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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Will the Name Marigold Become a Huge Hit?

Kym writes:
Hubby and I are expecting our sixth child, a girl, sometime this October. We are calling her Marigold - a name I've loved since the sixth grade and a name that hubby has grown to love, too. It has take me (not hubby) a good while to grow brave enough to use this name, because I'm sure there will be raised eyebrows and chatter behind our backs, but the name has finally solidified for me and to us, our daughter is already Marigold. There is no other name I love (except for the names we've already given our other daughters.) Now, my only concern is that I was told there is a new NBC show premiering in September in which there is a girl guessed it....Marigold. I've confirmed this; it is true. I am a tad worried that there will be a huge influx of Marigolds being born in the next few years, not to mention how many will think we named our October daughter after the girl in the September show. It's rather bumming me and I need some input. Will this very uncommon name become a huge hit?


...I suppose I shouldn't be so definite. Violet, after all, has done quite a journey up the ranks recently. But I still say no for Marigold: I think it's a charming name, it's on my own list, and I think it's more likely to stay unusual---if not QUITE as unusual as before.

I think there will be at least a little jump from the show, because many people who have never even heard of the name Marigold will now suddenly have it brought to their attention---but I think there will be a lot of people who HAVE heard of it who will say "Oh, shoot; well, now that it's in a show I don't want to use it anymore." I also think that if the show is a success, you will have to deal with the occasional or even frequent "Oh, like the show?" But you will say, "No, we chose the name before the show came out," and that will be the end of it. And maybe the show will tank and it won't even be an issue at all.

Keep in mind, of course, that many a person has made many a prediction that looks very, very silly later on. "Oh, computers will never take off!" "Television is just a fad!" "Madison? That's the perfect ha-ha name for the crazy mermaid to choose, since no one would ever ACTUALLY use it!" There IS the risk that the time is absolutely ripe for a name like Marigold (books and TV shows often tap into incoming trends, rather than being the cause of them), and that the show will rocket it to the top. I'd put my money on a small spike that works in your favor by giving the name a pleasing normality/familiarity that keeps people from acting like you named your daughter Tulip or Hydrangea---but I could easily be absolutely wrong.

It sounds like it doesn't really matter, though, if your daughter is already Marigold to both of you. It's too bad about the show, but it doesn't seem like you'd want to change her name on the off-chance that it will be a serious problem.

Let's have a poll over to the right to collect others' predictions. [Poll closed; see results below.]

Name update! Kym writes:
Well, here she is...our little flower, Marigold! Not one person has made any association with "that" TV series yet, and I'd say a good 98% of the people who hear her name absolutely LOVE it. So that makes for a happy momma (though I'd be happy regardless). Marigold was born in October and after choosing her name, we learned that the flower for the month of October is....the marigold! Fancy that. :)

Thanks all for your comments!


Anonymous said...

My daughter is named Wren...which in some circles is completely unusual and quirky. The fact that the "Baby Blues" comic strip includes baby Wren helps familiarize even older generations to the name. When I introduce my daughter and get a face of misunderstanding (like clearly I must have misheard, because no sane person would name their child that) it is easy to say "like in the comic strip". This usually is a good association for people and warms them up to the name immediately.
I think you will experience the same situation. Marigold is a great name and this will hopefully help familiarize others to it (not to actually use it themselves). I say stick with it!

Lyly said...

The way tv is now that show could be gone by Christmas. Use it

Leslie said...

I agree that Marigold is a fantastic name. It's sunny, sweet, and spunky in a wonderful way. I think you should use it!

I agree with Swistle and a previous poster; even IF the show does become a huge hit (and, given the small percentage of shows that do, this is unlikely), it will most likely only increase people's pleasant feelings around the name in a "oh, I never thought of that name before, but it's pretty" kind of way. It might cause a slight uptick in the use of the name, but it's unlikely to be a flood.

Some possible TV name analogies I wondered about: Temperance (from the show Bones) is finally on the SSA list of a 1000 names, but it's only entered at number 941 in 2011. Even Willow (from Buffy), while ultimately more popular, took several years to climb the charts, and is still only at 202 on the SSA chart. I hope this helps.

Clarabella said...

This reminds me of what seems to be happening with the name "Magnolia." Three years ago when my friends named their daughter Magnolia, I'd never heard the name except on a tree. Now, I hear it a lot more often, but it has not detracted from it being my friends' daughter's name; instead, it's made me more familiar with it.
I can see the same happening with Marigold, which is a lovely, lovely name.

Umiyyad said...

In Britain, marigolds are a brand name for rubber gloves used for doing dishes etc. it's such a strong association that people use the name to refer to that sort of glove, whatever brand they are. As in, "I always wear marigolds to do dishes."

It's not a bad association, just makes me think it more unlikely the name will catch on here.

Nedra said...

I don't think the name will take off, but to avoid the "oh, you named your kid after a TV show?" reaction, I would start telling people about your choice now. If you are absolutely certain, then it's fine to reveal it early, in my opinion, and it will ensure that people know that this was your idea before the show. Also, I don't know anything about the show, but if the TV Marigold is super annoying or something, it might help to have people start thinking of it as your baby's name before they make other associations based on the series.

gail said...

Really, I'm bewildered that anyone even has time to watch TV given everything else there is to do! Go with the name you love.

Bethany Haid said...

NBC sitcoms aren't a good enough reason to nix your name. I cannot think of one that has done well since... Friends?

Ad I want some clarity about what crazy mermaid was named Madison?

NellaBean said...

L.M. Montgomery (author of the Anne of Green Gables books) wrote a delightful little book in 1929 about a girl named Marigold. I've always liked that name!

Swistle said...

Bethany- The name Madison comes from the movie Splash, where a mermaid played by Daryl Hannah is trying to pass for human. Someone asks her her name, she looks around frantically for inspiration, she sees a street sign for Madison Ave., she says her name is Madison. At the time, it was as if she'd said her name was Jefferson, or Wall. But it caught on.

Butterflyfish said...

Marigold = AWESOME, television show or no.

I'd be very interested to know your other kids' names, since you have great taste.

Teej said...

I am so glad somebody already mentioned L.M. Montgomery's "Magic for Marigold." Love that book! And I love the name because of it!

AirLand said...

I think you should totally use it.

But I understand your being hesitant. We wanted to use the name Aurora for our soon-to-be-born baby. But, then I learned that a new Sleeping Beauty movie was coming out soon. I think Disney movies would have more of an effect on people's naming choices than other shows/movies (Not to mention I have a Disney princess name myself). And, Aurora has already been rising in popularity.

I think that's the difference though with Marigold- it's not at all popular now. Like another poster said, the tv show will probably just make people more familiar with it, which isn't a bad thing.

Lawyerish said...

My daughter's name is Felicity. As you may know, there was a very popular show on the WB network in the late 1990s called "Felicity."

My daughter was born in 2010, so it was well after the show ended, but when I was pregnant I looked up the name's popularity on a name-tracker. When the show was very popular, the name had a spike in usage, but even then it was still WAY out of the top 100. I'm not sure it's ever been even close to the top 100 -- more like the top 1000. Like Marigold, it's a pretty unique (though classic!) name, so it's relatively underused. And no one has ever asked me if my daughter's name had anything to do with the show.

I hope that helps! I think you should use Marigold. It's lovely.

Laura said...

The name that immediately came to mind when I read your dilemma was the name "Blossom". I don't know your age (this may date me a little) but the TV show Blossom was relatively popular for a short time and I don't think that name ever caught on. There may be a tiny jump but I think in the long run, Marigold is a sweet and timeless (and woefully underused!) name similar to other flower names like Rose and Lily. Use it!!

jill said...

congratulations and now you will have to buy her the book chrysanthemum by kevin henkes.

may said...

Now THAT is an adorable picture. Congratulations! Marigold is a great name. (And Mari is a great nickname, if you need one.) : )

marigold cobbina said...

wooooow am called marigold.... And guess what... Am an october born. Geez i never knew marigold flower is for october... Your baby will be a beauty becoz all marigolds are.... Goldy all de way