Ned

August 12, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Diminutive of “Edward“,  “Edmund”, “Edwin“, “Edgar”, etc.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Ed, Edd, Eddi, Eddie, Eddy, Nedd, Neddie, Neddy, Ted, Tedd, Teddie, Teddy, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Ned Hale, Ruth Varnum’s fiancé (and later husband), whose romance fares far better than does Ethan’s, in Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome (written in 1911, but set in the 1890s or first few years of the 1900s).
Ned Hamlyn, the friend and fellow boarder who helps Jim to set right the mess he has impulsively made of his situation, in “The Tragedy of the Unexpected”, from Nora Perry’s The Tragedy of the Unexpected and Other Stories (published in 1880, but set in the 1870s).

WRITERS:
Ned Buntline (1821-1886), pen name of American journalist, publicist, publisher, and writer Edward Zane Carroll (E.Z.C.) Judson, Sr.
Ned Calmer (1907-1986), American author and journalist.
Ned Fairchild (b. 1929), pen name of American songwriter Nelda Fairchild.
Ned Marin (1896-1955), American producer and screenwriter.
Ned Miller (b. 1925), American singer and songwriter.
Ned O’Gorman (1929-2014), American author, educator, and poet.
Ned Rorem (b. 1923), American composer and diarist.
Ned Sherrin (1931-2007), English author, broadcaster, and director.
Ned Vizzini (1981-2013), American novelist.
Ned (Edward) Ward (1667-1731), English publican and satirist.
Ned Washington (1901-1976), American lyricist.

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Alice

August 7, 2014 § 8 Comments

ORIGIN:
From Greek, meaning “truth, or from German via French, meaning “noble”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Ada, Adelheid, Adelaide, Adelais, Aileas, Aleece, Aleida, Ali, Alicia, Alida, Alise, Alisha, Alisia, Alison, Alissa, Alix, Aliz, Alli, Allie, Ally, Alyce, Alys, Alyssa, Elicia, Elke, Heidi, Lecia, Lise, Lisa, Lissa, Lyssa, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Alice, a young guest of Mrs. Warburton’s, rather inclined to be bookish, in “Pansies” from A Garland for Girls, by Louisa May Alcott, 1887.
Alice Bennet, one of Katy’s older sisters, who comes down with the measles, forcing Katy to go and stay with their grandfather, in “That Ridiculous Child”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).
Alice Fairfax, housekeeper at Thornfield, in Jane Eyre, 1847, by Charlotte Bronte.
Alice Fleming (called “Ally”), a little orphan girl who can’t seem to find her place in the world, in “Ally”, from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).
Alice Frewen, friend of the Gray girls and Berry Joy, youngest of the group of girls next to Cannie and Marian, in A Little Country Girl (1885), by Susan Coolidge.
Alice King, a girl who could do more good in the world if she were more thoughtful, in “A Little Boarding-School Samaritan”, from A Flock of Girls and Boys.
Alice Lorton, the sensible oldest sister of the Lorton family, in “The Youngest Miss Lorton”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories.
Alice Raymond, the wonderful girl Jim Marlowe hopes to marry, in “The Tragedy of the Unexpected”, from Nora Perry’s The Tragedy of the Unexpected and Other Stories (published in 1880, but set in the 1870s).
Alice Turner, Connie’s older sister, who refuses to sleep in a “haunted” room, in “Old Lady Mary” (1884), from Stories of the Seen and Unseen by Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant.
Alice Wood, the girl chosen by Miss Oliver to help Jane with her school, in Jane Eyre.

WRITERS:
See here for a starter list of writers named “Alice”.

QUOTATIONS:
– From “The Children’s Hour” (1859), by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: “From my study I see in the lamplight, / Descending the broad hall stair, / Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra, / And Edith with golden hair.”

Ann

August 2, 2014 § 14 Comments

ORIGIN:
Alternately spelled “Anne”, this is an English variant of “Anna”, 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, Anabelle, Anabella, Anais, Andie, Andy, Aneta, Ani, Anica, Anika, Anita, Anitra, Anka, Anke, Anna, Annabel, Annabella, Annabelle, Annag, Anne, Anneke, Annella, Annetta, Annette, Annick, Annicka, Annie, Annika, Anniken, Annis, Anouk, Antje, Anya, Chana, Channah, Hanna, Hannah, Hanne, Nan, Nancy, Nanette, Nannie, Nina, Ninon, Ona, Onna, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Ann, a maidservant in the Lloyd household, in “The Egg-Boy” from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).
Ann, a maidservant in the Lambert household, in “The Thanksgiving Guest”, from A Flock of Girls and Boys.
Ann, one of the Boston children roused to their chores at the start of Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (written in 1943; set during the years leading up to the American Revolutionary War, 1773-1775).
Ann, the little Dunbars’ aunt, married to the wealthy, somewhat cantankerous Uncle Timothy, in “The Little Dunbars, and Their Charming Christmas Plans”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).
Aunt Ann, Agnes Brendon’s aunt, who she relies on to introduce her to the splendid Pelhams, in “That Little Smith Girl” from A Flock of Girls and Boys.
Aunt Ann, Jim Marlowe’s aunt, who hosts the get-together where all the trouble starts, in “The Tragedy of the Unexpected”, from Nora Perry’s The Tragedy of the Unexpected and Other Stories (published in 1880, but set in the 1870s)
Ann Dobbin, one of William Dobbin’s sisters in Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray (published in 1847-48, but set in the 1810s-20s).
Ann Fleming, Ally’s aunt, who is perhaps too quick to judge, in “Ally”, from A Flock of Girls and Boys.

WRITERS:
– See this post for a starting list of writers named Ann.

James

August 2, 2014 § 14 Comments

ORIGIN:
From the same source as “Jacob”, from Hebrew, meaning “supplanter”, or possibly, “may God protect”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Giacomo, Hamish, Iago, Jae, Jacques, Jago, Jai, Jaime, Jaimie, Jamie, Jameson, Jamieson, Jamey, Jay, Jaymes, Jeames, Jem, Jemmy, Jim, Jimbo, Jimi, Jimmie, Jimmy, Jimsy, Seamus, Shamus, Sheamus, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
James, the manservant at 999 Marlborough Street, in “Ally”, from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).
James, butler for the Joy family while in Newport, in A Little Country Girl (1885), by Susan Coolidge.
James, Mr. Woodhouse’s coachman in Jane Austen’s Emma (1815).
James, one of the Boston children roused to their chores at the start of Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (written in 1943; set during the years leading up to the American Revolutionary War, 1773-1775).
James Cooper, whose wife is one of those married friends from Bath that Augusta Elton cites as an example of how married women always give up their pursuit of music, in Emma.
James Alexander, the alias chosen by the con man who persecutes Georgie Gray and Berry Joy in A Little Country Girl.
– James Crawley (sometimes called “Jim“), one of the Rev. Bute Crawley’s sons in Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray (published in 1847-48, but set in the 1810s-20s).
James Alexander Creighton (1849-1852), one of the three young Creighton boys who died of “paralysis” the year Jethro was born, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).
James Marlowe (called “Jim“), the impetuous young man whose impulsive nature leads to a sorrowful mix-up, in “The Tragedy of the Unexpected”, from Nora Perry’s The Tragedy of the Unexpected and Other Stories (published in 1880, but set in the 1870s)
James McMull, the “young sprig of Scotch nobility” Miss Rhoda Swartz ends up marrying after Mr. Osborne fails to add her to his family, in Vanity Fair.

WRITERS:
– See this post for a long list of writers named James dating all the way back to the thirteenth century.

Jim

August 2, 2014 § 5 Comments

ORIGIN:
Shortened form of “James“, which derives from the same source as “Jacob”, from the Hebrew, meaning “supplanter”, or possibly, “may God protect”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Jae, Jaime, Jamie, Jamey, Jay, Jaymie, Jem, Jemmy, Jimi, Jimmie, Jimmy, Jimsy, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Jim (James) Crawley, one of the Rev. Bute Crawley’s sons in Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray (published in 1847-48, but set in the 1810s-20s).
Jim Lorton (sometimes called “Jimmy“), the teasing, critical brother of the Lorton family, in “The Youngest Miss Lorton”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).
Jim (James) Marlowe, the impetuous young man whose impulsive nature leads to a sorrowful mix-up, in “The Tragedy of the Unexpected”, from Nora Perry’s The Tragedy of the Unexpected and Other Stories (published in 1880, but set in the 1870s)
Jim Murdoch, a “hoop-pole man” who would like to court Virginia Herrick, if either she or her father would allow it, in Virginia of Virginia, written by Amélie Rives in 1888.

WRITERS:
– See this post for a list of writers who go by the name “Jim”.

Tom

July 30, 2014 § 5 Comments

ORIGIN:
Shortened form of “Thomas“, Greek form of the Aramaic for “twin”.

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

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Tom, Maggie Bradford’s cousin, who calls her a “chit of a girl”, in “May Flowers”, from A Garland for Girls, by Louisa May Alcott, 1887.
Tom, one of the servants at Randalls, in Jane Austen’s Emma (1815).
Tom, one of Susy’s brothers, whose kite-flying she finds distracting, in “Susy’s Dragon”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).
Cousin Tom, who teases Molly Gair about her love of fine dresses, in “Molly Gair’s New Dress”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories.
Tom Branghton, the loutish son 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.
Tom Cinqbars, subject of one of Rawdon’s sporty stories in Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray (published in 1847-48, but set in the 1810s-20s).
Tom Colt, the “young pup” who hopes to steal Alice away from Jim, in “The Tragedy of the Unexpected”, from Nora Perry’s The Tragedy of the Unexpected and Other Stories (published in 1880, but set in the 1870s).
Tom (Thomas) Creighton (b. 1843), Jethro’s older brother, who, at just 18 years of age, runs off to join the Union Army, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).
Tom Drinker, one of Johnny’s acquaintances, an apprentice at one of the shops on the wharf, in Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (written in 1943; set during the years leading up to the American Revolutionary War, 1773-1775).
Tom Eaves, a city man full of gossip about Lord Steyne, in Vanity Fair.
Tom (Thomas) Faggus, the roguishly charming highwayman whose relation to the Ridd family gives them both prestige and trouble, in Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackmore (written in 1869, set in the 1670s-1680s).
Tom Fleming, Ally’s uncle, who ought to have paid more attention, in “Ally”, from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).
Tom Grieves, the handyman who works for the Gilbreth family in Cheaper By the Dozen (1948) and Belles on Their Toes (1950), written by Frank Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey.
“Doctor Tom” (Dr. Thomas Harrison), who specializes in mending children’s hurt limbs, in “The Story of Little Syl”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories.
Tom Joy, Berry’s brother, who fortunately takes after his father, in A Little Country Girl (1885), by Susan Coolidge.
Tom Lloyd, Marge and Elsie’s cousin, an amateur artist, in “The Egg-Boy” from A Flock of Girls and Boys.
Tom Marin, a neighbor from Rose Hill who comes to help the Creightons with their barn-raising, in Across Five Aprils.
Tom Moody, Sir Huddleston Fuddleston’s huntsman, in Vanity Fair.
Tom Posky, one of the soliders of the regiment in Vanity Fair.
Tom Raikes, one of Becky’s more forward conquests, in Vanity Fair.
Tom Raymond, Will Wentworth’s good-natured chum, in “That Little Smith Girl” from A Flock of Girls and Boys.
Tom Rivington, friend of the Gray girls and Berry Joy, George Rivington’s brother, in A Little Country Girl (1885).
Tom Stubble, a young ensign under Capt. William Dobbin’s command in Vanity Fair.
Tom Tufto, a relative of Sir George Tufto’s in Vanity Fair.

WRITERS:
Try this link for a starter list of writers named “Tom”.

QUOTATIONS:
– “Tom” and “Tommy” are fairly common names used in nursery rhymes such as “Tom, Tom, the piper’s son
– 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!”

Robert

July 30, 2014 § 12 Comments

ORIGIN:
Anglo-Saxon, meaning “bright flame”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Bob, Bobbie, Bobby, Rab, Raibeart, Rob, Robb, Robbie, Robby, Roberto, Robi, Robin, Rupert, Ruprecht, etc. I guess even Bobert, if you really wish it.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Robert (called “Bob“, b. 1920), the eleventh of the dozen Gilbreth children whose upbringing is related in Cheaper By the Dozen (1948) and Belles on Their Toes (1950), written by Frank Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey.
Robert, the pageboy at Jim and Ned’s place, in “The Tragedy of the Unexpected”, from Nora Perry’s The Tragedy of the Unexpected and Other Stories (published in 1880, but set in the 1870s)
Sir Robert, an uncle to Edward, Fanny, and Robert Ferrars, who was responsible for Mrs. Ferrar’s decision to send Edward to Mr. Pratt’s for a private education, in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (set between 1792-1797, published in 1811).
Lord Robert of Amhurste (called “Robin” by his twin sister, Margaret), a brave and generous young man, in “A Brother to Dragons” (written in 1886, set in 1586), from A Brother to Dragons, and Other Old Time Tales (1888), by Amélie Rives.
Sir Robert Bampfylde, the litigious gentleman whose lawsuits led to Tom Faggus’ ruin and subsequent adoption of the highwayman’s life, in Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackmore (written in 1869, set in the 1670s-1680s).
Rev. Robert Brocklehurst, the formidable and hypocritical supervisor of Lowood Institute, in Jane Eyre, 1847, by Charlotte Bronte.
– Middle name of John Robert Creighton (b. 1837), Jethro’s oldest brother remaining at home, “more impatient, quicker to anger” than his beloved brother Bill, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).
Robert Ferrars, Edward’s favored younger brother, “silly and a great coxcomb”, in Sense and Sensibility.
Robert Furnival, old Lady Mary’s lawyer, who pesters her to write her will before it is too late, in “Old Lady Mary” (1884), from Stories of the Seen and Unseen by Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant.
Robert Leaven, the man Bessie Lee marries, who works as porter at Gateshead and lives in the lodge, in Jane Eyre.
Robert Martin, a sensible, respectable, intelligent young gentleman-farmer, who hopes to marry Harriet Smith, in Jane Austen’s Emma (1815).
Robert Racket (called “Robin“), a handsome and charming lad who steals the hearts of cousins Keren Lemon and Ruth Visor, in “The Farrier Lass o’ Piping Pebworth” (written in 1887, set circa 1600), from A Brother to Dragons, and Other Old Time Tales.
Robert Siddell, one of Uncle Gabe’s two favorite students at his Jewish vocational school, chosen as a blind date for teenaged Lily, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

WRITERS:
Go here for a list of probably close to a thousand writers named “Robert”, if you’d like to know what sort of illustrious literary company this name keeps.

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