Bonny

August 4, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Alternate spelling of “Bonnie”, from the Scottish word, meaning “pretty”, derived from the French word for “good”. Also a diminutive of names that start with “Bon-“, such as “Bonita”, etc.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Bon, Bona, Bonne, Bonni, Bonnibel, Bonnibelle, Bonnie, Bonita, Buena, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Bonny, Lily’s beautiful and beloved pet cocker spaniel, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

WRITERS:
Bonny Hicks (1968-1997), Singaporean model and writer.

Sandra

August 4, 2015 § 2 Comments

ORIGIN:
Diminutive of “Alexandra” / “Alessandra”, the feminine version of “Alexander“; popularized by George Meredith in his novel Emilia in England (1864; republished in 1887 as Sandra Belloni).

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Alastriona, Ale, Alejandra, Aleksandra, Aleksandrina, Alessa, Alessandra, Alexandra, Alexia, Alexis, Ali, Alix, Alley, Alli, Allie, Ally, Andra, Lesya, Ola, Oleksandra, Ondra, Sandi, Sandie, Sandy, Sandrina, Sandrine, Sasha, Saundra, Shandra, Shondra, Shura, Sondra, Szandra, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Sandra, a schoolmate of Lily’s, who is afraid of Lily’s pet cocker spaniel, Bonny, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

Igor

August 4, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Russian variation of “Ingvar”, from the Old Norse “hero” name “Yngvarr”, meaning “warrior of the god Yngvi-Freyr“; sometimes used as a variation of “George“.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Ingvar, Ingvarr, Yngvar, Yngvarr, Yngvi, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Igor, the (possibly false) name of more than one of Uncle Len’s mysterious friends, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

WRITERS:
Igor Akimushkin (1929-1993), Russian writer and zoologist.
Igor M. Diakonoff (1915-1999), Russian historian, linguist, scholar, and translator.
Igor Goldkind (b. 1960), American lecturer, poet, science fiction author, and writer.
Igor Guberman (b. 1936), Russian-Israeli poet and writer.
Igor Marojević (b. 1968), Serbian novelist, playwright, short story writer, and translator.
Igor Severyanin (1887-1941), Russian poet.
Igor Škamperle (b. 1962), Slovenian essayist, novelist, sociologist, and translator.
Igor Štiks (b. 1977), Croatian author, editor, reporter, and scholar.
Igor Talankin (1927-2010), Russian director and screenwriter.
Igor Torkar (1913-2004), pen name of Slovenian poet, playwright, and writer Boris Fakin.
Igor Yefimov (b. 1937), Russian-American philosopher, publisher, and writer who also publishes as “Andrei Moscovit”.

Josef

August 4, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
German, Scandinavian, or Czech variation of “Joseph“.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Beppe, Giuseppe, Jo, Joe, Joep, Joey, Jojo, Joop, Joos, Jos, José, Joseph, Josephus, Josip, Osip, Pepe, Pepito, Peppe, Peppi, Peppino, Pino, Seph, Sepp, Sjef, Youssef, Zef, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Josef Shaine, Lily’s grandfather, who married Etka to “share her interests”, not to gain a subservient housewife, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

Berta

August 2, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Variation of “Bertha“; or a diminutive form of names like “Alberta”, “Roberta“, etc.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Alberta, Albertina, Albertine, Auberta, Berchta, Berdi, Berdie, Berdy, Berdina, Berhta, Berit, Bert, Bertha, Berthe, Berti, Bertie, Bertille, Bertina, Berty, Birdi, Birdie, Birdy, Burti, Burtie, Burty, Elberta, Elberte, Elbertina, Elbertine, Elbertyna, Hrothbeorhta, Hrothberta, Hrothbertina, Hrothnerta, Perda, Perde, Perdi, Perdie, Perdy, Pirda, Pirde, Pirdi, Pirdie, Pirdy, Purda, Purde, Purdi, Purdie, Purdy, Perchta, Perta, Perte, Perti, Pertie, Perty, Pirta, Pirte, Pirti, Pirtie, Pirty, Purta, Purte, Purti, Purtie, Purty, Roberta, Robertia, Robertina, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Great Aunt Berta, Lily’s elderly relative and Becky’s sister, who is aware their nephew died of heart failure months ago, but has kept the news from her sister, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

WRITERS:
Berta Behrens (1850-1912), German novelist who published under the pen name “Wilhelmine (W.) Heimburg”.
Berta Bojetu Boeta (1946-1997), Slovene actress, poet, and writer.
Berta Golob (b. 1932), Slovene librarian, poet, teacher, and writer.
Berta Hader (1890-1976), American children’s book author and illustrator.
Berta Ruck (1878-1978), British memoirist and novelist.
Berta Zuckerkandl (1864-1935), Austrian critic, journalist, and writer.

Etka

August 2, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Unknown; possibly a Russian variation of “Edna” or “Esther“.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
See Edna, I suppose. Perhaps Etta or Ettie?

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Etka (or Esther or Edna) Kroll Shaine — “Esther in Hebrew, Edna in English, and Etka in Russian” — Lily’s increasingly-senile grandmother in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

Edna

August 2, 2015 § 3 Comments

ORIGIN:
Possibly an Anglicized version of the Gaelic “Eithne”, meaning “kernel”, or from Hebrew, meaning “pleasure” or “rejuvenation”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Aithne, Edena, Ednah, Eithne, Ena, Enya, Ethna, Ethne, Etna, Idina, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Edna (or Esther or Etka) Kroll Shaine — “Esther in Hebrew, Edna in English, and Etka in Russian” — Lily’s increasingly-senile grandmother in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

WRITERS:
Edna Anhalt (1914-1987), American screenwriter.
Edna Buchanan (b. 1938/39), American crime author, journalist, and novelist.
Edna Ferber (1885-1968), American novelist, playwright, and short story writer.
Edna (E.) Mayne Hull (1905-1975), Canadian science fiction author.
Edna Iturralde (b. 1948), Ecuadorian children’s book author.
Edna Lewis (1916-2006), American author and chef.
Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950), American poet and playwright who also published under the pen name “Nancy Boyd”.
Edna O’Brien (b. 1930), Irish memoirist, novelist, playwright, poet, and short story writer.
Edna Osser (1919-2005), American songwriter.
Edna Staebler (1906-2006), Canadian author and journalist.

Galahad

July 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
A name of unknown origin used in the Arthurian romances (written in Norman French), and associated with the ideals of “purity” and “nobility”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Um . . . Gal, maybe? Eh, maybe not . . .

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Galahad, the rumored brother of Guinevere, one of the “irregular” children at Lily’s school, presumed to come from a “very well-educated if not sanitation-minded home”, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

Guinevere

July 23, 2015 § 3 Comments

ORIGIN:
French version of the Welsh “Gwenhwyfar”, meaning “smooth and white” or “white-cheeked”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Gaenor, Gaynor, Genevra, Geneva, Ginevra, Guenevere, Guenievre, Guinever, Gwen, Gwenevere, Gwenhwyfar, Gwenni, Gwennie, Gwenny, Gwenyver, Janelle, Jen, Jena, Jenae, Jenelle, Jenessa, Jeni, Jenifer, Jenna, Jenni, Jennie, Jennifer, Jenny, Jinelle, Jin, Jinessa, Jini, Jinifer, Jinni, Jinnie, Jinny, Yenifer, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Guinevere, one of the “irregular” children at Lily’s school, presumed to come from a “very well-educated if not sanitation-minded home”, where she is rumored to have a brother named Galahad, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

WRITERS:
Guinevere Turner (b. 1968), American actress and screenwriter.

Linda

July 22, 2015 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
Meaning “soft” or “tender”, a diminutive of names ending with “-linda” or “-linde”: e.g., “Belinda”, “Melinda”, “Rosalinda”, “Sieglinda”, etc. Also associated with the Spanish word, meaning “pretty”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Lin, Lindall, Lindell, Lindie, Lindsay, Lindsey, Lindsie, Lindy, Linette, Linn, Linne, Linnet, Linnette, Linnie, Linsay, Linsey, Linsie, Lyn, Lyndee, Lyndi, Lyndie, Lyndsay, Lyndsey, Lyndsie, Lynette, Lynn, Lynna, Lynne, Lynnette, Linza, Lynda, Lynzee, Lynzie, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Linda, 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).
Linda, one of the other “irregular” children at Lily’s school, so deemed because of her pink plastic prosthetic arm, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

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