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Quick Facts on Marcel

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • French, German, Polish, Slavic
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 799
mar-SELL (French); MAHR-tsel (Polish)
Simple meaning:
God of war; manly, virile

Characteristics of Marcel

  • Mystical
  • Wise
  • Eccentric
  • Intuitive
  • Imaginative
  • Philosophical
  • Solitary

Etymology & Historical Origin - Marcel

Marcel is most commonly thought of as the French, German and Polish form of Marcus (Mark), but it is also widely used among other Slavic people. Marcus is the original Latin form of the name Mark or Marcel, and it’s one of the oldest of Roman forenames in existence. In fact, back during antiquity and the classical era, Marcus was one of only a dozen or so given names used for boys. In the 2nd century Roman Empire, Marcus Aurelius, considered a philosopher-king and symbolizing much of what was good about Roman civilization, was the last of the “Five Good Emperors”. The etymological origin of the name is not certain. It likely comes from one of two places. The first is Mars, the Roman god of war. The second is from the Latin adjective “mas” meaning “male, virile” which essentially means the same thing. The main source of Mark or Marcel’s popularity is owed to the Evangelist and author of the second gospel of the New Testament (as in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). Marcel is probably most famously borne by French writer Marcel Proust (1871-1922) known for his epic work “À la recherche du temps perdu” (In Search of Lost Time) which stands as the longest “novel” ever written at over 4,000 pages and nearly 1.5 million words. The name Marcel also belongs to French artist Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) as well as the internationally acclaimed French mime Marcel Marceau (1923-2007). As a masculine given name, Marcel is ranked highest in Poland, Austria and Slovenia, but Marcel is also a Top 100 choice in Germany and Spain. Oddly enough, we don’t see Marcel on the French naming charts today.

Popularity of the Name Marcel

Marcel has seen relatively sporadic usage over the past 100+ years. Regardless, it’s impressive that the name has maintained consistency on the charts at all. This name appeared and disappeared on the charts in the late 1800s and early 1900s before finally sticking for good in 1911. Sustainage of Marcel on the charts has probably more to do with the immigrant population as the name is much more European than American. It has never enjoyed anything beyond low-moderate success. Helping to bolster the name’s circulation in the States are African-Americans who have embraced French sounding names from time to time (think: André, Antoine, Jermaine, Lamar and Tyrell). Two prominent African-Americans who have chosen Marcel for their baby boys are rapper/producer Dr. Dre and actress Taraji P. Henson.
Popularity of the Boy Name Marcel
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Marcel

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Marcel

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Marcel

    Marcel (Remembrance of Things Past) Marcel is the Narrator (“M.”) of Marcel Proust’s epic novel (the longest novel in world literature), first published in seven volumes between 1913 an 1927 (three posthumously), under the French title, A la recherché du temps perdu. English translations have taken the title Remembrance of Things Past, (from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 30) well as In Search of Lost Time (a more literal rendition from the French). Marcel embarks upon a long discourse of his life from childhood on, sparked by that famous madeleine dipped in tea. We are given that life in extraordinary detail, and in such a manner as to make us wonder which is fact and which is fiction. A good measure of both, no doubt. Marcel’s reminiscences of being doted upon by a child, of the wise love of a sage servant, of falling in love, of being betrayed, of matching wits with friend and foe, of observing the differences between social strata – all are shared with equal gravity. Marcel is taken with three different women (not coincidentally, they all have names that derive from the masculine), and they in turn have some irregular sexual histories. Everyone has secrets, everyone philosophizes endlessly, everyone goes to parties and gossips about each others’ lives, and everyone seems to have the time to do everything, whether of import or not, in leisure. In short, which this tome is not, this is a remembrance of times not only past, but of times that have never been, except for the – shall we say “lucky” ones – such as Marcel, of his time, of his day, and of his type. “Precious” is a word that comes to mind.

  • Popular Songs on Marcel

    Popular Songs on Marcel

    Marcel - We cannot find any popular or well-known songs featuring the name Marcel.

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Marcel

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Marcel

    Alpha and Omega: Marcel and Paddy Save the Day (Victoria Kosara) - Re-live all of the fur-raising fun of the hilarious Fall 2010 movie Alpha & Omega! Laugh along with Marcel and Paddy as they help Alpha wolf Kate and Omega wolf Humphrey make the long journey back to their pack. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Farfallina & Marcel (Holly Keller) - Once there was a caterpillar named Farfallina, whose best friend was a gosling named Marcel. They did everything together -- until one day, everything started to change. This beautiful and touching story shows that even as life takes different turns, friendship endures. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Marcel the Shell With Shoes On: Things About Me (Jenny Slate & Dean Fleischer-Camp) - Jenny Slate, the voice of Marcel, is an alum of Saturday Night Live and plays Stella on HBO's Bored to Death. Dean Fleischer-Camp is a writer, director, and animator whose work has screened at film festivals around the world. Recommended for ages 5+

    Monsieur Marceau: Actor Without Words (Leda Schubert) - Marcel Marceau, the world's most famous mime, enthralled audiences around the world for more than fifty years. When he waved his hand or lifted his eyebrow he was able to speak volumes without ever saying a word. But few know the story of the man behind those gestures. Distinguished author Leda Schubert and award-winning artist Gerard DuBois bring their own artistry to this gorgeously written and illustrated picture book biography. Recommended for ages 4-8.

  • Famous People Named Marcel

    Famous People Named Marcel

    Famous People Named Marcel - Marcel Proust (French writer); Marcel Duchamp (French artist); Marcel Marceau (French mime); Marcel Dionne (Canadian hockey player); Marcel Granollers (Spanish tennis player)

  • Children of Famous People Named Marcel

    Children of Famous People Named Marcel

    Famous People Who Named Their Son Marcel - Dr. Dre (rapper and music producer); Marion Cotillard (French actrress); Taraji P. Henson (African-American actress)

Personality of the Boy Name Marcel

The number Seven personality is deeply mystical and highly in tune with their spirituality. They operate on a different wavelength than the average joe. Spending time alone comes easily to Sevens, as it gives them time to contemplate philosophical, religious and spiritual ideas in an effort to find "real truth".  Sevens are wise, but often exude mystery as if they are tapped into something the rest of us don't understand. They love the outdoors and are fed by nature. Sevens are constantly seeking to understand human nature, our place in the universe, and the mystery of life in general. This makes them quite artistic and poetic, but they are also keen observers with high intellect - so they are equally scientific-minded. Sevens are charitable and care deeply about the human condition.

Variations of the Baby Name - Marcel

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