Nikos

December 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
A shortened version of  the Greek “Nikolaos”, meaning “victory of the people”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Cai, Caj, Claes, Claus, Col, Colas, Cole, Colet, Colin, Collin, Kai, Kaj, Kay, Klaas, Klaes, Klas, Klaus, Kolya, Miklos, Mikolas, Miksa, Mykola, Neacel, Nels, Nic, Niccolo, Nichol, Nicholas, Nichols, Nick, Nickie, Nickolas, Nicky, Nico, Nicol, Nicola, Nicolas, Nicolaas, Nicolaos, Nicolau, Nicolaus, Nicolo, Nicos, Niek, Niels, Nigul, Nik, Nika, Nikko, Niklas, Niklaus, Niko, Nikola, Nikolai, Nikolaj, Nikolajs, Nikolaos, Nikolas, Nikolaus, Nikolay, Nikoloz, Niksa, Nikusha, Nils, Nixon, Nykko, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Nikos, the great wizard who tried his best to teach Schmendrick everything he knew, in the fantasy novel The Last Unicorn (1968) by Peter S. Beagle.

WRITERS:
– Nikos Engonopoulos (1907-1985), Greek painter and poet.
– Nikos Gatsos (1911-1992), Greek lyricist, poet, and translator.
– Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas (1906-1994), Greek academic, artist, and writer.
– Nikos Karouzos (1926-1990), Greek poet.
– Nikos Kavvadias (1910-1975), Greek poet and writer.
– Nikos Nicolaides (1884-1956), Greek painter and writer.
– Nikos Nikolaidis (1939-2007), Greek director, producer, and writer.
– Nikos Tsiforos (1916-1970), Greek director and screenwriter.

Schmendrick

December 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
From Hebrew, meaning “fat person”, or Yiddish, meaning “stupid person”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Not sure that there are any.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Schmendrick, the aspiring magician who accompanies the unicorn on her quest to find the rest of her people, in the fantasy novel The Last Unicorn (1968) by Peter S. Beagle.

Rukh

December 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Probably Persian, meaning “face”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
I, um, don’t know.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Rukh, Mommy Fortuna’s henchman and guide at her Midnight Carnival, in the fantasy novel The Last Unicorn (1968) by Peter S. Beagle.

Fortuna

December 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Latin, meaning “fortunate” or “lucky”, after the Roman goddess of Fortune (obviously).

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Fortune? Maybe Lucky, in a roundabout sort of way?

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Mommy Fortuna, the witch who captures the unicorn for her Midnight Carnival, in the fantasy novel The Last Unicorn (1968) by Peter S. Beagle.

Alison

October 4, 2014 § 2 Comments

ORIGIN:
Medieval French diminutive of “Aalis” (“Alice“).

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Ali, Alli, Allie, Allison, Alyson, Ally, Allyson, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Alison de Lindsay, Sir Peter and Lady Constance’s daughter, in The Door in the Wall (written in 1949 and set sometime between 1327-1377), by Marguerite de Angeli.
– Princess Alison Jocelyn, the damsel in distress who needs a hero, in the fantasy novel The Last Unicorn (1968) by Peter S. Beagle.

WRITERS:
– Alison Baker (b. 1953), American short story writer.
– Alison Cockburn (1712-1794), Scottish poet, socialite, and wit (also known as Alison Rutherford or Alicia Cockburn).
– Alison Brackenbury (b. 1953), English poet.
– Alison Des Forges (1942-2009), American activist and historian.
– Alison Fell (b. 1944), Scottish novelist and poet.
– Alison Lester (b. 1952), Australian author and illustrator.
– Alison Lurie (b. 1926), American academic and novelist.
– Alison Plowden (1931-2007), English biographer and historian.
– Alison Uttley (1884-1976), English author.
– Alison Weir (b. 1951), English author, biographer, and historian.

Willie

August 27, 2014 § 4 Comments

ORIGIN:
Diminutive of “William“, meaning “will-helmet”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Bil, Bill, Billie, Billy, Gwil, Liam, Lyam, Pim, Vila, Vili, Viljo, Ville, Wil, Wilkie, Wilkin, Wilky, Will, Willis, Willy, Wim, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Willie, the poor lost soul whose grief drives young Roland Mortimer to distraction, and nearly to death, in “The Open Door” (1881), from Stories of the Seen and Unseen by Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant.
Willie, a shopboy who works at the Chicago shoe factory where Carrie first finds employment, in Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie (published in 1900; set 1889-1890s).
Willie Gentle, the young minstrel in Captain Cully’s band of freebooters, in the fantasy novel The Last Unicorn (1968) by Peter S. Beagle.
Willie (Will) Wentworth, a friendly, level-headed Boston boy in “That Little Smith Girl” from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).

WRITERS:
– Willie Gilbert (1916-1972), American author and playwright.
– Willie Morris (1934-1999), American editor and writer.
– Willie Rushton (1937-1996), English actor, author, cartoonist, comedian, and satirist.
– Willie Yeadon (1907-1997), English historian.

Dick

August 12, 2014 § 2 Comments

ORIGIN:
Diminutive of the English name “Richard“, meaning “strong ruler” or “brave power”, or of the Dutch name “Diederick”, meaning “ruler of the people”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Dickey, Dickie, Dickon, Dickson, Dicky, Dicun, Dix, Dixon, Ric, Rich, Richie, Rick, Rickey, Rickie, Ricky, Ritchie, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Dick, the most talented wrestler in the unfriendly group of “Kirke’s Lambs” John Ridd runs into, after risking his life to save Tom Faggus from the danger of the Monmouth Rebellion, in Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackmore (written in 1869, set in the 1670s-1680s).
“Unc’ Dick”, the “ancient wagoner” hired by Jack Roden to carry him to his new estate, in Virginia of Virginia, written by Amélie Rives in 1888.
Dick Brisbane, one of Fred’s friends in The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (written in 1915 and set in the 1890s).
Dick Fancy, a member of Captain Cully’s bad of freebooters, in the fantasy novel The Last Unicorn (1968) by Peter S. Beagle.
Dick Foster, friend of the Gray girls and Berry Joy, brother of Arnold Foster, in A Little Country Girl (1885), by Susan Coolidge.
Dick Gair, Molly’s brother is who away at college, in “Molly Gair’s New Dress”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).
Dick (Richard) Mason, Bertha Mason’s brother, in Jane Eyre, 1847, by Charlotte Bronte.
Dick Velacott, who married Betsy Paramore after Tom Faggus’ ruination, in Lorna Doone.

WRITERS:
– Dick Allen (b. 1939), American academic, critic, and poet.
– Dick Diespecker (1907-1973), Canadian journalist and novelist.
– Dick Francis (1920-2010), English jockey and novelist.
– Dick Harrison (b. 1966), Swedish historian and novelist.
– Dick Higgins (1938-1998), Anglo-American artist, composer, poet, and printer.
– Dick Hillis (1913-2005) American author and missionary.
– Dick King-Smith (1922-2011), English children’s book writer.
– Dick Kleiner (1921-2002), American author, columnist, lyricist, and voice actor.
– Dick McBride (1928-2012), American novelist, playwright, and poet.
– Dick Schaap (1934-2001), American author, broadcaster, and sportswriter.
– Dick Wolf (b. 1946), American writer and producer.

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!”

Calvin

August 10, 2014 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
From a French last name “Chauvin”, from Latin, meaning “bald”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Cal. And, um… Cal. Maybe Vin?

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Calvin, Cousin Henrietta Carey’s lost love, in “Little Button-Rose”, from A Garland for Girls, by Louisa May Alcott, 1887.
– Prince Calvin, one of Princess Alison Jocelyn’s three brothers, in the fantasy novel The Last Unicorn (1968) by Peter S. Beagle.

WRITERS:
– Calvin C. Hernton (1932-2001), American author, poet, and sociologist.
– Calvin Hoffman (1906-1986), American author and critic.
– Calvin Thomas (1854-1919), American educator, scholar, and writer.
– Calvin Trillin (b. 1935), American writer.
– Calvin Ziegler (1854-1930), German-American poet.

Molly

August 4, 2014 § 7 Comments

ORIGIN:
Like “Polly“, a diminutive of “Mary“.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Maille, Malle, Manon, Moll, Molle, Mollie, Pol, Pola, Poll, Pollie, Polly, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Molly, an old serving-woman who works for the Ridd’s, in Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackmore (written in 1869, set in the 1670s-1680s).
Molly, the cook in the Crawley-Sharp household, who little Master Rawdon loved because she “crammed him with ghost stories at night, and with good things from the dinner”, in Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray (published in 1847-48, but set in the 1810s-20s).
Molly Barnet, “a hospital nurse with a heart”, in The Harvester (1911) by Gene Stratton Porter.
“Major” Molly Elliston, whose determination to keep a promise helps save a garrison, in “Major Molly’s Christmas Promise” from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).
Molly Gair, a resourceful and diligent young lady, in “Molly Gair’s New Dress”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).
Molly Grue, the “drab” who knows quite a lot about unicorns, in the fantasy novel The Last Unicorn (1968) by Peter S. Beagle.
Molly Jameson, Ruth’s aunt, who has borne all that she can bear, in The Harvester.
Molly (Maria) Mirvan, Evelina’s dearest friend, with whom she enters into London society, in Evelina, or, The History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World (1778), by Fanny Burney.
Molly (Mary) Porter, a shopgirl Anna Winslow helps in “May Flowers”, from A Garland for Girls, by Louisa May Alcott, 1887.
Molly Price, one of the guests the Lambert children invite for dinner, in “The Thanksgiving Guest”, from A Flock of Girls and Boys.

WRITERS:
– Molly Childers (1875-1964), Irish activist and writer.
– Molly Holden (1927-1981), English poet.
– Molly Ivins (1944-2007), American writer, political critic, and humorist.
– Molly Kazan (1906-1963), American dramatist and playwright.
– Molly Keane (1904-1996), Irish novelist and playwright.
– Molly Lefebure (1919-2013), English writer.
– Molly Elliot Seawell (1860-1916), American historian and writer.
– Molly Weir (1910-2004), Scottish actress and memoirist.

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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