Selina

August 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Alternate spelling of “Selena”, a variation of “Selene”, the name of a Greek moon goddess.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Celena, Celene, Celina, Celine, Lena, Lina, Selena, Selene, Seline, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Selina Hawkins, Augusta’s older sister, whose marriage to the wealthy Mr. Suckling, owner of the Maple Grove estate, seems to be the family’s only claim to fame, in Jane Austen’s Emma (1815). 

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Augusta

August 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Feminine form of “Augustus”, meaning “majestic” or “venerable”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Gus, Gussie, Gussy, Gusta.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Augusta Brocklehurst, the second daughter of the formidable and hypocritical supervisor of Lowood Institute, in Jane Eyre, 1847, by Charlotte Bronte.
– Augusta Hawkins, the vain and self-important younger daughter of a Bristol merchant, who Mr. Elton selects for his wife after being disappointed in his first choice, in Jane Austen’s Emma (1815).

WRITERS:
– Augusta, Lady Gregory (1852-1932), Irish dramatist, folklorist, and theatre manager.

Hetty

August 21, 2014 § 5 Comments

ORIGIN:
Alternate spelling of “Hettie”, diminutive of “Henrietta“, “Hester“, “Harriet“, “Mehetabel”, etc.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Essie, Essy, Etta, Ettie, Etty, Halle, Hallie, Hattie, Hatty, Hen, Hennie, Henny, Het, Hettie, Yetta, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Miss Hetty Bates, a silly, chatty, good-hearted woman who is always delighted to talk about anything, particularly her beloved niece, Jane Fairfax, in Jane Austen’s Emma (1815).
Aunt Hetty Walker, who used to frighten young John and Bill with “witch stories” when she’d come to help Ellen with work on the farm, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).

WRITERS:
Hetty Burlingame Beatty (1907-1971), American children’s book author, illustrator, and sculptor.
Hetty Tayler (1869-1951), pen name of British author and historian Helen Tayler, who also published as “Henrietta Tayler”, and often published jointly with her brother, Alexander.
Hetty Verolme (b. 1930), Belgian-Australian author and educator.
Hetty Wright (1697-1750), pen name of English poet Mehetabel Wesley Wright, who was also known as “Kitty Wright”.

Philip

August 21, 2014 § 2 Comments

ORIGIN:
From the Greek “Philippos”, meaning “friend of horses”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Felip, Felipe, Filib, Filip, Filippos, Filippus, Flip, Phil, Phillip, Philippe, Philippos, Pilib, Pip, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Philip Canning, the narrator of “The Portrait” (1885), from Stories of the Seen and Unseen by Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant.
– Rev. Mr. Philip Elton, the handsome and seemingly-agreeable vicar of Highbury, who turns out to be rather conceited and inconsiderate, in Jane Austen’s Emma (1815).
– Philip Frederick Ottenburg (called “Fred“), the dynamic young brewing heir who launches Thea’s operatic career, in The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (written in 1915 and set in the 1890s).

WRITERS:
Philip K. Dick (1928-1982), American essayist, novelist, philosopher, and short story writer.
Philip Freneau (1752-1832), American editor, poet, and polemicist.
Philip Latham (1902-1981), pen name of American astronomer and science fiction author Robert S. Richardson.
Philip Pullman (b. 1946), British fantasy author and playwright.
Philip Roth (b. 1933), American novelist.
Philip Van Doren Stern (1900-1984), American author, editor, and historian.

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.'”

Patty

August 15, 2014 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
Alternate spelling of “Pattie” or “Paddy”; originally a variant of “Martha” (via “Mattie” / “Matty“), now commonly used as a diminutive of “Patrick” or “Patricia”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
For girls: Maddi, Maddie, Maddy, Madge, Mart, Martie, Marty, Mat, Matt, Matti, Mattie, Matty, Maud, Maude, Maudie, Midge, Pat, Patsy, Patti, Pattie, Tilda, Tilde, Tillie, Tilly, Trecia, Tresha, Tricia, Trish, Trisha, etc.
For boys: Paddy, Padraic, Padraig, Padrig, Pat, Pate, Patric, Patrice, Patricius, Patrick, Patrik, Patrizio, Patryk, Patsy, Pherick, Rick, Rickie, Ricky, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Patty, maidservant to Mrs. and Miss Bates, in Jane Austen’s Emma (1815).
– Patty Dunbar, a clever, sensible girl, one of the founding members of the children’s society for the prevention of cruelty to cats in “The Kit-Kat Club”, and originator of the idea to have a shop and sell doll clothes to raise money for the family, in “The Little Dunbars, and Their Charming Christmas Plans”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).

Isabella

August 14, 2014 § 10 Comments

ORIGIN:
Latinate version of “Isabel“, a medieval variant of “Elizabeth“.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Beileag, Bell, Bella, Belle, Belina, Belinha, Ibbie, Ibby, Ilsa, Ilse, Isa, Isabel, Isabela, Isabele, Isabell, Isabelle, Isbel, Iseabail, Isebel, Isebela, Isebele, Isebell, Isebella, Isebelle, Ishbel, Isobel, Isobela, Isobele, Isobell, Isobella, Isobelle, Issie, Issy, Izabel, Izabela, Izabele, Izabell, Izabella, Izabelle, Izzie, Izzy, Libbie, Libby, Sabella, Sabelle, Ysabel, Zabel, Zabella, Zabelle, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Isabella Knightley (called “Bella“), the older of John and Isabella’s two daughters, in Jane Austen’s Emma (1815).
– Isabella Knightley, née Woodhouse, “a pretty, elegant little woman, of gentle, quiet manners”, “a devoted wife, a doting mother”. Emma’s older sister, married to Mr. Knightley’s younger brother John, in Emma.
– Isabella McGilvray (called “Bella“), the daughter of a wash-woman and house-cleaner who lives in the tenement behind Grandpa Bennet’s house, and who Katy befriends, in “That Ridiculous Child”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).

WRITERS:
– Isabella Bird (1831-1904), English explorer, naturalist, photographer, and writer.

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