Ava

July 12, 2015 § 6 Comments

ORIGIN:
Alternately spelled “Eva”. Possibly an English variation of “Eve”, meaning “to breathe” or “to live”; or from Persian, meaning “voice” or “sound”; or from Greek, meaning “bird-like”; or a shortened version of Germanic names such as “Avis” or “Avila”, or even “Hedwig”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Avalina, Avaline, Avalyn, Avelina, Aveline, Avelyn, Aven, Aveza, Aviana, Aviance, Avice, Avila, Avis, Aviva, Chava, Chavah, Chave, Chavilah, Eabha, Eeva, Eevi, Efa, Eua, Eva, Eve, Evelia, Evie, Evika, Evita, Evvie, Evvy, Ewa, Hava, Havilah, Havva, Hawa, Ieva, Iva, Ivah, Yeva, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Ava, founder and leader of Camp Ava, where Lily spends a miserable summer, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

WRITERS:
Ava (c.1060-1127), German poet, also known as “Ava of Göttweig”, “Ava of Melk”, or “Frau Ava”.
Ava DuVernay (b. 1972), American director and screenwriter.

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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