Golden Globe Names: Winners on the Red Carpet

Okay, so the Fashion Police have had their say, praising and pillorying the various gowns and guy clothes on the Golden Globes Red Carpet by designers from Armani to Zak Posen–scrutinizing everything from Charlize Theron’s sparkly headband to Evan Rachel Wood’s Christian Louboutins.

Now it’s time for us Name Police to have our turn.  Not that we would ever say anything negative about anyone’s appellation, but we did want to point out some of the award-worthy names we discovered among the cast members and characters in this year’s Golden Globe winning movies and TV shows.


AdrianaAdriana is the beautiful fantasy mistress of artists Braque, Modigliani and Picasso, played by Marion Cotillard, in Woody Allen’s Midnight in ParisA lovely Italian name that is perfectly at home in English-speaking countries.

AmaraAmara Miller is the 11-year-old actress who plays George Clooney’s precocious daughter Scottie King in The Descendents—her first movie role.  Amara is a strong, sweet, stylish name that means “lovely forever.”

Cora—The Rt. Hon. Cora, Countess of Grantham, is the American-born mistress of Downton Abbey, played by the American-born actress Elizabeth McGovern. Cora is a gentle, old-fashioned name that has recently been rejuvenated.

DjunaDjuna Barnes is one of the real-life Parisienne icons who resurface in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. The exotic name, pronounced JOO-na, has long been associated with that early 20th century American novelist, but we can see it being adopted by cutting-edge baby namers.

InezInez is the insensitive fiancée of leading character Gil (Owen Wilson) in Midnight in Paris. A name that is both familiar and yet somewhat mysterious, Inez has the additional appeal of that final, striking ‘z’ sound.

MorenaMorena Baccarin went from playing an alien on V to a human Army wife on Homeland. Morena is an Italian name meaning ‘brown-haired’ and is particularly popular in Argentina.

MorningMorning Randolph is the sexy young blonde character on the TV show Episodes, whose name might have been assigned to her with tongue firmly in cheek.  Still, this is one of the time-related word names that might be considered an option these days.

Octavia—Actress Octavia Spencer won the well deserved Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role of Minny Jackson in The Help. The ancient Roman name Octavia could make a strong, attractive and musical alternative to the widely used Olivia.

PeppyPeppy Miller is the charming leading lady played by Bérénice Bejo in the award-winning French silent film The Artist.  But is Peppy enough of a full first name for a real-life girl?  We’d suggest Poppy or Piper or Pippa instead.

Rosamund—Lady Rosamund Painswick (mother of Lavinia and Cyril) is a typical Downton Abbey name.  After long having been thought of as strictly British, the delicate Rosamund—also spelled Rosamond—is beginning to make some inroads here.

Tamsin—British actress Tamsin Greig plays writer Beverly Lincoln on Showtime’s Episodes, for which Matt LeBlanc won a GG for playing Matt LeBlanc.  Tamsin—originally a condensation of Thomasina—is a practically unheard of English name, which we happen to love.


HughHugh Bonneville inhabits the role of Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham and pater familias of Downton AbbeyBoth Hugh and Hugo have been making a comeback onto modern babies’ birth certificates.

IdrisIdris Elba, formerly of The Wire, won for his powerful performance as BBC Detective John Luther.  Idris is a Welsh name related to Arthur and to a mythological giant, well used in France but virtually unheard here.  Could it follow the path to popularity of Isla?  And speaking of that, we do know a wonderful (female) poet named Idris.

Laurent—There are two Laurents in the cast of Midnight in Paris, one of whom plays Leo, the brother of Gertrude Stein.  This French version of Lawrence (the ‘t’ is silent), has a lot of potential as a more interesting Uncle Larry namesake.

Levi—In the TV show Enlightened, Levi is the name of the ex-husband of Laura Dern’s character, played by Luke WilsonLevi is one of the fastest rising biblical boys’ names, now ranking at #70.

LudovicLudovic Bource won the Golden Globe for Best Original Score for the film The Artist—a silent movie in which the music had to do double duty. Ludovic is the medieval Latinized form of Ludwig, and is the full name of Harry Potter character “Ludo” Bagman.

MarcialMarcial Di Fonzo Bo is the name of the actor who played Pablo Picasso in the prize-winning Woody Allen movie.  Marcial is a Latin name that is more unusual than Marco, Marcel –or Marshall.

MercMerc Lapidus is the mercurial television network president on the Showtime show Episodes.  Is it short for MercuryMercer?  Mercutio?  Ya got me.

NolanNolan Gould is the child actor who plays the young and innocent Luke Dunphy as a member of the prize-winning ensemble cast of Modern Family. Nolan has been climbing steadily up the popularity ladder, now at #104, partially inspired by pitcher Nolan Ryan.

OlivierLaurence Olivier appears as a character in My Week with Marilyn, and Olivier Rabourdin plays Paul Gauguin in Midnight in Paris. A name that definitely adds some French flair to the more prosaic Oliver.

Rico—The amiable young actor Rico Rodriguez plays Manny Delgado on TV’s Modern Family.  The dashing Rico is a common Latin nickname for Ricardo, but is often used on its own, as is the increasingly popular Nico.

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14 Responses to “Golden Globe Names: Winners on the Red Carpet”

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Poppy528 Says:

January 19th, 2012 at 1:25 am

Wow great post! I love basically all the names from Midnight in Paris (sigh, we saw it IN Paris on honeymoon, it got out at midnite & we walked home in the rain). Okay, specifically I love Inez, Laurent, Olivier, and Zelda. 

petra.j Says:

January 19th, 2012 at 1:40 am

Like Poppy528 I also love Zelda! From the list my favs are Octavia (I’ve loved this for so long, I’d be so sad to see it reach Olivia-style popularity!) and Djuna.

minorbeatrice Says:

January 19th, 2012 at 2:27 am

I absolutely love Rosamund. Cora is very pretty as well.

mmljar Says:

January 19th, 2012 at 7:04 am

I like Tamsin. Isn’t it Cornish? (I know that is in England but it is a little different than English).

Maple10 Says:

January 19th, 2012 at 7:37 am

I Los midnight in Paris! Another name I heard in that movie- Delphine. So lovely!

venividivici Says:

January 19th, 2012 at 7:38 am

I love how my name is on a lot of lists on here. Most people, when they meet me, are like “that’s a weird name”. Granted, I spell it with a ‘y’ instead of an ‘i’ (because my mom didn’t want the word ‘sin’ in my name), but it’s nice to see it actually coming, more-or-less, into style. It’s funny to think that my parents combined two fads: tryndee spellings with old-fashion names.

bluedahlia Says:

January 19th, 2012 at 8:28 am

Neat post. I love Idris and Inez,(I adore Zelda too!)
Tamsin and Bérénice are lovely.
I am liking Hugh and Cora lately too.

jessesgirl Says:

January 19th, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Great post with lots of good names!
Girls, names I like from this post:
Djuna, Peppy, Rosamund & Tamsin
Hugh and Hugo, Olivier & Rico

PrincessNoriBori Says:

January 19th, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Ohh, I hope Cora and Octavia don’t get “revived”! I ADORE the name Cora, and I ADORE Downton Abbey, and Cora (granted, as an nn for Cordelia), and I really hope it doesn’t get popular!

agirlinred Says:

January 19th, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Nolan Gould’s character is Luke Dunphy, not Murphy. 🙂

I adore Amara, Cora, and Octavia.

miloowen Says:

January 19th, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Tamsin is one of my most favourite girls’ names. It is Cornish, but one can also find it as Tamasin in medieval England. I also like Adriana and Octavia, Rosamund, and two of the three sisters in Downton, Sybil and Edith. Could Peppy be a nn for Josephine in that Pepe/Peppino is for Jose/Josep/Giuseppe?

I love Hugh, esp. the nn Hughie. Idris, Laurent, and Lev are also names I like, along with Downton’s more staid Robert, William, and Thomas (rare that Thomas is a bad guy!). The two guys I’ve known named Rico were Federico and Alarico.

linda Says:

January 19th, 2012 at 8:46 pm

to agirlinred: Thanks–I’ll change Murphy to Dunphy right now.

vintage79 Says:

January 22nd, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Lavinia isn’t really the daughter of Rosamund on Downton Abbey, is she? (Unless I’ve missed something).

I started to like the name Sybil because of the character (the youngest daughter on Downton). I also love Cora and Violet (Maggie Smith is awesome).

peach Says:

January 22nd, 2012 at 7:12 pm

in reply to vintage79: no Lavinia is not related to Rosamund in Downton Abbey. Lavinia is Matthew Crawley’s fiancée.

I loved Sybil, Cora, Rosamund (and Hugh) before the show but the character’s personalities just make me love the names more!

Octavia is stunning. I would like to see it take over from Olivia as an “O” name.

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