Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Cora

The name Cora is said to have been invented by James Fenimore Cooper for one of his central characters in his 1826 novel, “The Last of the Mohicans”. Apparently he created the name from the Greek “Korē” meaning ‘girl, maiden’ which also happens to be another euphemistic name for Persephone, the Greek goddess of the underworld. She was the beautiful daughter of Zeus and Demeter (goddess of the harvest) who was carried off against her will by Pluto down to Hades in compliance with Zeus’s orders. Upon discovering where her daughter was taken, the furious Demeter persuaded Zeus to order Pluto back with the maiden. Before returning the lovely goddess, Pluto tricked Persephone into eating a pomegranate kernel which obligated her to stay in Hades with him for part of the year. Perhaps Cooper penned the name for his heroine as a foreshadowing of her fate in the novel. In any case, the name Cora became popular in the English speaking countries during the 19th century despite her association with the queen of the underworld. Today, the name Cora is most popular in Northern Ireland.

All About the Baby Name – Cora

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME CORA

The number one personality is a leader - strong and competitive. They are willing to initiate action and take risks. One personalities work hard toward their endeavors and have the ability to apply their creative and innovative thinking skills with strong determination. They believe in their ability to succeed and are too stubborn to be hindered by obstacles. Ones meet obstacles head-on with such mental vigor and energy that you better step aside. They resent taking orders, so don't try telling them what to do either. This is an intensely active personality, but they are also known as starters rather than finishers. They have a propensity to become bored and will move quickly to the next project if not properly challenged.  They are the ones to think up and put into action new and brilliant ideas, but they are not the ones to stick around and manage them. This personality has an enthusiastic and pioneering spirit. They are distinctly original.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME CORA

Cora has maintained a spot on the U.S. popularity charts since the government first began tracking naming trends in 1880. In fact, it was back then that the name was at the height of its popularity. In 1880, Cora ranked as the 15th most favored girl’s name in America – right up there with Clara and Carrie. As we entered the 20th century, little Cora was displaying signs of a slow and steady decline, and in 1913, the name fell off the Top 100 list. The low-point of Cora’s popularity came in the 1980s during which time she came dangerously close to obscurity. Today, the name is clearly on the rebound. Like a good little soldier, she’s marching on back up the charts. Cora is a darling name and her revival is probably owed to the trend that favors turn-of-the-century “old lady” names. There’s something sweet and sassy about this fair ‘maiden’ that appeals to many American parents.

Quick Facts

ON CORA

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

American

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

127

PRONUNCIATION:

COR-a

SIMPLE MEANING:

Maiden

Characteristics

OF CORA

Independent

Individualistic

Ambitious

Strong-willed

Inventive

Successful

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Cora

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME CORA

Cora Munro is the ill-fated young girl of mixed descent in James Fennimore Cooper’s novel of the French and Indian War, The Last of the Mohicans, published in 1826 and part of his “Leatherstocking Series”. Set against the backdrop of the French and Indian War of the 18th century, the character of the dark Cora is drawn in opposition to her fair, blonde sister, Alice, both in looks and in temperament. (Picture Madeleine Stowe, who played her in the 1992 movie version.) In this alone, she stands out from the typical 19th century heroines, as a solemn and serious young woman. The object of Cora’s love in this frontier romance is the Indian, Uncas, who is one of the guides helping her and her sister reach their father at his fort. After enduring harrowing kidnappings, escapes and reunions, the doomed would-be lovers are finally killed by the Huron, Magua. As Cora and Uncas are given ritual tribal burials, the elder sage, Tamenund, speaks the prophetic words that ring true today: "The pale-faces are masters of the earth, and the time of the red-men has not yet come again...."

Popular Songs

ON CORA

Cora Is Gone
a song by Flatt and Scruggs

Darlin' Cora
a song by Harry Belafonte

Famous People

NAMED CORA

We cannot find any famous people with the first name Cora.

Children of Famous People

NAMED CORA

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Cora

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME CORA

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Cora