Connie

October 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Diminutive of “Constance“.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Constance, Constantia, Constanza, Constanze, Konstancja, Konstanze, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Connie Turner, the little girl who Lady Mary appears to in order to right a sad wrong, in “Old Lady Mary” (1884), from Stories of the Seen and Unseen by Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant.

Sandy

October 25, 2014 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
For boys, a diminutive of “Alexander“, etc. For girls, a diminutive of “Alexandra”, “Sandra“, etc.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
For girls: Sandie, Sandrine, Sasha, Sassa, Saundra, Shura, Sondra, Sondrine, Szandra, Xandra, Zandra, etc.
For boys: Sacha, Sander, Sandor, Sandro, Sascha, Saunder, Sawney, Sender, Shura, Skender, Xander, Zander, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Sandy Jarvis, the coachman at Brentwood, who is able to give Col. Mortimer some information regarding the haunting of the ruined estate, in “The Open Door” (1881), from Stories of the Seen and Unseen by Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant.

WRITERS:
– Sandy Frank (1954-2014), American comedy and television writer.
– Sandy Wilson (1924-2014), English composer and lyricist.

Jeanie

October 25, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Diminutive of “Jean”, a medieval variation of “Jane“.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Jean, Jeane, Jeanne, Jeannie, Jeanette, Jeanine, Jeannette, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Miss Jeanie, one of Aunt Mary’s friends, in “The Library Window” (1896), from Stories of the Seen and Unseen by Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant.
– Jeanie Mortimer, one of Roland’s sisters in “The Open Door” (1881), from Stories of the Seen and Unseen.

Agatha

October 25, 2014 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
From the Greek word “agathos”, meaning “good”, by way of the Latin name “Agathe”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Agata, Agathe, Agda, Agi, Aggie, Aggy, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Agatha Mortimer, one of Roland’s sisters in “The Open Door” (1881), from Stories of the Seen and Unseen by Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant.

WRITERS:
– Agatha Christie (1890-1976), English crime novelist, playwright, and short story writer.

Roland

October 25, 2014 § 4 Comments

ORIGIN:
Germanic, meaning “famous land”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Laurand, Laurant, Laurend, Laurent, Lorend, Lorent, Lorand, Lorant, Roel, Roeland, Rolan, Rolando, Rolland, Rollie, Rolly, Roly, Rowland, Rowle, Rowley, Rowlie, Orland, Orlando, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Roland Mortimer, the kind-hearted boy whose concern for a lost soul nearly destroys him, in “The Open Door” (1881), from Stories of the Seen and Unseen by Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant.

WRITERS:
– Roland Leighton (1895-1915), English poet and soldier.

Some Less-Popular Historical Baby Names

October 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

Proof that there have always been parents who want to bestow “unique” names on their progeny. Pity the poor little Spurgeons and Hildreds of years past!

“If you’re looking for a baby name and want something truly original, but with historical precedent, here’s your list:

The Least Popular American Baby Names, According to Early Records” (click through to see where they ranked, and to see more unpopular baby names of yesteryear!)

YEAR – BOY NAMES & GIRL NAMES
1880 – Handey & Parthenia (Sheesh, parents, what are you trying to get at, naming your son “Handey”?)
1881 – Okey & Erie (It’s okay to admire a canal, but maybe don’t name your daughter after it.)
1882 – Ab & Dove (Because sometimes it just takes too long to write “Abe”.)
1883 – Commodore & Lovey (It’s like they were prepping a 1970s soft-rock group . . . )
1884 – Spurgeon & Kathern (“Um, doctor, I think it’s spelled Katherine–” “Shut up, I know what I’m doing!”)
1885 – Fount & Icy (“Fount”? “Icy”? Was there something in the water?)
1886 – Squire & Texie (For when you hope your child will grow up to be a character in a 1950s movie musical.)
1887 – Bliss & Lockie (“Bliss”? Who knew there were hippies in the 1880s?)
1888 – Boss & Indiana (“We named you ‘Junior’; we named your sister ‘Indiana’!”)
1889 – Starling & Easter (Lived in the same commune as Bliss, and probably Dove.)
1890 – Lawyer &  Pinkey (Hmm, I wonder what little Lawyer’s folks hoped he’d grow up to be?)
1891 – Manley & Chestina (Was there a sudden influx of machismo in the 1890s?)
1892 – Little & Odell (Nobody had told Little’s parents that he would, eventually, grow.)
1893 – Orange & Leafy (That commune is still going strong!)
1894 – Flem & Ova (The parents overheard the doctors and nurses discussing cases in the hallway . . . )
1895 – Toy & Sister (Presumably Sister is the youngest of a large brood and the parents had simply run out of ideas. And I hope someone told Toy’s parents that he was, in fact, a real baby.)
1896 – Josephine & Clifford (The year of the Great Gender Switch!)
1897 – Henery & Florance (“Um, doctor, I believe it’s Henry and Florence–” “Didn’t I tell you I know what I’m doing?”)
1898 – Pleasant & Tiny (My, weren’t those parents in for an eventual surprise! Doesn’t everyone know not to tempt fate like that?)
1899 – Fate & Cuba (Speaking of “tempting Fate”, how sick do you suppose he got of jokes like that? Also, here we can see the dangers of choosing a baby name from current headlines . . . )
1900 – Gorge & Electa (“Um, doctor, I believe it’s spelled George— oh, never mind.”)
1901 – Joesph & Buelah (“*cough*Joseph*cough*Beulah*cough*”)
1902 – Rolla & Bama (Time traveling Southerners?)
1903 – Ples & Capitola (“Ples”? “Capitola”? Really?)
1904 – Council & Pearly (Possibly Council is Capitola’s little brother?)
1905 – Son & Wava (Guess what name they’d have gone with if it’d been a daughter? Yeah, probably not “Wava”.)
1906 – Virgle & Carry (Scrawled in pencil in the nurse’s handwriting are the names Virgil and Carrie.)
1907 – Geo & Arizona (Indiana’s daughter?)
1908Lillian & Lilyan (Here’s hoping they were twins, because that would be weirdly adorable!)
1909 – Murl & Flonnie (The nurse tried to correct Merle, but didn’t have the faintest idea what to do about Flonnie . . . )
1910 – Lemon & Classie (Orange’s little brother? And something about “Classie” seems like an aspirational choice . . . )
1911 – Wash & Lavada (I’m sensing a real “cleanliness” theme, here, 1911 . . . )
1912 – Christ & Almeta (Taken together, this sounds like a bit inappropriate? Christ Almeta!)
1913 – Louise & Louis (The Great Gender Switch II!)
1914 – Stephan & Vella (1914 was a year for smooth operators.)
1915 – Mayo & Dimple (Pretty sure their parents were preparing for a vaudeville act . . . )
1916 – Green & Golden (And under “What color will you be painting the nursery?” the exhausted parents put “Dudley” and “Millicent“.)
1917 – Elza & Loyce (The nurse thought of correcting it to Ezra and Luce, but at this point she was pretty sure the doctor was just messing with her . . . )
1918 – Curley & Ivory (Possibly Curley’s parents were psychics who foresaw the 1943 Broadway musical Oklahoma!, and Ivory’s parents just really, really liked soap.)
1919 – Metro & Louvenia (Time-traveling hipsters?)
1920Berry & Merry (Here’s hoping these were also twins!)
1921 – Reno & Glendora (When there was a short-lived law that all children had to be named after towns in the American Southwest . . .)
1922 – Author & Gaynell (Oddly, Author grew up to be a dentist. And Gaynell was an extra in three Hollywood films in the late 1930s.)
1923 – Burley & Dorathy (Burley’s parents were Manley and Chestina, of course. And the nurse didn’t even try to fix Dorothy, because she felt she was getting far too old for this stuff . . . )
1924 – Dorman & Mardell (Their parents had visions of plush bellhop, elevator operator, or movie theater usher uniforms dancing in their heads.)
1925 – Buddie & Bobbye (Later the stars of a collection of detective novels for children. Gee whiz!)
1926 – Wardell & Willodean (It’s like they were trying to give their children names they could change once they reached Hollywood . . . )
1927 – Estel & Gregoria (The nurse tried explaining to the parents that they could just as easily have named the boy “Gregory” and the girl “Estelle” if they really wanted their children to be named after them, but they were too exhausted and stunned by the arrival of twins to understand . . . )
1928 – Gust & Hildred (We’ll overlook Gust in the commune to note that combining “Mildred” with “Hilda” is something you only do to people you hate.)
1929 – Vester & Jettie (Time-traveling Goths?)
1930 – Otho & Charlsie (Why would you give your children those names? Do you want them to end up in an Agatha Christie murder mystery?)
1931 – Early & Ferne (The commune is fading, but still has some stragglers . . . Also, guess what name Early would have ended up with if he’d been born after 9pm?)
1932 – Dock & Jack (For when you want both of your children to grow up to be hard-boiled detectives in a gritty film noir. None of this namby-pamby “Buddie and Bobbye, Kid Detectives” stuff for you!)

Nance

October 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Shortened version of “Nancy“, or a medieval Cornish place name, meaning “valley”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Nainsi, Nan, Nancie, Nana, Nancy, Nanice, Nannie, Nanny, Nanse, Nansi, Nansie, Nansy, Nenci, Nensi, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Nance, one of the hounds belonging to Sir Peter’s family in The Door in the Wall (written in 1949 and set sometime between 1327-1377), by Marguerite de Angeli.

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