Hetty

August 21, 2014 § 5 Comments

ORIGIN:
Alternate spelling of “Hettie”, diminutive of “Henrietta“, “Hester“, “Harriet“, “Mehetabel”, etc.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Essie, Essy, Etta, Ettie, Etty, Halle, Hallie, Hattie, Hatty, Hen, Hennie, Henny, Het, Hettie, Yetta, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Miss Hetty Bates, a silly, chatty, good-hearted woman who is always delighted to talk about anything, particularly her beloved niece, Jane Fairfax, in Jane Austen’s Emma (1815).
Aunt Hetty Walker, who used to frighten young John and Bill with “witch stories” when she’d come to help Ellen with work on the farm, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).

WRITERS:
Hetty Burlingame Beatty (1907-1971), American children’s book author, illustrator, and sculptor.
Hetty Tayler (1869-1951), pen name of British author and historian Helen Tayler, who also published as “Henrietta Tayler”, and often published jointly with her brother, Alexander.
Hetty Verolme (b. 1930), Belgian-Australian author and educator.
Hetty Wright (1697-1750), pen name of English poet Mehetabel Wesley Wright, who was also known as “Kitty Wright”.

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Ann

August 2, 2014 § 14 Comments

ORIGIN:
Alternately spelled “Anne”, this is an English variant of “Anna”, from “Hannah” (as used in the Greek and Latin Old Testament), a version of the Hebrew name “Channah”, meaning “favor” or “grace”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Ana, Anabel, Anabelle, Anabella, Anais, Andie, Andy, Aneta, Ani, Anica, Anika, Anita, Anitra, Anka, Anke, Anna, Annabel, Annabella, Annabelle, Annag, Anne, Anneke, Annella, Annetta, Annette, Annick, Annicka, Annie, Annika, Anniken, Annis, Anouk, Antje, Anya, Chana, Channah, Hanna, Hannah, Hanne, Nan, Nancy, Nanette, Nannie, Nina, Ninon, Ona, Onna, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Ann, a maidservant in the Lloyd household, in “The Egg-Boy” from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).
Ann, a maidservant in the Lambert household, in “The Thanksgiving Guest”, from A Flock of Girls and Boys.
Ann, one of the Boston children roused to their chores at the start of Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (written in 1943; set during the years leading up to the American Revolutionary War, 1773-1775).
Ann, the little Dunbars’ aunt, married to the wealthy, somewhat cantankerous Uncle Timothy, in “The Little Dunbars, and Their Charming Christmas Plans”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).
Aunt Ann, Agnes Brendon’s aunt, who she relies on to introduce her to the splendid Pelhams, in “That Little Smith Girl” from A Flock of Girls and Boys.
Aunt Ann, Jim Marlowe’s aunt, who hosts the get-together where all the trouble starts, 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)
Ann Dobbin, one of William Dobbin’s sisters in Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray (published in 1847-48, but set in the 1810s-20s).
Ann Fleming, Ally’s aunt, who is perhaps too quick to judge, in “Ally”, from A Flock of Girls and Boys.

WRITERS:
– See this post for a starting list of writers named Ann.

Eliza

August 2, 2014 § 3 Comments

ORIGIN:
Shortened form of “Elizabeth“, meaning “oath of God”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Ella, Ellie, Elissa, Elsa, Elsie, Elyse, Libby, Liddy, Lisa, Lise, Lisette, Liz, Liza, Lizette, Lizy, Lizzie, Lizzy, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Eliza Brandon, Col. Brandon’s cousin, who is forced to marry his brother, and who leaves him the care of her young daughter, in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (set between 1792-1797, published in 1811).
Eliza Reed (sometimes called “Lizzy“), one of Jane’s spoiled, mean-spirited cousins, in Jane Eyre, 1847, by Charlotte Bronte.
Eliza Ridd (called “Lizzie“), John’s small, strange, and spiteful book-loving youngest sister, in Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackmore (written in 1869, set in the 1670s-1680s).
Eliza Spears, a local woman who was miraculously cured by Zeena’s new doctor, Dr. Buck, in Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome (written in 1911, but set in the 1890s or first few years of the 1900s).
Eliza Styles is the false name Rawdon Crawley uses to receive letters from Becky Sharp in Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray (published in 1847-48, but set in the 1810s-20s).
Eliza Williams, Col. Brandon’s ward, who follows too closely the example of her unfortunate mother in at least one regard, in Sense and Sensibility.

WRITERS:
– Eliza Acton (1799-1859), English author and cook.
– Eliza Cook (1818-1889), English author, poet, and writer.
– Eliza Haywood (c. 1693-1756), English actress and writer.
– Eliza Tabor Stephenson (1835-1914), English novelist.

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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