Poll

August 13, 2014 § 2 Comments

ORIGIN:
Shortened version of “Polly“, a variant of “Molly“, which is a diminutive of “Mary“. Sometimes used as a diminutive of “Pauline“, “Paulette”, etc.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Moll, Mollie, Molly, Paula, Pol, Pola, Pollie, Polly, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Family nickname for Polly Branghton, the youngest child 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.

Pierre

August 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
French version of “Peter“, from Greek, meaning “stone”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Boutros, Peadar, Pedro, Pejo, Petri, Petruccio, Petruchio, Petrus, Piero, Pierrot, Piers, Piet, Pieter, Pietro, Piotr, Peer, Per, Pere, Pero, Pyotr, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Pierre Baudouin, the art critic and lecturer whose attention makes all the difference in Esther’s life, in “Esther Bodn”, from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).
– Monsieur Pierre Du Bois, Madame Duval’s friend from France, who falls in love with the wrong woman, in Evelina, or, The History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World (1778), by Fanny Burney.

WRITERS:
– Pierre Barbet (1925-1995), one of several pen names used by French author Claude Avice.
– Pierre Loti (1850-1923), pen name of French novelist and naval officer Julien Viaud.

Moll

August 13, 2014 § 2 Comments

ORIGIN:
Shortened version of “Molly“, a diminutive of “Mary“, “Maria“, etc.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Maille, Malle, Manon, Molle, Mollie, Molly, Pol, Pola, Poll, Pollie, Polly, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– The nickname Captain Mirvan gives to his daughter Maria Mirvan, Evelina’s dearest friend, with whom she enters into London society, in Evelina, or, The History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World (1778), by Fanny Burney.

Evelina

August 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Variant of “Evelyn” or “Aveline”, from the Germanic “Avila”, possibly meaning “desired one”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Aileen, Ava, Avalina, Avaline, Avalyn, Avelina, Aveline, Avelyn, Avila, Eileen, Eva, Evalina, Evaline, Evalyn, Eve, Eveline, Evelyn, Evie, Evita, Evvie, Evvy, Lena, Lina, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Evelina Anville, the naive and unspoiled young lady whose “entrance into the world” is told, through a series of letters, in Evelina, or, The History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World (1778), by Fanny Burney.

Lucy

August 13, 2014 § 7 Comments

ORIGIN:
English version of “Lucia”, the feminine form of “Lucius”, from the Latin for “light”. Sometimes used as a diminutive of “Lucasta”, “Lucille”, “Lucinda”, “Lucretia“, “Louisa” / “Louise”, etc.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Luca, Lucasta, Luce, Lucetta, Lucette, Luci, Lucie, Lucia, Lucienne, Lucila, Lucile, Lucilla, Lucille, Lucinda, Lucinde, Lucine, Lucretia, Lulu, Luzia, Louisa, Louise, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Miss Lucy Boler, whose life is saved when her cat, Cora, alerts her to a fire, as told in “The Kit-Kat Club”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).
Lucy Miles, one of Dolly’s friends, in “Dolly Varden”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories.
Mrs. Lucy Mirvan, Lady Howard’s daughter, who carries Evelina into London society as friend and companion to her own daughter, Maria, in Evelina, or, The History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World (1778), by Fanny Burney.
Lucy Steele, a clever, manipulative, and self-serving young woman, whose beauty and shrewdness can’t quite cover for her “want of real elegance and artfulness” for those who are paying attention, in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (set between 1792-1797, published in 1811).

WRITERS:
– Lucy M. Boston (1892-1990), English novelist.
– Lucy Clifford (1846-1929), British novelist and journalist (known as “Mrs. W.K. Clifford”).
– Lucy Grealy (1963-2002), American poet and memoirist.
– Lucy Herbert (1669-1743/44), English devotional writer.
– Lucy Beatrice Malleson (1899-1973), English author who wrote under the pen names “Anne Meredith” and “Anthony Gilbert”.
– Lucy Maud (L.M.) Montgomery (1874-1942), Canadian author.
– Lucy Fitch Perkins (1865-1937), American children’s book writer and illustrator.
– Lucy Walker (1907-1987), pen name used by Australian writer Dorothy McClemans (also as “Dorothy Lucy Sanders” and “Shelley Dean”).

Arthur

August 13, 2014 § 4 Comments

ORIGIN:
Possibly Celtic, meaning “noble” or “king”, or “bear-hero”, or from Norse, meaning “Thor’s eagle”, or from a Roman last name. No one really knows. Your guess is as good as mine. Unless you are very, very bad at guessing, in which case, mine might be a little bit better.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Art, Artair, Arther, Arthie, Arthy, Artie, Arto, Artur, Arturo, Arty, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Rev. Mr. Arthur Villars, guardian to both Evelina and her mother, Caroline, in Evelina, or, The History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World (1778), by Fanny Burney.

WRITERS:
– Arthur C. Clarke (1917-2008), English writer, inventor, and explorer.
– Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), Scottish author.
– Arthur Miller (1915-2005), American essayist and playwright.
– Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch (1863-1944), English critic and writer.
– Arthur Ransome (1884-1967), English author and journalist.
– Arthur Stone (1931-2015), pen name of American crime author Ann Rule, who also published as “Andy Stack” and “Chris Hansen”.
– Arthur Stringer (1874-1950), Canadian novelist, screenwriter, and poet.

Biddy

August 6, 2014 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
Diminutive of “Bridget“, an Irish name meaning “strength” or “exalted one”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Bea, Bedelia, Bee, Biddie, Bidelia, Birdie, Birdy, Breda, Bride, Bridie, Brit, Brita, Britt, Britta, Gitta, Gittan, Gitte, Reeta, Rita, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Biddy Branghton, the peevish older daughter 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.
– Biddy Henshawe, an aunt of Willoughby’s intended bride, Miss Sophia Grey, in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (set between 1792-1797, published in 1811).
– Biddy Ryan, a disreputable old woman Marion Warren tries to help in “May Flowers”, from A Garland for Girls, by Louisa May Alcott, 1887.

Molly

August 4, 2014 § 7 Comments

ORIGIN:
Like “Polly“, a diminutive of “Mary“.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Maille, Malle, Manon, Moll, Molle, Mollie, Pol, Pola, Poll, Pollie, Polly, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Molly, an old serving-woman who works for the Ridd’s, in Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackmore (written in 1869, set in the 1670s-1680s).
Molly, the cook in the Crawley-Sharp household, who little Master Rawdon loved because she “crammed him with ghost stories at night, and with good things from the dinner”, in Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray (published in 1847-48, but set in the 1810s-20s).
Molly Barnet, “a hospital nurse with a heart”, in The Harvester (1911) by Gene Stratton Porter.
“Major” Molly Elliston, whose determination to keep a promise helps save a garrison, in “Major Molly’s Christmas Promise” from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).
Molly Gair, a resourceful and diligent young lady, in “Molly Gair’s New Dress”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).
Molly Grue, the “drab” who knows quite a lot about unicorns, in the fantasy novel The Last Unicorn (1968) by Peter S. Beagle.
Molly Jameson, Ruth’s aunt, who has borne all that she can bear, in The Harvester.
Molly (Maria) Mirvan, Evelina’s dearest friend, with whom she enters into London society, in Evelina, or, The History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World (1778), by Fanny Burney.
Molly (Mary) Porter, a shopgirl Anna Winslow helps in “May Flowers”, from A Garland for Girls, by Louisa May Alcott, 1887.
Molly Price, one of the guests the Lambert children invite for dinner, in “The Thanksgiving Guest”, from A Flock of Girls and Boys.

WRITERS:
– Molly Childers (1875-1964), Irish activist and writer.
– Molly Holden (1927-1981), English poet.
– Molly Ivins (1944-2007), American writer, political critic, and humorist.
– Molly Kazan (1906-1963), American dramatist and playwright.
– Molly Keane (1904-1996), Irish novelist and playwright.
– Molly Lefebure (1919-2013), English writer.
– Molly Elliot Seawell (1860-1916), American historian and writer.
– Molly Weir (1910-2004), Scottish actress and memoirist.

Polly

August 4, 2014 § 3 Comments

ORIGIN:
Variant of “Molly“, a diminutive of “Mary“. Sometimes used as a diminutive of “Pauline“, “Paulette”, etc.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Moll, Mollie, Molly, Paula, Pol, Pola, Poll, Pollie, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Polly, one of the Lexington girls clamoring to partner with Rab at the Silsbee country dance in Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (written in 1943; set during the years leading up to the American Revolutionary War, 1773-1775).
Polly (Mary) Clapp, daughter of the Sedley’s landlord, who bestows on Dobbin the nickname “Major Sugarplums” owing to his habit of bringing gifts for all at every visit to the house,  in Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray (published in 1847-48, but set in the 1810s-20s).
Polly Branghton (sometimes called “Poll“), the youngest child 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.
Polly Green, the nurse’s daughter passed off as the child of Sir John Belmont, in Evelina, or, The History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World.
Polly Moore, daughter of a chandler’s-shop woman, who Madame Duval uses as an example of how much life in Paris can “improve” a young lady, in Evelina, or, The History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World.
Polly Price, a generous little girl who learns about Valentines in “Polly’s Valentine” from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).
Polly Snowe, one of Farmer Nicholas’ three lively, comely daughters, in Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackmore (written in 1869, set in the 1670s-1680s).
Polly Talboys, a village girl who lives near Queen’s Crawley, in Vanity Fair.

QUOTATIONS:
– The nursery rhyme “Polly Put the Kettle On“, published in 1797: “Polly put the kettle on, / We’ll all have tea.”

Clement

August 2, 2014 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
English version of the Latin “Clemens” or “Clementius”, meaning “merciful” or “gentle”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Clem, Clemens, Clemente, Klement, Klemens, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Clement William Sheepshanks, Earl of Southdown, brother to Lady Emily and Lady Jane Sheepshanks in Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray (published in 1847-48, but set in the 1810s-20s).
– Sir Clement Willoughby, the insistent rouge (perhaps the original “NiceGuyTM”) who forces his attentions on Miss Anville, in Evelina, or, The History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World (1778), by Fanny Burney.

AUTHORS:
– Clement Clarke Moore (1779-1863), American theologian and poet.

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