAY lin. Almost like Kaitlyn but without the T. I love his name, and it works very charmingly on him. A lot of people think he is a female when I talk about him but then when they meet him they are pleasantly surprised to meet a very tall, handsome, strong, and extremely interesting man.

DracoDrake Says:

December 22nd, 2012 at 9:42 am

No! Not Marigold. It’s been on my list for a while now & if I ever have a girl, I’d love to use it.

Taz Says:

December 22nd, 2012 at 10:35 am

To me Peace is not the same as Faith & Grace because of the negative connotations of piece…

Marigold is so lovely & is on my list! I wouldn’t want to use a name that’s a huge part of pop culture but popularity doesn’t kill a name for me…just strong associations.

Abby Says:

December 22nd, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Taz, that’s a good point about the difference between popularity and strong associations. Ava is wildly popular, but I don’t associate any particular figure with the name. Madison is very mermaid to me … so that makes me see her in a different light.

Agent99 Says:

December 22nd, 2012 at 11:10 pm

According to a paper I found Cosette may come from Cozette.

I’m not up for translating this because it’s pretty lengthy and multiple kidney stones have been kicking my butt so I’m exhausted but here is the link should anyone else want to:

Agent99 Says:

December 23rd, 2012 at 4:13 am

I hope that link is accurate but I cannot open it on my phone and I’ve been avoiding posting because at times I’ve been in a Vicodin haze and apparently say or do weird things but I’ve also heard Cosette might be related to “causette” the French word for chatter and found an interesting comment I will cut and paste in case I’m not making much sense

“It may also be related to the French word ’causette’ meaning “chat”, reflecting the quality of being talkative. It is a credible suggestion since her real name, Euphrasie, is derived from the Greek for “good talker”, the preffix ‘eu’ suggesting abundance. As a real given name, Cosette is more probably a variant of Cozette, which is an old pet form of Nicole.”


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