Christine

August 17, 2014 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
Variation of “Christina”, from “Christiana”, the feminine form of “Christian”, meaning, you know, “a Christian”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Chris, Chrissie, Chrissy, Christa, Christel, Christelle, Christen, Christi, Christiana, Christiane, Christie, Christin, Christina, Christy, Cris, Crissi, Crissie, Crissy, Crista, Cristen, Cristi, Cristiana, Cristiane, Cristie, Cristin, Cristina, Cristine, Cristy, Crys, Cryssi, Cryssie, Cryssy, Crysta, Crysten, Crysti, Crystie, Crystin, Crystina, Crystine, Crysty, Ina, Kia, Kiki, Kilikina, Kirsi, Kirsteen, Kirsten, Kirsti, Kirstie, Kirstin, Kirstine, Kirsty, Kjersti, Kris, Krissi, Krissie, Krissy, Krista, Kristen, Kristi, Kristiana, Kristiane, Kristie, Kristin, Kristina, Kristine, Kristjana, Kristy, Kristyna, Krisztina, Krysia, Krystiana, Krysten, Krystina, Krystine, Krysty, Krystyna, Krystyne, Stina, Teena, Tina, etc. 

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Christine Lorenz, Sidney’s friend, who chooses to become a “bird in a gilded cage” and lives to regret it, in K. by Mary Roberts Rinehart (1914).

WRITERS:
– Christine Angot (b. 1959), French writer, novelist, and playwright.
– Christine Arnothy (b. 1930), French writer.
– Christine Brooke-Rose (1923-2012), English writer and critic.
– Christine de Pisan (1364-c.1430), French author and poet.
– Christine Marion Fraser (1938-2002), Scottish author.
– Christine Harris (b. 1955), Australian author.
– Christine Nöstlinger (b. 1936), Austrian writer.

Sid

August 17, 2014 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
Shortened form of “Sidney“, meaning “wide island”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
For girls: Cyd, Cydne, Cydnie, Cydney, Sid, Sidelle, Sidonia, Sidonie, Sidne, Sidnie, Syd, Sydelle, Sydne, Sydney, Sydnie, Sydonia, Sydonie, etc.
For boys: Sid, Syd, Sydney, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Sid (Sidney) Page, a brave, selfless young woman who wishes to become a nurse, in K. by Mary Roberts Rinehart (1914).

WRITERS:
– Sid Chaplin (1916-1986), English writer.
– Sid Fleischman (1920-2010), American writer.
– Sid Smith (b. 1949), English novelist and journalist.

Sidney

August 17, 2014 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
From an English place name, meaning “wide island”. Possibly an elision of the name of the French town, Saint Denis. But probably not.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
For girls: Cyd, Cydne, Cydnie, Cydney, Sid, Sidelle, Sidonia, Sidonie, Sidne, Sidnie, Syd, Sydelle, Sydne, Sydney, Sydnie, Sydonia, Sydonie, etc.
For boys: Sid, Syd, Sydney, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Sidney Page (called “Sid“), a brave, selfless young woman who wishes to become a nurse, in K. by Mary Roberts Rinehart (1914).

WRITERS:
– Sidney Lanier (1842-1881), American author, musician, and poet.
– Sidney Sheldon (1917-2007), American writer.

Tommy

August 15, 2014 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
Like “Tom“, a diminutive of “Thomas“, the Greek form of the Aramaic for “twin”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Tam, Thom, Tom, Toma, Tomas, Tommie, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Tommy Harrison, Carlotta’s touring minstrel father, in K. by Mary Roberts Rinehart (1914).
– Tommy Lambert, whose generous choice inspires Elsie, in “The Thanksgiving Guest”, from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).
– Tommy O’Flaherty, a denizen of Pump Court, in “In a Rag-Bag”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).

Grace

August 14, 2014 § 4 Comments

ORIGIN:
From the Latin “gratia”, meaning, well, “grace”, this was one of the “virtue” names created and embraced by the Puritans.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Gracie, Gracelyn, Gray.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Grace, Jenny’s older sister, also Katy Bennet’s cousin, who does not realize little Katy is not ridiculous, after all, in “That Ridiculous Child”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).
Grace Howe, Major Wade’s greatest comforter before his capture and execution as a rebel, in Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackmore (written in 1869, set in the 1670s-1680s).
Grace Irving, a “fallen woman” Sidney nurses in the hospital, in K. by Mary Roberts Rinehart (1914).
Grace Johnston, Mrs. “Livery” Johnson’s spoiled daughter, who is set up to be a rival for Thea, in The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (written in 1915 and set in the 1890s).
Grace Poole, the hired nurse whose presence at Thornfield mystifies and frightens Jane, in Jane Eyre, 1847, by Charlotte Bronte.

WRITERS:
– Grace Greenwood (1823-1904), pen name of American activist, journalist, and poet Sara Jane Clark.
– Grace Paley (1922-2007), American activist, poet, teacher, and writer.

Johnny

August 6, 2014 § 4 Comments

ORIGIN:
Diminutive of “John” or “Jonathan“. Obviously.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Eoin, Evan, Gianni, Giannino, Hans, Ian, Ivan, Janek, Jani, Janne, Jannick, Jean, Jens, Jo, Johannes, John, Johnnie, Jon, Jonas, Joni, Jovan, Juan, Juanito, Nino, Sean, Shane, Shawn, Jono, Vanya, Yan, Yannick, Yvon, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Johnny, a little blind boy at the Children’s Hospital who is befriended by Elizabeth Alden in “May Flowers”, from A Garland for Girls, by Louisa May Alcott, 1887.
Johnny Lambert, one of the children who delight in offering hospitality to those in need on the holiday, in “The Thanksgiving Guest”, from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).
Johnny Rosenfeld (sometimes called “Jack“), a florist’s delivery boy who lives down the alley near the Page’s house, and who works his way up to the position of chauffeur for Palmer and Christine Howe, in K. by Mary Roberts Rinehart (1914).
Spanish Johnny (Juan Tellamantez), a talented guitar player, one of the Mexican workmen who befriend Thea in The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (written in 1915 and set in the 1890s).
Johnny (Jonathan) Tremain, the gifted and proud teenaged hero of Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (written in 1943; set during the years leading up to the American Revolutionary War, 1773-1775).

WRITERS:
– Johnny Byrne (1935-2008), English writer and script editor.
– Johnny Mercer (1909-1976), American songwriter and lyricist.

Maggie

August 6, 2014 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
Diminutive of “Margaret“, from Greek via Latin, meaning “pearl”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Maarit, Madge, Mae, Maisie, Maisy, Maggi, Maggy, Mamie, Maret, Margaux, Marge, Margie, Margit, Margo, Margot, Margy, Marji, May, Meg, Megeen, Megan, Megen, Meggie, Meggy, Midge, Peg, Pegeen, Peggie, Peggy, Peigi, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Maggie, a maidservant in the Hurstwood household in Chicago, in Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie (published in 1900; set 1889-1890s).
Maggie Bradford, member of the Mayflower Club in “May Flowers”, from A Garland for Girls, by Louisa May Alcott, 1887.
Maggie Evans, a local Moonstone girl, in The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (written in 1915 and set in the 1890s).
Maggie Rosenfeld, Johnny’s mother, who works as a washerwoman for the ladies who live on the Street, in K. by Mary Roberts Rinehart (1914).
Maggie Schwitter, Mr. Schwitter’s insane wife, whose continued existence bars her husband and Tillie from being able to wed and find happiness in each other, in K.

Anna

August 6, 2014 § 9 Comments

ORIGIN:
From “Hannah” (as used in the Greek and Latin Old Testament), a version of the Hebrew name “Channah”, meaning “favor” or “grace”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Ana, Anabel, Anais, Andie, Andy, Aneke, Aneta, Ani, Ania, Anica, Anika, Anissa, Anita, Anitra, Anka, Anke, Ann, Annabel, Annabella, Annabelle, Anne, Anneke, Annetta, Annette, Annick, Annicka, Annie, Annika, Anniken, Annis, Anny, Anouk, Antje, Anushka, Anya, Channah, Hana, Hanna, Hannah, Hanne, Nainsi, Nan, Nancie, Nancy, Nanette, Nannie, Nanny, Nina, Ninon, Ona, Onna, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Anna Kronborg, Thea’s jealous and priggish older sister, in The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (written in 1915 and set in the 1890s).
Anna Page, Sidney’s mother, who takes in boarders to help pay the bills after her sister, Harriet, leaves to start a dressmaking business, in K. by Mary Roberts Rinehart (1914).
Anna Raymond, the girl Dolly Lorton is gossiping about when her friend Sally Ware calls her on it, in “The Youngest Miss Lorton”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).
Anna Richards, Mary Marcy’s friend and seat-mate, in “An April Fool”, from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).
Anna Snezak, co-owner (with her husband, Morris) of AnaMor Towers apartments, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).
Anna Weston, the baby girl possibly named for her mother, who signs her name “A. Weston” (née Taylor), in Jane Austen’s Emma (1815).
Anna Winslow, president of the Mayflower Club in “May Flowers”, from A Garland for Girls, by Louisa May Alcott, 1887.

WRITERS:
– Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966), pen name of Russian poet Anna Andreyevna Gorenko.
– Anna Laetitia Barbauld (1743-1825), English critic, editor, essayist, poet, and children’s book writer.
– Anna Maria Bennett (c. 1750-1808), English novelist (sometimes credited as “Agnes Maria Hall”)
– Anna Maria Bunn (1808-1889), Australian author.
– Anna Maria Falconbridge (1769-c. 1816), English writer.
– Anna Katherine Green (1846-1935), American poet and novelist.
– Anna Maria Hall (1800-1881), Irish novelist (sometimes credited as “Mrs. S.C. Hall”)
– Anna Maria Hussey (1805-1853), English scientist, writer, and illustrator.
– Anna Kavan (1901-1968), English novelist, short story writer, and painter.
– Anna Maria Lenngren (1754-1817), Swedish poet, translator, and writer.
– Anna Maria Ortese (1914-1998), Italian poet and short story writer.
– Anna Maria Porter (1780-1832), English poet and novelist.
– Anna Quindlen (b. 1953), American author, columnist, and journalist.
– Anna Maria Rückerschöld (1725-1805), Swedish author.
– Anna Seghers (1900-1983), pen name of German writer Anna Reiling.
– Anna Sewell (1820-1878), English novelist.
– Anna Maria van Schurman (1607-1678), German-Dutch engraver, painter, poet, and scholar.
– Anna Marie Wilhelmina (A.M.W.) Stirling (1865-1965), English author who published under the pen name “Percival Pickering”.
– Anna Maria Wells (c. 1794-1868), American poet and children’s book writer.
– Anna Wheeler (c. 1780-1848), Irish activist and writer.

Max

August 5, 2014 § 5 Comments

ORIGIN:
Shortened version of “Maximilian” or “Maxwell”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Mac, Mack, Maxie, Maxey, Miksa, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Max, one of Becky’s young bohemian neighbors in Pumpernickel, where Amelia, Dobbin, Jos, and Georgy visit for a while on their Grand Tour, in Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray (published in 1847-48, but set in the 1810s-20s).
– Dr. Max Wilson, Dr. Ed’s younger brother, a brilliant playboy surgeon who beguiles Sidney Page, in K. by Mary Roberts Rinehart (1914).

AUTHORS:
– Sir Max Beerbohm (1872-1956), English humorist and writer.

Jack

August 2, 2014 § 13 Comments

ORIGIN:
Diminutive of “John“, from the Hebrew meaning “Jehovah has been gracious.” Used during the Middle Ages as slang for “man”; hence “jack-of-all-trades”, etc.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Jackie, Jackin, Jacks, Jacky, Jak, Jake, Jakey, Jakie, Jakin, Jaks, Jankin, Jax, Jenkin, Jock, Jocko, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Jack, a worker and Jansen & Co., Paper Manufacturers, in “In a Rag-Bag”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).
Jack Blackball, who promises to look after young Master Rawdon while at school, in Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray (published in 1847-48, but set in the 1810s-20s).
Jack Brooks, Laura’s older brother, who sneers at her new friends until he learns to judge them better, in “Esther Bodn”, from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).
Jack Coverly, a forward young fop who is a good friend of Lord Merton, Lady Louisa’s fiancé, in Evelina, or, The History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World (1778), by Fanny Burney.
Jack (John) Elliott, Edith’s cousin, who Dolly embarrasses herself in front of, in “Dolly Varden”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories.
Jack Fahrway, Eddie’s brother, also a friend of the junior George Hurstwood, in Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie (published in 1900; set 1889-1890s).
Jack Jingly, the giant woodsman who is second-in-command to the outlaw chieftain Captain Cully, in the fantasy novel The Last Unicorn (1968) by Peter S. Beagle.
Jack Moody, Tom Moody’s son, in Vanity Fair.
Jack (John) Reed, one of Jane’s spoiled, mean-spirited cousins, in Jane Eyre, 1847, by Charlotte Bronte.
Jack Richards, Anna’s brother, in “An April Fool”, from A Flock of Girls and Boys.
Jack Roden, the Englishman who decides to try raising horses at Caryston Hall in Virginia, in Virginia of Virginia, written by Amélie Rives in 1888.
Jack (Johnny) Rosenfeld, a florist’s delivery boy who lives down the alley near the Page’s house, and who works his way up to the position of chauffeur for Palmer and Christine Howe, in K. by Mary Roberts Rinehart (1914).
Jack Spatterdash, subject of one of Rawdon’s sporty stories in Vanity Fair.
Jack Stirthepot, a local chair-mender, who is suggested to (and summarily rejected by) Keren Lemon as a possible husband, in “The Farrier Lass o’ Piping Pebworth” (written in 1887, set circa 1600), from A Brother to Dragons, and Other Old Time Tales (1888), by Amélie Rives.

WRITERS:
– Jack Anderson (1922-2005), American author, columnist, and journalist.
– Jack Beeching (1922-2001), English poet.
– Jack Bickham (1930-1997), American author.
– Jack Black (1871-1932?), pen name of an anonymous American author with great influence on the later Beat Generation.
– Jack Brooks (1912-1971), Anglo-American lyricist.
– Jack Caddigan (1879-1952), American lyricist.
– Jack Cady (1932-2004), American author.
– Jack Chalker (1944-2005), American author.
– Jack Clemo (1916-1994), English poet and writer.
– Jack Cope (1913-1991), South African editor, novelist, poet, and short-story writer.
– Jack Davies (1913-1994), English actor, editor, producer, and screenwriter.
– Jack Davis (1917-2000), Australian activist, playwright, and poet.
– Jack Douglas (1908-1989), American humorist and writer.
– Jack Dunphy (1914-1992), American novelist and playwright.
– Jack Finney (1911-1995), American author.
– Jack Foner (1910-1999), American historian.
– Jack Gelber (1932-2003), American playwright.
– Jack Germond (1928-2014), American author, journalist, and pundit.
– Jack Hemingway (1923-2000), Canadian-American conservationist and writer.
– Jack Henley (1896-1958), American screenwriter.
– Jack Higgins (b. 1929), pen name used by English author Harry Patterson, who also published under the pen names “Hugh Marlowe”, “James Graham”, and “Martin Fallon”.
– Jack House (1906-1991), Scottish broadcaster and writer.
– Jack Jevne (1892-1972), American screenwriter.
– Jack Jones (1884-1970), Welsh miner, novelist, playwright, and politician.
– Jack Judge (1872-1938), Anglo-Irish entertainer, lyricist, and songwriter.
– Jack Kahane (1887-1939), English publisher and writer.
– Jack Kent (1920-1985), American cartoonist and children’s book author and illustrator.
– Jack Kerouac (1922-1969), American novelist and poet.
– Jack Kirby (1917-1994), American comic book artist, editor, and writer.
– Jack Lindsay (1900-1990), Australian editor, translator, and writer.
– Jack London (1876-1916), American author, journalist, and social activist.
– Jack Micheline (1929-1998), American painter and poet.
– Jack Natteford (1894-1970), American screenwriter.
– Jack Rosenthal (1931-2004), English playwright and screenwriter.
– Jack Schaefer (1907-1991), American author.
– Jack Sendak (1923-1995), American children’s book author.
– Jack Spicer (1925-1965), American poet.
– Jack Trevor Story (1917-1991), English novelist.
– Jack Townley (1897-1960), American screenwriter.
– Jack Vance (1916-2013), American author, who also published under the pen names Alan Wade, Ellery Queen, Jay Kavanse, John van See, and Peter Held.
– Jack Whittingham (1910-1972), English critic, playwright, and screenwriter.
– Jack Woodford (1894-1971), American author.

QUOTATIONS:
– Classic nursery rhymes such as “Jack and Jill“, “Jack Sprat“, “Jack Be Nimble“, and “Little Jack Horner“. Probably the most popular boy’s name for nursery rhymes. Used for nearly every man jack of them.

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