Nancy

August 17, 2014 § 6 Comments

ORIGIN:
Medieval diminutive of “Annis”, or of “Ann” / “Anne” (via “Nan“).

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Ann, Anne, Annie, Anny, Nainsi, Nan, Nancie, Nana, Nance, Nandag, Nanette, Nanice, Nanine, Nannie, Nanny, Nanse, Nansi, Nansie, Nansy, Nenci, Nensi, Neske, Nest, Nesta, Nina, Ninette, Ninon, Nona, Nonna, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Aunt Nancy, 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).
Nancy Creighton, John’s quiet and withdrawn wife, “amiable, but aloof to the friendly Creightons” in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).
Nancy (Annie) Ridd (sometimes called “Nanny“), John’s favorite sister, a sweet little homemaker, in Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackmore (written in 1869, set in the 1670s-1680s).
Nancy (Anne) Steele, Lucy’s well-intentioned but empty-headed ninny of an older sister, a woman of “vulgar freedom and folly”, in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (set between 1792-1797, published in 1811).

WRITERS:
– Nancy Boyd (1892-1950), pen name of American poet and playwright Edna St. Vincent Millay.
– Nancy Cato (1917-2000), Australian activist and writer.
– Nancy A. Collins (b. 1959), American horror novelist.
– Nancy Farmer (b. 1941), American author and children’s book writer.
– Nancy Garden (1938-2014), American author.
– Nancy Holder (b. 1953), American novelist.
– Nancy Huston (b. 1953), Canadian essayist and novelist.
– Nancy Kress (b. 1948), American sci-fi writer.
– Nancy Milford (b. 1938), American biographer.
– Nancy Meyers (b. 1949), American director, producer, and screenwriter.
– Nancy Mitford (1904-1973), English biographer, journalist, and novelist.
– Nancy Oliver (b. 1955), American playwright and screenwriter.
– Nancy Pickard (b. 1945), American crime novelist.
– Nancy Brooker Spain (1917-1964), English broadcaster, columnist, and journalist.
– Nancy Springer (b. 1948), American author.
– Nancy Werlin (b. 1961), American author.
– Nancy Willard (b. 1936), American novelist, poet, and children’s book writer and illustrator.

QUOTATIONS:
– From “Wages“, by Norman Rowland Gale: “Because I bowed / content, I fancy, / He gave me you / for wages, Nancy!”

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.'”

May

August 17, 2014 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
Name for the hawthorn flower, or referencing the month of May, named after “Maia”, the Roman goddess of spring. Sometimes used as a diminutive of “Mary“, “Margaret“, “Mabel”, etc.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Mabella, Madge, Mae, Maggie, Maggy, Maia, Maisie, Maisy, Malia, Mame, Mamie, Manon, Mara, Maralyn, Maret, Margaux, Marge, Margie, Margo, Margot, Margy, Mari, Mariel, Marilyn, Marilynn, Marinda, Marise, Maja, Marlyn, Marylyn, Maya, Maybell, Maybella, Maybelle, Maybelline, Mayme, Meg, Megeen, Meggie, Meggy, Mele, Meri, Merilyn, Merrilyn, Metta, Mette, Mia, Miep, Mies, Miia, Midge, Moll, Mollie, Molly, My, Mya, Peg, Pegeen, Peggie, Peggy, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– May, a married woman who befriends Ruth while she spends the winter with her grandparents in the city, in The Harvester (1911) by Gene Stratton Porter.
– May Franklin, a little girl who lives near the Bell’s boarding-house, in “What Hope Bell Found in Her Stocking”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).

Hope

August 17, 2014 § 2 Comments

ORIGIN:
One of the “virtue” names created by the Puritans, meaning, um, “hope”. Clearly.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Not sure there are any, unless we include all of the other “virtue” names (“Faith”, “Charity”, “Patience”, “Perseverance”, etc.).

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Hope Bell, who finds she is not too old to hang up a stocking, after all, in “What Hope Bell Found in Her Stocking”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).
– Hope Weymer, Mr. Weymer’s mother, whose ring makes for a wonderful Christmas surprise, in “What Hope Bell Found in Her Stocking”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories.

Eleanor

August 17, 2014 § 8 Comments

ORIGIN:
From the Old French version of the name “Aliénor”, meaning “the other Aenor”. Possibly also related to “Helen“.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Alianor, Aliénor, Eilionoir, Eilidh, Elea, Eleanora, Eleanore, Elenor, Elenora, Elenore, Eleonor, Elinor, Elinora, Elinore, Ella, Ellanore, Elle, Ellen, Elli, Ellie, Ellinor, Elly, Elnora, Leanora, Leonore, Lenora, Lenore, Leonor, Lore, Lorita, Nell, Nelle, Nellie, Nelly, Nonie, Nony, Noor, Noora, Nora, Norah, Noreen, Norene, Norina, etc. 

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Aunt Eleanor, who teaches Molly the value of beauty, in “Molly Gair’s New Dress”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).

Elly

August 16, 2014 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
Diminutive of “Ella“, “Eleanor”, “Ellen”, etc., or of names ending in “-ella” or “-elle”, etc.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
El, Ella, Elle, Ellie, Elsa, Elsie, Elsy, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Elly Dunbar (sometimes called “Ella“), a refined girl, somewhat inclined to be priggish, one of the founding members of the children’s society for the prevention of cruelty to cats in “The Kit-Kat Club”, and reluctant participant in the plan to open a shop to sell doll’s clothes, in “The Little Dunbars, and Their Charming Christmas Plans”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).

Timothy

August 16, 2014 § 2 Comments

ORIGIN:
From the Greek “Timotheos”, meaning “to honor God”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Tim, Timmer, Timmie, Timmy, Timo, Timofei, Timofey, Timotei, Timoteo, Timoteus, Timotheos, Timotheus, Timoti, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Uncle Timothy, the little Dunbars’ wealthy, somewhat cantankerous uncle, in “The Little Dunbars, and Their Charming Christmas Plans”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).
Timothy Makeshift, a local farrier who might be competition for the Lemons, 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.
Timothy Pooke, proprietor of the Spit and Gridiron, in Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackmore (written in 1869, set in the 1670s-1680s).

WRITERS:
– Timothy Findley (1930-2002), Canadian novelist and playwright.
– Timothy Leary (1920-1996), American psychologist and writer.
– Timothy Titcomb (1819-1881), pen name sometimes used by American novelist and poet Josiah Gilbert Holland.

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