Monday, October 3, 2011


Today's name: Coriander (unisex)

Pronunciation: KOR-ee-AN-der

Potential nicknames: Cor, Cori, Corie, Cory, Andie, Andy, Ander, Anders, Corian, Corin

Origin: From the Old French word coriandre, from the Latin coriandrum, from the Greek koriannon, this word has been around for a long time. According to Wikipedia, the earliest attested use was the Mycenaean Greek word ko-ri-ja-da-na, reconstructed as koriadnon, similar to the name Ariadne. (Ariadne was Mino's daughter.) That said, coriander has a long, rich history of use. Coriander is an annual herb native to southern Europe, North Africa and southwestern Asia. The leaves are known as cilantro and the seeds as coriander. Both cilantro leaves and coriander seeds are used as spices. Coriander seeds are traditionally used internationally for medicinal properties such as settling anxiety and ridding insomnia.

Popularity: There were no baby boys or girls named Coriander in 2010 or 2011 and it has not been in the top 1000 in at least 11 years, but probably not ever. However, there were also a lot of Cori/Cory/Corie's as stand-alone names.

Fun fact: (1) I find no hard evidence to suggest coriander means "romance" like some sites suggest. (2) Coriander seeds, as a spice, may be familiar to some, but still quite rare to others. If you're concerned about someone calling you out on naming your baby after a spice, names like Sage and Saffron are rising steadily in popularity. Babies have been named much weirder, and this name/spice has a long, long history, with the ultra-cute nickname of Cori. Not to mention it sounds like Alexander. I think that justifies it.


1 comment:

  1. It's quite ironic that Coriander would be considered a very brave choice in the UK because coriander is the usual name of the herb here. Meanwhile, we Brits might get away with Cilantro, which, I suspect, would be considered really way-out in the US...

    I love the herb and all its names. ;)