Without a doubt, one of my favourite words in the English lexicon is mollycoddled. So delightful bizarre a word, yet I adore it so.

The origins of the word doesn’t exactly give us a million reasons to love the name Molly: according to Oxford dictionaries the word originates in two parts from circa that 19th century:

  • the first, molly, has a dual meaning of girl/prostitute
  • the second, coddle, is older from maybe the 16th century, probably deriving as a dialect variant of the now-obsolete word caudle, a word based upon the Latin word caldum meaning hot drink.

The world mollycoddle itself means to treat someone in an overprotective way, for those confused, and indeed lends Molly well to the character of Mrs Weasley in the Harry Potter books. Whether or not J.K. is a fan of the word remains unclear, however.

It could just be that she picked a popular name, as the name Molly is a mainstay favourite in England&Wales, having consistently ranked within the Top 50 since 1996, although she sadly seems to be tailing off at the moment, having fallen from a peak of #15 in 2001 to #46 in 2011. There seems a very real chance she’ll eventually fall outside the Top 50 next year.

The name Molly still has one over the name she originates from, given that Mary is now sitting down at #250. That’s a long way from her glory days, although Mary was last in the #1 spot in 1914, which is nigh on a century ago now. Sound-alike Polly sits just behind at #274.

Molly to me is an unusual name in that she rocks the childish, girly name thing well, but also doubles up as an awesome-hugger mama name with ease.

That’s the Lou way of saying that Molly works well on all ages.

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