Janey

August 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Diminutive of “Jane“, meaning “Jehovah has been gracious”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Jan, Janae, Janelle, Janet, Janey, Janie, Janice, Janis, Janith, Jayne, Jean, Jeanette, Jeanne, Jenny, Joan, Joanie, Joanne, Joanna, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Janey Dobbin, William Dobbin’s doted-upon daughter, named after her godmother, Lady Jane Crawley (née Sheepshanks), in Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray (published in 1847-48, but set in the 1810s-20s).
Janey Evans, a little girl who lives in Mrs. Bell’s boarding house, and who insists Hope hang up a stocking for Christmas, in “What Hope Bell Found in Her Stocking”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).
Janey Miller, a pretty, well-dressed girl who could use a pinch more understanding and patience, in “A Little Boarding-School Samaritan”, from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).

WRITERS:
Janey King (b. 1947), Welsh journalist and romance author who publishes under the pen name “Rosie Thomas”.

Francis

August 5, 2014 § 6 Comments

ORIGIN:
From the Late Latin word “Franciscus” (meaning “Frenchman”), from the Germanic / Old French word for “free”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Chica, Chico, Ferenc, Feri, Fran, Franca, Francesco, Francisco, Franciscus, Franco, Francois, Frank, Franka, Frankie, Franky, Franny, Frans, Franz, Franzi, Paca, Paco, Pancho, Paquita, Paquito, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Francis, William Dobbin’s manservant in Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray (published in 1847-48, but set in the 1810s-20s).
Francis Bowyer, the kindly vicar whose wife befriends Mary Vivian after her godmother’s death, in “Old Lady Mary” (1884), from Stories of the Seen and Unseen by Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant.

WRITERS:
– Francis Bacon (1561-1626), English writer and statesman.
– Francis Macdonald (F.M.) Cornford (1874-1943), English poet and scholar.
– Francis Scott Key (F. Scott) Fitzgerald (1896-1940), American author.
– Francis Francis (1822-1866), English writer.
– Francis King (1923-2011), English novelist, poet, and writer.
– Francis Marrash (1836-1873), Syrian writer and poet.
– Francis Scott Key (1779-1843), American author and amateur poet.
– Francis Sempill (c.1616-1682), Scottish poet and satirist.
– Francis Wyndham (b. 1923), English author, editor, and journalist.

Fritz

August 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Diminutive of “Friedrich”, the German version of “Frederick“, meaning “peaceful ruler”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Fiete, Fred, Freddie, Freddy, Fredo, Frits, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Fritz, another new boy at Lily’s school, “who is from Rumania and is rumored to eat worms”, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).
Fritz, 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).
Fritz Kohler, the local tailor, in whose house Thea’s music teacher, Prof. Wunsch, lives and gives his lessons, in The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (written in 1915 and set in the 1890s).

WRITERS:
Fritz Angst (1944-1976), Swiss author who published under the pen name “Fritz Zorn”.
Fritz Arnheim (1866-1922), German historian, lecturer, and traveler.
Fritz Oswald Bilse (1878-1951), German novelist, playwright, and soldier, who also published under the pen names “Fritz von der Kyrburg” and “Fritz Wernthal”.
Fritz Cronman (c.1640-c.1680), Swedish diarist, diplomat, letter-writer, and soldier.
Fritz Fischer (1908-1999), German historian.
Fritz Gerlich (1883-1934), German historian and journalist.
Fritz Grünbaum (1880-1941), Austrian artist, actor, director, and songwriter.
Fritz Heichelheim (1901-1968), German-Canadian historian and professor.
Fritz Hochwälder (1911-1986), Austrian playwright.
Fritz Hommel (1854-1936), German scholar and writer.
Fritz Koselka (1905-1978), Austrian screenwriter and writer.
Fritz Leiber (1910-1992), American actor, author, playwright, and poet.
Fritz Löhner-Beda (1883-1942), Austrian librettist, lyricist, and writer.
Fritz Magnussen (1878-1920), Danish director and screenwriter.
Fritz Mauthner (1849-1923), Austro-Hungarian critic, journalist, novelist, philosopher, and satirist.
Fritz Mühlenweg (1898-1961), German author, editor, painter, and translator.
Fritz Novotny (1903-1983), Austrian historian.
Fritz Oliven (1874-1956), German author, composer, lawyer, librettist, and lyricist, who published under the pen name “Rideamus”.
Fritz Reuter (1810-1874), German novelist.
Fritz Saxl (1890-1948), Austrian historian.
Fritz Spiegl (1926-2003), Austrian broadcaster, collector, humorist, journalist, and musician.
Fritz Stern (b. 1926), German-American historian and professor.
Fritz Steuben (1898-1981), pen name of German novelist and short-story writer Erhard Wittek.
Fritz von Unruh (1885-1970), German dramatist, novelist, and poet.

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.

Paolo

August 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Italian version of “Paul“, meaning “small” or “humble”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Pablo, Pal, Palle, Paol, Pasha, Paul, Pauli, Paulie, Paulo, Paulus, Pauly, Pauwel, Pavel, Pawel, Pavlos, Pol, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Count Paolo della Belladonna, whose Countess takes up with Lord Steyne in his absence, in Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray (published in 1847-48, but set in the 1810s-20s).

Hook

August 5, 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, “Hook” was an Old English surname given to one who lived or worked near a hook, or bend, in a river, or to one who made hooks for a living.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Hooke, Hooker, Hookes, Huck, Hucks, Huke, Hukes, Hocke, Hockes, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Mr. Hook Eagles, whose wife befriends Becky during her years of exile, in Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray (published in 1847-48, but set in the 1810s-20s).

Sophia

August 5, 2014 § 8 Comments

ORIGIN:
Greek, meaning “wisdom”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Fifi, Sofi, Sofia, Sofie, Sofiya, Sonia, Sonja, Sonya, Sophie, Sophy, Vivi, Zophi, Zophia, Zophie, Zosia, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Duchess Sophia, who writes dreary domestic comedies for performance 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).
– Sophia Blackburn, a friend of Mrs. Bowyer’s in “Old Lady Mary” (1884), from Stories of the Seen and Unseen by Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant.
– Miss Sophia Grey, the heiress Willoughby marries after being disinherited by his aunt, Miss Smith, in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (set between 1792-1797, published in 1811).

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