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). 

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.

Henry

August 11, 2014 § 11 Comments

ORIGIN:
From German, meaning “home-ruler” or “leader of the army”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Amerigo, Amery, Anri, Arrigo, Emmerich, Emery, Emory, Enrico, Enrique, Enzo, Hal, Hank, Harald, Harold, Harri, Harry, Heimrich, Heinrich, Heinz, Hennie, Henny, Henri, Hendrik, Hendry, Henning, Henrik, Henryk, Herrold, Herry, Imre, Imrich, Imrus, Ric, Rico, Rik, Rikki, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Uncle Henry, one of the several relatives who always give in to Dolly’s pleading, in “The Youngest Miss Lorton”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).
Henry Arden, Cannie’s minister father, who lacks the strength for life on a New England farm, in A Little Country Girl (1885), by Susan Coolidge.
Henry Biltmer, owner of the small ranch Thea visits in Arizona, in The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (written in 1915 and set in the 1890s).
Henry Pierre Bowdoin, Esther’s artist father, in “Esther Bodn”, from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).
Henry Dashwood, father to our heroines Elinor and Marianne, their younger sister Margaret, and their selfish and greedy half-brother John, in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (set between 1792-1797, published in 1811).
Henry de Lindsay, one of Sir Peter and Lady Constance’s two sons, in The Door in the Wall (written in 1949 and set sometime between 1327-1377), by Marguerite de Angeli.
Henry Giles, Israel Thomas’ son-in-law, who joins in the watch over the Creighton farm when it’s threatened by Guy Wortman and his gang, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).
Henry Jameson, “a trader without a heart”, in The Harvester (1911) by Gene Stratton Porter.
Henry Knightley, the oldest of John and Isabella’s children, the heir of Donwell Abbey should Mr. Knightley never wed and have children of his own, in Jane Austen’s Emma (1815).
Henry Lynn, one of the Lynn brothers who are members of Mr. Rochester’s social set, in Jane Eyre, 1847, by Charlotte Bronte.
Col. Henry Mortimer, who must solve a ghostly mystery to save his son’s life, in “The Open Door” (1881), from Stories of the Seen and Unseen by Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant.
Henry Nathanmeyer, the kindly Jewish businessman whose wife serves as Thea’s patroness in Chicago, in The Song of the Lark.
Mr. Henry Woodhouse, Isabella and Emma’s father, a “much older man in ways than in years”, in Emma.

WRITERS:
– Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918), American historian and writer.
– Henry Beston (1888-1968), American writer and naturalist.
– Henry Cole (b. 1955), American children’s book writer and illustrator.
– Henry Fielding (1707-1754), English novelist and dramatist.
– Henry Green (1905-1972), pen name of English novelist Henry Vincent Yorke.
– Henry James (1843-1916), Anglo-American novelist.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), American poet and educator.
– Henry Lucy (1842-1924), English journalist and humorist.
– Henry Louis (H.L.) Mencken (1880-1956), American editor, critic, satirist, and writer.
– Henry Miller (1891-1980), American writer.
– Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), American activist, author, poet, and philosopher.

Bella

August 10, 2014 § 2 Comments

ORIGIN:
Like “Belle“, a diminutive of “Belinda”, “Beulah”, etc., or names ending in “-ella” (such as “Isabella”, “Annabella”, “Arabella“, etc.), or names ending in “-belle” (such as “Maybelle”, “Dorabelle”, etc.) Possibly from Italian, meaning “beautiful”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Arabel, Arabella, Arabelle, Amabel, Amabella, Amabelle, Anabel, Anabella, Anabelle, Annabel, Annabella, Annabelle, Bell, Belle, Belina, Belinda, Belinha, Beulah, Elizabeth, Isabel, Isabella, Isabelle, Izabel, Izabella, Izabelle, Sabella, Sabelle, Zabel, Zabella, Zabelle, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Bella, little Rosamond Carey’s favorite doll, in “Little Button-Rose”, from A Garland for Girls, by Louisa May Alcott, 1887.
Cousin Bella, who introduces Susy to the concept of Fate, without being clear on how much our actions may influence it, in “Susy’s Dragon”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).
Bella (Isabella) Knightley, the older of John and Isabella’s two daughters, in Jane Austen’s Emma (1815).
Bella (Isabella) McGilvray, 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.

Harry

August 6, 2014 § 10 Comments

ORIGIN:
Diminutive of “Harold”, “Harris”, “Henry“, “Harriet“, etc.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
For girls: Enrica, Etta, Ettie, Etty, Halle, Hallie, Harriet, Harriett, Harrietta, Harriette, Hattie, Hatty, Henrietta, Henriette, Het, Hettie, Hetty, Yetta, etc.
For boys: Amerigo, Amery, Arrigo, Emmerich, Emery, Emory, Enrico, Enrique, Enzo, Hal, Hank, Harald, Harold, Harri, Heinrich, Heinz, Hennie, Henny, Henri, Hendrik, Hendry, Henrik, Henry, Henryk, Herrold, Herry, Imre, Imrich, Imrus, Ric, Rico, Rik, Rikki, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Harry, Mr. Knightley’s butler, in Jane Austen’s Emma (1815).
Harry, a beau of one of the other shop girls in the Chicago shoe factory where Carrie first finds employment, in Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie (published in 1900; set 1889-1890s).
Harry, a boy-of-all-work at Fitzgerald and Moy’s, in Sister Carrie.
Harry, the regular desk clerk at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver, in The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (written in 1915 and set in the 1890s).
Harry,  the name of more than one of the boys Lily dates, who perhaps not-so-coincidentally often have names which rhyme with her long-absent father, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).
Harry Burbeck, a fellow Elk who will be performing in blackface for the lodge theatrical fundraiser, in Sister Carrie.
Harry Camden, the consummate gentleman, who seems everything a woman could wish for, in “What Hope Bell Found in Her Stocking”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).
Harry Dashwood, John’s little boy, for whose benefit Mrs. Dashwood and her three daughters are entirely overlooked and impoverished, in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (set between 1792-1797, published in 1811).
Harry (Harriet) Dunbar, a confident, stout-hearted girl, one of the founding members of the children’s society for the prevention of cruelty to cats, in “The Kit-Kat Club”, and who refuses to be bullied by the snobs who come into the shop in “The Little Dunbars, and Their Charming Christmas Plans”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories.
Harry Elliott, Edith’s brother, who Dolly embarrasses herself in front of, in “Dolly Varden”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories.
Harry McGarren, one of Hurstwood’s friends, the managing editor of the Times, in Sister Carrie.
Harry Quincel, a fellow Elk and friend of Drouet’s, who asks him to find a girl to star in the lodge’s theatrical fundraiser, in Sister Carrie.
Harry Warren, Marion Warren’s brother in “May Flowers”, from A Garland for Girls, by Louisa May Alcott, 1887.
Sir Harry Willing, an officer in His Majesty’s army who admires and courts the lovely Sibyl,  in “Sibyl’s Slipper”, a story of the American Revolutionary War, from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).

WRITERS:
– Harry Bates (1900-1981), American editor and writer.
– Harry Brown (1917-1986), American novelist, poet, and screenwriter.
– Harry Harrison (1925-2012), American author.
– Harry Patterson (b. 1929), English author who also published under the pen names “Hugh Marlowe”, “Jack Higgins”, “James Graham”, and “Martin Fallon”.
– Harry Bache (B.) Smith (1860-1936), American composer, lyricist, and writer.
– Harry Whittington (1915-1989), American writer.

QUOTATIONS:
– In “Tom, Dick or Harry“, a song from the 1948 Broadway musical Kiss Me, Kate by Cole Porter, Bianca and her suitors sing of her eagerness to wed: “I’m a maid who would marry / And would take with no qualm / Any Tom, Dick or Harry, / Any Harry, Dick or Tom. / I’m a maid mad to marry / And will take double-quick / Any Tom, Dick or Harry, / Any Tom, Harry or Dick!”

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