Belle

August 12, 2014 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
Like “Bella“, a diminutive of “Belinda”, “Beulah”, etc., or names ending in “-ella” (such as “Isabella”, “Annabella”, “Arabella“, etc.), or names ending in “-belle” (such as “Maybelle”, “Dorabelle”, etc.) Possibly from French, meaning “beautiful”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Arabel, Arabella, Arabelle, Amabel, Amabella, Amabelle, Anabel, Anabella, Anabelle, Annabel, Annabella, Annabelle, Bell, Belle, Belina, Belinda, Belinha, Beulah, Elizabeth, Isabel, Isabella, Isabelle, Izabel, Izabella, Izabelle, Sabella, Sabelle, Zabel, Zabella, Zabelle, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Belle Archie (née White), Dr. Archie’s unpleasant wife, “one of those people who are stingy without motive or reason”, in The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (written in 1915 and set in the 1890s).
– Belle Jeffreys, friend of the Gray girls and Berry Joy, in A Little Country Girl (1885), by Susan Coolidge.

Jackson

August 12, 2014 § 6 Comments

ORIGIN:
From an English last name, meaning “son of Jack“. Bet you didn’t know that.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Jack, Jackie, Jacks, Jacky, Jak, Jakin, Jaks, Jax, Jaxon, Jaxson.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Jackson Tainter, whose wife is a friend of the Gray girls and Berry Joy, in A Little Country Girl (1885), by Susan Coolidge.

WRITERS:
Jackson Lowry (b. 1947), pen name of American fantasy, science fiction, and Western author Robert E. Vardeman, who has also published under the pen names “Cliff Garnett”, “Daniel Moran”, “F.J. Hale”, “Edward S. Hudson”, “Karl Lassiter”, “Paul Kenyon”, and “Victor Appleton”.
– Jackson O’Reilly (1948-2007), pen name of American fantasy author James Oliver Rigney, Jr., who wrote under the pen names “Chang Lung”, “Reagan O’Neal”, and “Robert Jordan”.

Gorham

August 12, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
One of those “last names as first names” that were once a quite popular way for a mother’s maiden name to be passed on to her sons, “Gorham” was an Old English place name, meaning “muddy farmland”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
None that I’m aware of . . .

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Gorham Allerton, friend of the Gray girls and Berry Joy, in A Little Country Girl (1885), by Susan Coolidge.

Maude

August 12, 2014 § 3 Comments

ORIGIN:
An alternative English spelling of “Maud”, a diminutive of “Matilda“.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Malta, Mat, Mathilda, Matilda, Mattie, Matty, Maud, Maudie, Tilda, Tilde, Tillie, Tilly, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Maude Tucker, friend of the Gray girls and Berry Joy, sister of Sue Tucker, in A Little Country Girl (1885), by Susan Coolidge.

Sue

August 12, 2014 § 2 Comments

ORIGIN:
Shortened version of “Susan“, “Susanna”, etc.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Sooki, Sookie, Sooky, Su, Suse, Susey, Susi, Susie, Susy, Sukey, Suki, Sukie, Suze, Suzey, Suzi, Suzie, Suzy, Zooey, Zooie, Zsazsa, Zsuzsa, Zsuzsi, Zsuzsu, Zu, Zuza, Zuzi, Zuzia, Zuzu, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Sue Mayo, poor little Jessie Mayo’s little sister, one of the girls Doctor Tom tells the story of Sylvie to, in “The Story of Little Syl”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).
Sue Tucker, a friend of the Gray girls and Berry Joy, and sister of Maude Tucker, in A Little Country Girl (1885), by Susan Coolidge.

WRITERS:
– Sue Grafton (b. 1940), American crime novelist.
– Sue Townsend (1946-2014), English writer and humorist.

QUOTATIONS:
– From the popular ballad “Black Ey’d Susan, or Sweet William’s Farewell“, by John Gay, first published in 1730: “‘If to far India’s coast we sail, / Thy eyes are seen in diamonds bright, / Thy breath is Afric’s spicy gale, / Thy skin is ivory, so white. / Thus every beauteous object that I view, / Wakes in my soul some charm of lovely Sue.'”

Freddy

August 12, 2014 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
Diminutive of “Frederick“, meaning “peaceful ruler”. Sometimes used as a diminutive of “Alfred”, “Manfred”, “Wilfred”, etc., or, for girls, for names like “Frederica” or “Winifred”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
For girls: Freda, Freddi, Freddie, Frieda, Fritzi.
For boys: Fred, Fredde, Freddie, Fredo, Fritz.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Freddy Allen, whose wife is a friend of the Gray girls and Berry Joy, and frequently serves as chaperone for their parties, in A Little Country Girl (1885), by Susan Coolidge.

Arnold

August 12, 2014 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
Germanic, meaning “eagle power” or “strong as an eagle”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Arend, Arn, Arnaldo, Arndt, Arne, Arnie, Arnaud, Arnoud, Arny, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Arnold Foster, friend of the Gray girls and Berry Joy, brother of Dick Foster, in A Little Country Girl (1885), by Susan Coolidge.

WRITERS:
– Arnold Bennett (1867-1931), English critic, essayist, novelist, and playwright.

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!”

Carrol

August 12, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Alternate spelling of “Carroll”, often used as a last name. Derived either from Irish, meaning “hacking with a weapon”, or related to “Carolus”, the Latin form of “Charles“.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Carol, Carolus, Carroll, Caryl, Cearbhall, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Mr. Carrol Benton, friend of the Gray girls and Berry Joy, in A Little Country Girl (1885), by Susan Coolidge.

Julia

August 12, 2014 § 2 Comments

ORIGIN:
Feminine form of “Julius”, a Roman name possibly derived from the Greek “Ioulos”, meaning “downy-cheeked” or “youthful”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Giulia, Giulietta, Jules, Juli, Juliana, Julianne, Julie, Juliet, Julietta, Juliette, Juliska, Juliya, Yulia, Yuliya, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Julia Bennet, Katy’s oldest sister, who lacks sympathy, in “That Ridiculous Child”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).
Julia Hurstwood, George Hurstwood’s beautiful-but-cold wife, in Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie (published in 1900; set 1889-1890s).
Julia Prime, friend of the Gray girls and Berry Joy, in A Little Country Girl (1885), by Susan Coolidge.
Julia Severn, a pupil at Lowood Academy, guilty of the unthinkable crime of having naturally curly hair, in Jane Eyre, 1847, by Charlotte Bronte.

WRITERS:
– Julia Cameron (b. 1948), American writer.
– Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910), American activist, poet, and writer.
– Julia Peterkin (1880-1961), American author.
– Julia Sweeney (b. 1959), American actress, comedian, and author.

QUOTATIONS:
– Probably the most famous usage of the name is “Julia“, from The Beatles’ 1968 album The Beatles (known as the White Album), which begins: “Half of what I say is meaningless / But I say it just to reach you, Julia / Julia, Julia, oceanchild, calls me / So I sing of song of love, Julia”
– “Upon Julia’s Clothes“, written in 1630 by Robert Herrick, famously begins: “Whenas in silks my Julia goes, / then, then (methinks) how sweetly flows / That liquefaction of her clothes.” Apparently, this Julia was a favorite of Herrick’s, because he wrote a ton of poetry to her. This should come in super handy to anyone who wants to romance a Julia.
– From “Upon Julia’s Riband“, by Robert Herrick: “As shows the air when with a rainbow grac’d, / So smiles that riband ’bout my Julia’s waist”
– From “The Dream“, by Robert Herrick: “Only remained a little bit, / Which will be burnt up by-and-by; / Then, Julia, weep, for I must die.”
– From “Upon Roses“, by Robert Herrick: “They blush’d, and look’d more fresh than flowers / Quicken’d of late by pearly showers / And all because they were possess’d / But of the heat of Julia’s breast”
– From “How His Soul Came Ensnared“, by Robert Herrick: “My soul would one day go and seek / For roses, and in Julia’s cheek / A richesse of those sweets she found”
– From “To Julia“, by Robert Herrick: “How rich and pleasing thou, my Julia, art / In each thy dainty and peculiar part!”
– From a different “To Julia“, by Robert Herrick: “The saints’-bell calls, and, Julia, I must read / The proper lessons for the saints now dead: / To grace which service, Julia, there shall be / One holy collect said or sung for thee.”
– From “A Ring Presented to Julia“, by Robert Herrick: “Julia, I bring / To thee this ring / Made for thy finger fit; / To show by this / That our love is / (Or should be) like to it.”
– From “His Sailing From Julia“, by Robert Herrick: “But yet for love’s sake let thy lips do this, / Give my dead picture one engendering kiss: / Work that to life, and let me ever dwell / In thy remembrance, Julia. So farewell.”
– From “The Transfiguration“, by Robert Herrick: “Immortal clothing I put on / So soon as, Julia, I am gone / To mine eternal mansion.”
– From “Cherry-Pit“, by Robert Herrick: “Julia and I did lately sit / Playing for sport at cherry-pit”
– Robert Herrick also wrote “The Candour of Julia’s Teeth“, “To Julia In The Temple“, “His Charge To Julia At His Death“,  “On Julia’s Picture“, and “His Covenant; Or, Protestation To Julia“. He really dug this Julia chick.

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