Love the nickname Coco, but not sure it stands on its own? You’re not alone! The name marries style and an upbeat sound, but what are the best formal names for Coco?
Coco Chanel was born Gabrielle, but in recent years several high profile birth announcements have featured the name. Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon named their daughter Coco Hayley in 1994. More recently, Courteney Cox turned her childhood nickname, based on her initials, into her daughter’s name – Coco Riley.
83 girls were named just Coco in 2015.
But there are plenty of other possibilities for formal names for Coco.
Formal Names for Coco: Familiar Co- Choices
Colette – Originally a feminine form of Nicholas, Colette feels tailored, French, and nickname-proof. But if you were looking for a pet name, Coco might make an obvious choice.
Cosette – A Les Mis possibility with the requisite sound.
Colleen – Irish favorite Colleen has faded in recent years, but could easily shorten to Coco.
Constance – Underused virtue name Constance comes from a Latin word meaning steadfast. Retiring dated nickname Connie in favor of upbeat Coco might breathe new life into this name.
Consuelo – Back in 1877, William Vanderbilt named his daughter Consuelo in honor of her half-Cuban godmother. The heiress’ marriage to the Duke of Marlborough epitomized America’s glittering Golden Age. The name originates with a Spanish title for Mary: Nuestra Señora del Consuelo, Our Lady of Consolation. Consuelo’s repeating ‘o’ makes it one of the most obvious formal names for Coco.
Coralie, Coraline – All of the Cora names possess the requisite Co, but the longer ones – like Coralie and Coraline – seem mostly likely to serve as formal names for Coco.
Corinne, Corinna – More Cora names that make sense with Coco.
Cordelia – Shakespeare gave this name to Lear’s loyal daughter. Like many a Shakespearean name, the exact origins of Cordelia are obscure. Today, it is a vintage choice enjoying a modest revival.
Formal Names for Coco: Rare Co- Choices
Corisande – Corisande makes for an even rarer literary choice. It might be a cousin to the Coras, or it might comes from corazon, the Spanish word for heart. Corisande first appears in a medieval romance in Spain, enjoyed some brief use in the 1500s, but then faded towards obscurity.
Cornelia – Cordelia and Cornelia are separated by just one letter. But while -delia feels stylish, -nelia remains in fashion limbo. Maybe it’s the threat of nickname Corny, but really, why would that ever come up when Coco is an option?
Cosima – Cosima ought to be taking off right about now. Claudia Schiffer and Sofia Coppola both gave the name to daughters in 2010. Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson’s daughter, Cosima – known as Mimi – appears in the public eye occasionally, too. The Cosmo cousin feels spacey, European, and quite stylish. But the name has never cracked the US Top 1000! The Co makes this rarity a natural for the list of formal names for Coco.
Collins – Surname name Collins first gained attention from 2009 movie The Blind Side. (It’s the teenaged daughter’s name.) Colin has become a modern staple for a son, but Collins tends to be used more for girls – opening the door for nickname Coco.
Formal Names for Coco: Co- in the Middle
Gioconda – Giocanda serves as another name for da Vinci’s masterwork Mona Lisa. It simply means “joyful” in Italian. With Giovanna on the rise, could Gioconda wear well in the US? Gia might be the natural nickname, but there’s a definite ‘co’ sound in there, too.
Jacoba, Jacobina – Long-time favorite Jacob never inspired a feminine spin-off, but Jacoba and Jacobina have potential. Cobie Smulders answers to Jacoba, but the actress could just as easily opt for Coco.
Jericho – This Biblical place name trends masculine, but it also provides a direct route to Coco.
Nicola, Nicole, Nicolina, Nicolette – All of the feminine forms of Nicholas serve as formal names for Coco. Since Nikki/Nicky/Nickie seems like a mom name nowadays, Coco makes a great alternative.
Formal Names for Coco: A Few More …
Caroline – Classic Caroline doesn’t obviously belong with formal names for Coco. But there is a C and an o – separated by an ar, of course. Still, we tend to accept a broader range of nicknames attached to the truly traditional names, so Caroline “Coco” would work.
Almost any C.C. combination – Colette Clementina. Catherine Collins. Colleen Cassidy. While we might except the initials C.C. to lead to Cece as a nickname, it’s perfectly possible to end up with Coco instead.
Do you think Coco needs a formal name? What are your favorite formal names for Coco? Are there any I’ve forgotten?
This post was originally published on November 17, 2011. It was substantially revised and re-posted on August 10, 2016.