Tom

July 30, 2014 § 5 Comments

ORIGIN:
Shortened form of “Thomas“, Greek form of the Aramaic for “twin”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Tam, Thom, Toma, Tomas, Tommie, Tommy, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Tom, Maggie Bradford’s cousin, who calls her a “chit of a girl”, in “May Flowers”, from A Garland for Girls, by Louisa May Alcott, 1887.
Tom, one of the servants at Randalls, in Jane Austen’s Emma (1815).
Tom, one of Susy’s brothers, whose kite-flying she finds distracting, in “Susy’s Dragon”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).
Cousin Tom, who teases Molly Gair about her love of fine dresses, in “Molly Gair’s New Dress”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories.
Tom Branghton, the loutish son of Madame Duval’s (and Evelina’s) cousins, the crude, ill-mannered Branghton clan, in Evelina, or, The History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World (1778), by Fanny Burney.
Tom Cinqbars, subject of one of Rawdon’s sporty stories in Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray (published in 1847-48, but set in the 1810s-20s).
Tom Colt, the “young pup” who hopes to steal Alice away from Jim, in “The Tragedy of the Unexpected”, from Nora Perry’s The Tragedy of the Unexpected and Other Stories (published in 1880, but set in the 1870s).
Tom (Thomas) Creighton (b. 1843), Jethro’s older brother, who, at just 18 years of age, runs off to join the Union Army, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).
Tom Drinker, one of Johnny’s acquaintances, an apprentice at one of the shops on the wharf, in Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (written in 1943; set during the years leading up to the American Revolutionary War, 1773-1775).
Tom Eaves, a city man full of gossip about Lord Steyne, in Vanity Fair.
Tom (Thomas) Faggus, the roguishly charming highwayman whose relation to the Ridd family gives them both prestige and trouble, in Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackmore (written in 1869, set in the 1670s-1680s).
Tom Fleming, Ally’s uncle, who ought to have paid more attention, in “Ally”, from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).
Tom Grieves, the handyman who works for the Gilbreth family in Cheaper By the Dozen (1948) and Belles on Their Toes (1950), written by Frank Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey.
“Doctor Tom” (Dr. Thomas Harrison), who specializes in mending children’s hurt limbs, in “The Story of Little Syl”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories.
Tom Joy, Berry’s brother, who fortunately takes after his father, in A Little Country Girl (1885), by Susan Coolidge.
Tom Lloyd, Marge and Elsie’s cousin, an amateur artist, in “The Egg-Boy” from A Flock of Girls and Boys.
Tom Marin, a neighbor from Rose Hill who comes to help the Creightons with their barn-raising, in Across Five Aprils.
Tom Moody, Sir Huddleston Fuddleston’s huntsman, in Vanity Fair.
Tom Posky, one of the soliders of the regiment in Vanity Fair.
Tom Raikes, one of Becky’s more forward conquests, in Vanity Fair.
Tom Raymond, Will Wentworth’s good-natured chum, in “That Little Smith Girl” from A Flock of Girls and Boys.
Tom Rivington, friend of the Gray girls and Berry Joy, George Rivington’s brother, in A Little Country Girl (1885).
Tom Stubble, a young ensign under Capt. William Dobbin’s command in Vanity Fair.
Tom Tufto, a relative of Sir George Tufto’s in Vanity Fair.

WRITERS:
Try this link for a starter list of writers named “Tom”.

QUOTATIONS:
– “Tom” and “Tommy” are fairly common names used in nursery rhymes such as “Tom, Tom, the piper’s son
– In “Tom, Dick or Harry“, a song from the 1948 Broadway musical Kiss Me, Kate by Cole Porter, Bianca and her suitors sing of her eagerness to wed: “I’m a maid who would marry / And would take with no qualm / Any Tom, Dick or Harry, / Any Harry, Dick or Tom. / I’m a maid mad to marry / And will take double-quick / Any Tom, Dick or Harry, / Any Tom, Harry or Dick!”

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