By Any Other Name: Writers Named Barbara

May 31, 2015 § 1 Comment

There are well over a hundred writers named “Barbara“, and here is a by-no-means complete list:

Barbara Amiel (b. 1940), English journalist, socialite, and writer.
Barbara Anderson (1926-2013), New Zealander novelist and short story writer.
Barbara Angell (b. 1935), Australian entertainer and writer.
Barbara Barrie (b. 1931), American actress and author.
Barbara Baynton (1857-1929), Australian novelist, poet, and short story writer.
Barbara Brackman (b. 1945), American author and historian.
Barbara Taylor Bradford (b. 1933), Anglo-American novelist.
Barbara Bray (1924-2010), English critic and translator.
Barbara Ninde Byfield (1930-1988), American children’s book author and illustrator.
Barbara Cartland (1901-2000), English businesswoman, composer, dramatist, playwright, romance author, and socialite, who also published under the pen name “Barbara McCorquodale”.
Barbara Chase-Riboud (b. 1939), American artist, novelist, and poet.
Barbara Christian (1943-2000), American author and professor.
Barbara Colley (b. 1947), American mystery and romance author who sometimes publishes as “Anne Logan”.
Barbara Comyns (1907-1992), pen name of English artist and novelist Barbara Comyns Carr.
Barbara Cooney (1917-2000), American children’s book author and illustration.
Barbara Coudenhove-Kalergi (b. 1932), Austrian journalist.
Barbara Crossette (b. 1939), American author and journalist.
Barbara Cully (b. 1955), American poet.
Barbara Daly (b. 1939), American romance author.
Barbara Delinsky (b. 1945), American romance author who also publishes under the pen names “Billie Douglass” and “Bonnie Drake”.
Barbara Deming (1917-1984), American activist and writer.
Barbara Ehrenreich (b. 1941), American activist and author.
Barbara Epstein (1928-2006), American editor.
Barbara Field (b. 1935), American playwright.
Barbara C. Freeman (1906-1999), English children’s book author and illustrator.
Barbara Frischmuth (b. 1941), Austrian poet and writer.
Barbara Garson (b. 1941), American activist, author, and playwright.
Barbara Gowdy (b. 1950), Canadian novelist and short story writer.
Barbara Guest (1920-2006), American poet and writer.
Barbara Hambly (b. 1951), American novelist and screenwriter.
Barbara Hamby (b. 1952), American author, critic, editor, and poet.
Barbara Hannah (1891-1986), English author, biographer, lecturer, and psychotherapist.
Barbara Henning (b. 1948), American author and poet.
Barbara Grier (1933-2011), American publisher and writer who also used the pen name “Gene Damon.”
Barbara Grizzuti Harrison (1934-2002), American essayist, journalist, and memoirist.
Barbara Haskell (b. 1946), American curator and historian.
Barbara Haworth-Attard (b. 1953), Canadian children’s book author.
Barbara Honigmann (b. 1949), German artist, author, director, and dramatist.
Barbara Howes (1914-1996), American poet.
Barbara Jefferis (1917-2004), Australian novelist.
Barbara Jelavich (1923-1995), American author, historian, and professor.
Barbara Johnson (1947-2009), American critic, scholar, translator, and writer.
Barbara M. Joosse (b. 1949), American children’s book author.
Barbara Jordan (b. 1949), American poet and professor.
Barbara Kingsolver (b. 1955), American essayist, novelist, and poet.
Barbara Ann Kipfer (b. 1954), English author, lexicographer, and linguist.
Barbara La Marr (1896-1926), American actress and screenwriter.
Barbara Lefcowitz (b. 1935), American poet and professor.
Barbara Levick (b. 1931), English author and historian.
Barbara McMartin (1931-2005), American environmentalist, historian, and mathematician.
Barbara Moraff (b. 1939), American poet.
Barbara Nickel (b. 1966), Canadian poet.
Barbara Owens (1934-2008), American mystery author.
Barbara Park (1947-2013), American children’s book author.
Barbara Parker (1947-2009), American mystery author.
Barbara Paul (b. 1931), American mystery and science fiction author.
Barbara Pym (1913-1980), English novelist.
Barbara Ras (b. 1949), American poet, publisher, and translator.
Barbara Jane Reyes (b. 1971), American poet.
Barbara Reynolds (1914-2015), English author, lexicographer, scholar, and translator.
Barbara Ann Reynolds (b. 1942), American author and journalist.
Barbara Leonard Reynolds (1915-1990), American activist, author, and educator.
Barbara Robinson (1927-2013), American children’s book author, poet, and short story writer.
Barbara Rose (b. 1938), American critic and historian.
Barbara Rosenthal (b. 1948), American artist, performer, and writer.
Barbara Katz Rothman (b. 1948), American author, professor, and scholar.
Barbara Samson (b. 1975), French activist and poet.
Barbara Santucci (b. 1947), American artist, children’s book author, and poet.
Barbara Seaman (1935-2008), American activist, author, and journalist.
Barbara Seranella (1956-2007), American novelist.
Barbara Skelton (1916-1996), English memoirist, novelist, and socialite.
Barbara Smith (b. 1946), American activist, critic, lecturer, publisher, scholar, teacher, and writer.
Barbara Herrnstein Smith (b. 1932), American critic and scholar.
Barbara Probst Solomon (b. 1928), American author, essayist, and journalist.
Barbara Stephens (1922-1947), American journalist.
Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger (b. 1955), German historian.
Barbara Thiering (b. 1930), Australian historian, scholar, theologian, and writer.
Barbara Euphan Todd (1890-1976), English children’s book author and poet.
Barbara Trapido (b. 1941), English novelist.
Barbara Margaret Trimble (1921-1995), English mystery and romance author who published under the pen names “Barbara Gilmour”, “B.M. Gill”, and “Margaret Blake”.
Barbara Turner (b. 1936), American actress and screenwriter.
Baroness Barbara Von Krüdener (1764-1824), German author and mystic.
Barbara G. Walker (b. 1930), American activist and author.
Barbara Wiedemann (b. 1945), American poet and professor.
Barbara Willard (1909-1994), English children’s book author and novelist.
Barbara Wood (b. 1947), American romance author who also publishes under the pen name “Kathryn Harvey”.
Barbara Wright (1915-2009), English scholar and translator.
Barbara Yorke (b. 1951), English historian.


By Any Other Name: Writers Named Laura

May 31, 2015 § 1 Comment

There are many, many writers named “Laura“, with a seeming preponderance of novelists. Here is a starter for you:

Laura Albert (b. 1965), American author who also published under the pen names “Emily Frasier”, “Gluttenberg”, “JT LeRoy”, “Laura Victoria”, and “Speedy”.
Laura Adams Armer (1874-1963), American artist, author, and photographer.
Laura Bynum (b. 1968), American novelist.
Laura Cereta (1469-1499), Italian humanist and writer.
Laura Frankos (b. 1960), American author and columnist.
Laura Freixas (b. 1958), Spanish columnist, novelist, and short story writer.
Laura Furman (b. 1945), American author and editor.
Laura Gallego García (b. 1977), Spanish fantasy and science fiction author.
Laura Anne Gilman (b. 1967), American fantasy author.
Laura Crafton Gilpin (1950-2007), American activist, nurse, and poet.
Laura Hardy (1937-2000), pen name of English romance author Sheila Holland, who also published as “Charlotte Lamb”, “Sheila Coates”, “Sheila Lancaster”, and “Victoria Wolf”.
Laura Hillenbrand (b. 1967), American author and non-fiction writer.
Laura Chapman Hruska (1935-2010), American editor, lawyer, novelist, and publisher.
Laura Jones (b. 1946), Australian screenwriter.
Laura Kasischke (b. 1961), American author and poet.
Laura Lamson (1948-2008), American lecturer and screenwriter.
Laura Jean Libbey (1862-1924), American novelist.
Laura Lippman (b. 1959), American mystery author.
Laura Beatrice Mancini (1821-1869), Italian poet.
Laura McCullough (b. 1960), American editor, poet, and writer.
Laura J. Mixon (b. 1957), American engineer and science fiction author, who also publishes under the pen name “Morgan J. Locke”.
Laura Moriarty (b. 1952), American novelist and poet.
Laura Moriarty (b. 1970), American novelist.
Laura Mullen (b. 1958), American poet.
Laura Numeroff (b. 1953), American children’s book author and illustrator.
Laura Orvieto (1876-1955), Italian children’s book author.
Laura Resnick (b. 1962), American fantasy author.
Laura E. Richards (1850-1943), American author, biographer, children’s book writer, and poet.
Laura Salverson (1890-1970), Canadian novelist.
Laura Redden Searing (1839-1923), American columnist, journalist and poet, who published under the pen name “Howard Glyndon”.
Laura Amy Schlitz (b. 1955), American children’s book author.
Laura Veccia Vaglieri (1893-1989), Italian scholar and writer.
Laura Wade (b. 1977), English playwright.
Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957), American author and memoirist.
Laura Wilson (b. 1964), English crime author.

Endangered or Extinct First Names

May 31, 2015 § 1 Comment

Here we have a couple of articles talking about first names which are disappearing (click here for some articles on endangered or extinct last names). Maybe it’s time to stage a renaissance? At the very least, these are some good resources for anyone looking for a name which has classic appeal, but is nevertheless unique in today’s world. As always, click through to the articles to see rankings, popularity peaks, and other information on the names!

25 Names That Are Going Extinct

“We started by crunching the numbers to find a list of baby names that were at least somewhat popular in 1950 (more than 1,000 per 1 million babies). Next, we tracked which of those names had nearly vanished by 2013.”

Baby Names on the Verge of Extinction

“These 15 names were given to only five babies each in 2013, the lowest number counted by the Social Security Administration. Once usage dips below that, they become the dodo birds of baby names.”

Cecil, Bertha and Gertrude — Britain’s ‘Endangered’ Names Revealed

“Many of the nation’s most traditional names are at risk of dying out according to a report released today by family history website Ancestry, which reveals forenames that have virtually disappeared over the last 100 years and many more that have become ‘endangered’.”

Baby Names on the [Australian] Extinction List

“Mums and dads, will you take one for the country and name your kids any of these to keep them from extinction?”

Names that made the various lists:

For boys: Arnold, Bernard, Bill, Bruce, Cecil, Clarence, Clifford, Cyril, Donald, Elmo, Ernest, Fred, Gary, Harold, Herbert, Horace, Ian, Icarus, Inigo, Leslie, Llewellyn, Neil, Nigel, Norman, Percy, Remus, Roland, Rowland, Sherwood, Sydney, Trevor, Waldo, Walter, Willie

For girls: Alpha, Ann, Barbara, Barbra, Bertha, Blodwen, Carol, Cathy, Cheryl, Claudine, Debbie, Debra, Dianne, Dolores, Doris, Dorothy, Edna, Ethel, Eveline, Fanny, Freda, Gail, Gertrude, Gladys, Glenda, Gwendoline, Helen, Hilda, Irene, Jackie, Jane, Janet, Janis, Jeanne, Jennie, Jill, Judith, Kay, Leslie, Lilian, Lizzie, Lynda, Marcia, Margaret, Margery, Marjorie, Marion, Marsha, Mary, Maud, Maureen, Mildred, Muriel, Nanette, Nellie, Pamela, Phyllis, Rhoda, Rhonda, Roberta, Sandra, Sandy, Sheba, Sheryl, Sondra, Sue, Thisbe, Vickie, Wanda, Winifred, Zelma

Most Popular Last Names in the U.S.

May 30, 2015 § Leave a comment

“Baby name trends can change wildly from generation to generation, but last names tend to stick around. . . . For each name, we created state-by-state heat maps and racial breakdowns. A few of the patterns and regional differences might surprise you.”
Click through to the article to see the rankings, and to learn more:

America’s 21 Most Popular Last Names (Plus Maps and Charts for Each)

The names (in alphabetical order, not order of popularity) are:
Anderson, Brown, Davis, Garcia, Hernandez, Jackson, Johnson, Jones, Lopez, Martin, Martinez, Miller, Moore, Rodriguez, Taylor, Thomas, Thompson, Smith, White, Williams, Wilson

Related article: “The 18 Whitest Last Names in America” (which would you guess is number one?):

Fox, Hansen, Hoffman, Kelley, Meyer, Miller, Myers, Olson, Peters, Peterson, Ryan, Schmidt, Snyder, Stone, Sullivan, Wagner, Weaver, Wood

The 7 Types of English Last Names

May 29, 2015 § Leave a comment

As the linked article says, “There are perhaps 45,000 different English surnames, but most had their origins as one of these seven types.” Click through to see explanations and lists of examples for each type:

There Are 7 Types of English Surnames — Which One Is Yours?

1. Occupational.
2. Describing a personal characteristic.
3. From an English place name.
4. From the name of an estate.
5. From a geographical feature of the landscape.
6. Patronymic, matronymic, or ancestral.
7. Signifying patronage.

The Meanings of 62 Last Names

May 29, 2015 § Leave a comment

This Mental Floss video gives the meanings of 62 different last names, including the language or country of origin. Click through to find out what they are:

List Show: 62 Last Name Meanings

Names that made the list:
Adams, Allen, Anderson, Baker, Baxter, Becker, Brown, Campbell, Carter, Clark, Cohen, Cook, Cooper, Evans, Fox, Garcia, Gomez, Green, Hall, Hill, Hoffman, Jackson, Johnson, Jones, Kim, King, Lee, Lewis, Li, Lopez, Lynch, Martinez, Miller, Moore, Muller, Murphy, Myers, Novak, Oleson, Olsen, Parker, Perry, Phillips, Roberts, Robinson, Rodriguez, Rogers, Russell, Schmidt, Schneider, Smith, Stewart, Taylor, Thomas, Thompson, Torres, Turner, Walker, Weber, White, Wilson, Wright, Young

On “Stealing” Baby Names

May 28, 2015 § Leave a comment

The linked articles discuss the etiquette of “stealing” baby names. Personally, I don’t think there’s any such thing. No one “owns” a name, and I don’t understand feeling affronted at the very notion of having more than one child of that name in your circle. You and your child are not such special special snowflakes that you get to claim ownership of words; come up with some nicknames and get over yourself.

(Also, parents who are hellbent on giving their children a “unique” name have apparently never spoken to people who have grown up with “unique” names. It’s not as delightful as you seem to think it is.)

Etiquette Hell: Stealing Baby Names

Battle of the Baby Name: Dear Prudence advises a woman incredibly hurt that another couple gave their baby a name similar to her baby’s name.

Most Popular Baby Names, 2014 (Canadian Edition)

May 24, 2015 § Leave a comment

Wondering which names made the top ranking for last year, eh? Wonder no more. The linked article lists ’em all, from #1 to #100. Did your name make the cut?

Top 100 Baby Names in Canada 2014

In alphabetical order (you’ll have to click through to the article for the rankings!), the names are:

For boys: Aaron, Adam, Aiden, Alex, Alexander, Alexis, Andrew, Anthony, Antoine, Austin, Benjamin, Bentley, Blake, Brayden, Caleb / Kaleb, Cameron, Carter, Charles, Chase, Christopher, Cole, Colton, Connor, Cooper, Daniel, David, Declan, Dominic, Dylan, Edward, Eli, Elijah, Elliot, Emmett, Ethan, Evan, Felix, Gabriel, Gavin, Grayson / Greyson, Hayden, Henry, Hudson, Hunter, Isaac, Jace / Jase, Jack, Jackson / Jaxon / Jaxson, Jacob, James, Jayden, Jeremy, John, Jonathan, Jordan, Joseph, Joshua, Justin, Landon, Leo, Levi, Liam, Lincoln, Logan, Luca, Lucas / Lukas, Luke, Marcus, Mason, Mateo, Mathis, Matthew, Max, Michael, Muhammad, Nathan, Nathaniel, Nicolas / Nicholas, Noah, Nolan, Oliver, Owen, Parker, Riley, Ryan, Ryder, Samuel, Sebastian, Simon, Theo, Thomas, Tristan, Tyler, Victor, Vincent, William, Wyatt, Xavier, Zachary / Zackary, Zack

For girls: Abigail, Adele, Addison / Addyson, Alexa, Alexandra, Alexis, Alice, Alicia, Alyssa, Amelia, Anna, Annabelle, Aria, Arianna, Aubrey, Audrey, Ava, Avery, Beatrice, Brooke, Brooklyn, Camille, Charlie, Charlotte, Chloe, Claire, Clara, Coralie, Elizabeth, Ella, Emily, Emma, Eva, Eve, Evelyn, Faith, Florence, Gabriella, Gabrielle, Georgia, Grace, Hailey, Hanna / Hannah, Harper, Isabella, Isabelle, Isla, Ivy, Jade, Jasmine, Jessica, Julia, Juliette, Justine, Lauren, Layla, Lea / Leah, Leanne, Leonie, Lillian, Lily, Lucy, Mackenzie, Madison, Maelie, Maeva, Maika, Marianne, Maya / Mia / Mya, Megan, Melodie, Mila, Morgan, Naomi, Natalie, Nevaeh, Nora, Oceane, Olivia, Paige, Peyton, Rachel, Romy, Rosalie, Rose, Rowan, Ruby, Sadie, Samantha, Sarah, Savannah, Scarlett, Sofia / Sophia, Sofie / Sophie, Stella, Sydney, Taylor, Victoria, Violet, Zoe / Zoey


May 24, 2015 § 1 Comment

Anglicization of “Inés”, the Italian or Spanish version of “Agnes“.

Annice, Annis, Aune, Iines, Ines, Nainsi, Nance, Nancie, Nancy, Nensi, Nes, Neske, Nessie, Nessy, Nest, Nesta, Neysa, Oanez, Ynes, etc.

Inez Carew, the actress Carrie replaces for her first big break, in Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie (published in 1900; set 1889-1890s).

Inez Baskin (1916-2007), American activist and journalist.
Inez Hogan (1895-1973), American children’s book author and illustrator.
Inez Holden (1903-1974), English journalist, socialite, and writer.
Inez Haynes Irwin (1873-1970), American activist, author, and journalist who sometimes published as “Inez Haynes Gillmore”.


May 24, 2015 § 5 Comments

From the Hebrew name “Binyamin”, meaning “son of the south” or “son of the right hand”.

Ben, Beniamin, Beniamino, Benj, Benja, Benji, Benjie, Benjy, Bennie, Benny, Benyamen, Beryamen, Binyamin, etc.

Benjamin Hardin Creighton (b. 1832), oldest of the Creighton children, “left for Californy 1849”), in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).
– Middle name of Matthew Benjamin Creighton, Ellen’s husband and Jethro’s father, a well-respected farmer of integrity and compassion, in Across Five Aprils.
Benjamin Norton, the president of the trolley company Hurstwood attempts to work for, in Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie (published in 1900; set 1889-1890s).

Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), English novelist and politician.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), American activist, author, diplomat, inventor, politician, publisher, scientist, and statesman.

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