Hannah

August 17, 2014 § 10 Comments

ORIGIN:
From the Hebrew name “Channah”, meaning “favor” or “grace”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Aina, Ana, Anabel, Anabela, Anabell, Anabella, Anabelle, Anais, Anca, Ane, Aneta, Ania, Anica, Anika, Aniko, Anita, Anja, Anka, Anna, Annabel, Annabela, Annabell, Annabella, Annabelle, Annabel, Anne, Annetta, Annette, Anneli, Anni, Annica, Annick, Annie, Annika, Anniken, Annikki, Annukka, Annushka, Annuska, Anny, Anushka, Anya, Chanah, Channah, Hana, Hanna, Hanne, Hannele, Hania, Hena, Henda, Hendel, Hene, Henye, Jana, Janna, Joanna, Joanne, Johanna, Johannah, Nainsi, Nan, Nancie, Nancy, Nanette, Nannie, Nanny, Nina, Ninon, Ona, Onna, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Hannah, a houseservant at the Elliston’s, in “Major Molly’s Christmas Promise” from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).
– Hannah, the servant in the Rivers household, in Jane Eyre, 1847, by Charlotte Bronte.
– Hannah, “a civil, pretty-spoken girl”, housemaid at Randalls and daughter of Mr. Woodhouse’s coachman, James, in Jane Austen’s Emma (1815).
– Aunt Hannah, who might be a fallback matron for Hope should something happen to Mrs. Bell, in “What Hope Bell Found in Her Stocking”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).

WRITERS:
– Hannah Arendt (1906-1975), German-American political theorist and writer.

QUOTATIONS:
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Elizabeth” (published in 1873, but set in 1701-02; from Tales of a Wayside Inn, Part the Third: The Theologian’s Tale) tells the love story of John Estaugh (1676-1742) and Elizabeth Haddon (1680-1762), with her servants Joseph and Hannah as supporting characters, and Hannah described thusly: ” . . . Hannah the housemaid / Laughed with her eyes, as she listened, but governed her tongue, and was silent, / . . . Hannah the housemaid, the thrifty, the frugal . . . / . . . for a season was silent the penitent housemaid; / . . . Nothing was heard for a while but the step of Hannah the housemaid / Walking the floor overhead, and setting the chambers in order. / And Elizabeth said, with a smile of compassion, ‘The maiden / Hath a light heart in her breast, but her feet are heavy and awkward.’ / . . . Hannah the housemaid, the homely, was looking out of the attic, / Laughing aloud at Joseph, . . . / . . . Hannah the housemaid / Diligent early and late, and rosy with washing and scouring, / Still as of old disparaged the eminent merits of Joseph, / And was at times reproved for her light and frothy behavior, / For her shy looks, and her careless words, and her evil surmisings, / . . . And not otherwise Joseph, the honest, the diligent servant, / Sped in his bashful wooing with homely Hannah the housemaid; / For when he asked her the question, she answered, ‘Nay;’ and then added: / ‘But thee may make believe, and see what will come of it, Joseph.'”

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