Priscilla

September 9, 2015 § 2 Comments

ORIGIN:
Diminutive of “Prisca”, from a Roman family name meaning “ancient” or “of ancient birth”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Cece, Cila, Cili, Cilka, Cilla, Cille, Pricila, Pricilla, Pris, Prisca, Priscila, Priska, Priskilla, Prissie, Prissy, Scilla, Sileas, Silja, Silje, Silke, Sile, Sille, Sisi, Sissie, Sissy, Zilla, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Priscilla Lapham (called “Cilla“), Mrs. Lapham’s devoted, reliable, practical teenaged daughter, who remains a true friend to Johnny through all the turmoil of Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (written in 1943; set during the years leading up to the American Revolutionary War, 1773-1775).

WRITERS:
Priscilla (1735-1812), pen name of English activist, reformer, and writer Ann Jebb.
Priscilla Buckley (1921-2012), American author and editor.
Priscilla Galloway (b. 1930), Canadian children’s book author.
Priscilla Napier (1908-1998), English author and biographer.
Priscilla Uppal (b. 1974), Canadian novelist, playwright, and poet.
Priscilla Wakefield (1751-1832), English activist, children’s book author, and writer.

Ebenezer

August 21, 2015 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
Hebrew, meaning “stone of help”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Ben, Bennie, Benny, Eb, Ebb, Eben, Eben-ezer, Ebeneezer, Ez, Eez, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Ebenezer Carron (called “Eb“; b. 1843), Jethro’s cousin, a hot-headed young man who joins Tom in running off to enlist in the Union Army, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).

WRITERS:
Ebenezer Beesley (1840-1906), Anglo-American composer and hymn-writer.
E. (Ebenezer) Cobham Brewer (1810-1897), English lexicographer and writer.
Ebenezer Cooke (c.1665-c.1732), English poet and satirist.
Ebenezer Elliott (1781-1849), English activist and poet.
Ebenezer Erskine (1680-1754), Scottish minister and writer.
Ebenezer Forrest (fl. 1774), English attorney, dramatist, and writer.
Ebenezer Jones (1820-1860), English poet.
Ebenezer Landells (1808-1860), English artist, children’s book writer, illustrator, and publisher.
Ebenezer Joseph Mather (1849-1927), English philanthropist and writer.
Ebenezer Porter (1772-1834), American minister, translator, and writer.
Ebenezer Prout (1835-1909), English composer, teacher, and writer.
Ebenezer Rhodes (1762-1839), English artist, editor, poet, publisher, topographer, and writer.
Ebenezer Platt Rogers (1817-1881), American author and minister.
Ebenezer Sibley (1751-c.1799), English astrologer, physician, and writer.
Ebenezer Syme (1825-1860), Scottish-Australian journalist and publisher.
Ebenezer Thomas (1802-1863), Welsh poet and teacher who also published under the pen name “Eben Fardd”.

Juan

November 6, 2014 § 2 Comments

ORIGIN:
Spanish form of “John“.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Ganix, Jan, Joan, Juanito, Xuan, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Juan Tellamantez (called “Spanish Johnny“), a talented guitar player, one of the Mexican workmen who befriend Thea in The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (written in 1915 and set in the 1890s).

WRITERS:
– Juan Andrés y Morell (1740-1817), Spanish Jesuit author, critic, humanist, and priest..
– Juan José Arreola (1918-2001), Mexican humorist and writer.
– Juan Benet (1927-1993), Spanish writer.
– Juan Ramón Jiménez (1881-1958), Spanish poet.
– Juan Antonio Llorente (1756-1823), Spanish historian and writer.
– Juan Manuel, Prince of Villena (1282-1348), Spanish writer.
– Juan Francisco Manzano (1797-1854), Cuban author.
– Juan Montalvo (1832-1889), Ecuadorian author and essayist.
– Juan Carlos Onetti (1909-1994), Uruguayan novelist and short story writer.
– Juan Ruiz, Archpriest of Hita (ca. 1283-ca. 1350), Spanish poet.
– Juan Perez Rulfo (1918-1986), Mexican novelist and short story writer.
– Juan Luis Vives (1493-1540), Spanish humanist, scholar, and writer.
– Juan Rodolfo Wilcock (1919-1978), Argentinian critic, poet, translator, and writer.

Annamaria

September 2, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Combination of “Anna” and “Maria“; variation of “Annemarie”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Anna Maria, Anna Marie, Anne Marie, Annamarie, Annemarie, Marian, Marianne, Maryann, Maryanna, Maryanne, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Annamaria, one of Sir John and Lady Middleton’s children, in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (set between 1792-1797, published in 1811).

WRITERS:
– Anna Maria Bennett (c. 1750-1808), English novelist (sometimes credited as “Agnes Maria Hall”)
– Anna Maria Bunn (1808-1889), Australian author.
– Anna Maria Falconbridge (1769-c. 1816), English writer.
– Anna Maria Hall (1800-1881), Irish novelist (sometimes credited as “Mrs. S.C. Hall”)
– Anna Maria Hussey (1805-1853), English scientist, writer, and illustrator.
– Anna Maria Lenngren (1754-1817), Swedish poet, translator, and writer.
– Anna Maria Ortese (1914-1998), Italian poet and short story writer.
– Anna Maria Porter (1780-1832), English poet and novelist.
– Anna Maria Rückerschöld (1725-1805), Swedish author.
– Anna Maria van Schurman (1607-1678), German-Dutch engraver, painter, poet, and scholar.
– Anna Maria Wells (c. 1794-1868), American poet and children’s book writer.

Frances

August 27, 2014 § 5 Comments

ORIGIN:
Feminine form of “Francis“, from the Germanic / Old French word for “free”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Chica, Cissie, Cissy, Fan, Fannie, Fanny, Fran, Franca, Franci, Francie, Francka, Franka, Frankie, Franky, Frannie, Franny, Franzi, Paca, Paquita, Sissie, Sissy, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Frances Wentworth (called “Fan” or “Fanny“, Will’s conceited, snobbish cousin in “That Little Smith Girl” from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).

WRITERS:
Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924), English author and playwright.
Frances (Fanny) Burney (1752-1840), English diarist, novelist, and playwright.
Frances Cornford (1886-1960), English poet.
Frances FitzGerald (b. 1940), American historian and journalist.
Frances Scott (“Scottie”) Fitzgerald (1921-1986), American journalist and writer.
Frances Marion (1888-1973), American author, journalist, and screenwriter.
Frances Osborne (b. 1969), English biographer and novelist.
Frances Eleanor Trollope (1835-1913), English novelist.
Frances Milton Trollope (1779-1863), English novelist and writer.
Frances Vane, Viscountess Vane (c.1715-1788), English memoirist and socialite.

Alexander

August 22, 2014 § 14 Comments

ORIGIN:
Latin version of the Greek “Alexandros”, meaning “defender of men”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Ace, Al, Alasdair, Alastair, Alastar, Ale, Alec, Alejandro, Aleks, Aleksander, Aleksandr, Alessandro, Alex, Alexandre, Alexandros, Alexis, Alick, Alisander, Alistair, Alister, Ally, Eskandar, Iskandar, Lexi, Olek, Oleksander, Oleksandr, Sacha, Sander, Sandor, Sandy, Sandro, Sascha, Saunder, Sawney, Sender, Shura, Sikandar, Skender, Xander, Xandinho, Zander, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Middle name of James Alexander Creighton (1849-1852), one of the three young Creighton boys who died of “paralysis” the year Jethro was born, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).
Alexander Herron, Ruth Jameson’s grandfather, “who made a concession”, in The Harvester (1911) by Gene Stratton Porter.

WRITERS:
– Alexander Brown (1843-1906), American historian and writer.
– Alexander Hamilton (1755 or 1757- 1804), American essayist, economist, and political leader.
– Alexander King (1899-1965), Austrian-American humorist and memoirist.
– Alexander Mollin (b. 1947), pen name of English author Jim Williams, who also publishes as “Richard Hugo”.
– Alexander Pope (1688-1744), English poet.
– Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837), Russian author and poet.
– Alexander Ross (c.1590-1654), Scottish writer.
– Alexander Scott (c.1520-1582/83), Scottish poet.
– Alexander Scott (1920-1989), Scottish poet and scholar.
Alexander Tayler (1870-1937), British author and historian who published under the pen name of “Alasdair Tayler”, and often published jointly with his sister, Hetty.
– Alexander Wilson (1893-1963), English writer and spy.

Philip

August 21, 2014 § 2 Comments

ORIGIN:
From the Greek “Philippos”, meaning “friend of horses”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Felip, Felipe, Filib, Filip, Filippos, Filippus, Flip, Phil, Phillip, Philippe, Philippos, Pilib, Pip, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Philip Canning, the narrator of “The Portrait” (1885), from Stories of the Seen and Unseen by Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant.
– Rev. Mr. Philip Elton, the handsome and seemingly-agreeable vicar of Highbury, who turns out to be rather conceited and inconsiderate, in Jane Austen’s Emma (1815).
– Philip Frederick Ottenburg (called “Fred“), the dynamic young brewing heir who launches Thea’s operatic career, in The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (written in 1915 and set in the 1890s).

WRITERS:
Philip K. Dick (1928-1982), American essayist, novelist, philosopher, and short story writer.
Philip Freneau (1752-1832), American editor, poet, and polemicist.
Philip Latham (1902-1981), pen name of American astronomer and science fiction author Robert S. Richardson.
Philip Pullman (b. 1946), British fantasy author and playwright.
Philip Roth (b. 1933), American novelist.
Philip Van Doren Stern (1900-1984), American author, editor, and historian.

Richard

August 14, 2014 § 4 Comments

ORIGIN:
Germanic, meaning “strong ruler” or “brave power”.

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

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Richard, a cousin of the two Miss Steele’s, who stay with his family in their London home in Bartlett’s Buildings, in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (set between 1792-1797, published in 1811).
Sir Richard Blewitt, a local magistrate in Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackmore (written in 1869, set in the 1670s-1680s).
Richard de Lindsay, one of Sir Peter and Lady Constance’s two sons, in The Door in the Wall (written in 1949 and set sometime between 1327-1377), by Marguerite de Angeli.
Mr. Richard Lorton, whose failure to teach his youngest daughter to curb her chattering results in much trouble for the whole family, in “The Youngest Miss Lorton”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).
Richard Mason (called “Dick“), Bertha Mason’s brother, in Jane Eyre, 1847, by Charlotte Bronte.

WRITERS:
– Richard Allen (1922-1993), pen name of Anglo-Canadian pulp novelist James Moffat, who also published under the pen names of “Etienne Aubin” and “Trudi Maxwell”.
– Richard Bach (b. 1936), American writer.
– Richard Cargoe (1911-1983), pen name of Cornish biographer, historian, lecturer, novelist, poet, and professor Robert Payne, who also used the pen names “Howard Horn”, “John Anthony Devon”, “Robert Young”, and “Valentin Tikhonov”.
– Richard Hugo (b. 1947), pen name of English author Jim Williams, who also publishes as “Alexander Mollin”.
– Richard Lovelace (1618-1657), English poet.
– Richard Matheson (1926-2013), American author and screenwriter.
– Richard Price (b. 1949), American novelist and screenwriter.
– Richard Pryor (1940-2005), American actor, comedian, critic, director, and writer.
– Richard Raine (1923-2006), pen name of English author Raymond Sawkins, who also wrote under the pen names “Colin Forbes”, “Harold English”, and “Jay Bernard”.
– Richard Russo (b. 1949), American author and screenwriter.
– Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816), Irish playwright and poet.
– Richard Wilbur (b. 1921), American poet.
– Richard Wright (1908-1960), American writer and poet.

Anna

August 6, 2014 § 9 Comments

ORIGIN:
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, Anais, Andie, Andy, Aneke, Aneta, Ani, Ania, Anica, Anika, Anissa, Anita, Anitra, Anka, Anke, Ann, Annabel, Annabella, Annabelle, Anne, Anneke, Annetta, Annette, Annick, Annicka, Annie, Annika, Anniken, Annis, Anny, Anouk, Antje, Anushka, Anya, Channah, Hana, Hanna, Hannah, Hanne, Nainsi, Nan, Nancie, Nancy, Nanette, Nannie, Nanny, Nina, Ninon, Ona, Onna, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Anna Kronborg, Thea’s jealous and priggish older sister, in The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (written in 1915 and set in the 1890s).
Anna Page, Sidney’s mother, who takes in boarders to help pay the bills after her sister, Harriet, leaves to start a dressmaking business, in K. by Mary Roberts Rinehart (1914).
Anna Raymond, the girl Dolly Lorton is gossiping about when her friend Sally Ware calls her on it, in “The Youngest Miss Lorton”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).
Anna Richards, Mary Marcy’s friend and seat-mate, in “An April Fool”, from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).
Anna Snezak, co-owner (with her husband, Morris) of AnaMor Towers apartments, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).
Anna Weston, the baby girl possibly named for her mother, who signs her name “A. Weston” (née Taylor), in Jane Austen’s Emma (1815).
Anna Winslow, president of the Mayflower Club in “May Flowers”, from A Garland for Girls, by Louisa May Alcott, 1887.

WRITERS:
– Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966), pen name of Russian poet Anna Andreyevna Gorenko.
– Anna Laetitia Barbauld (1743-1825), English critic, editor, essayist, poet, and children’s book writer.
– Anna Maria Bennett (c. 1750-1808), English novelist (sometimes credited as “Agnes Maria Hall”)
– Anna Maria Bunn (1808-1889), Australian author.
– Anna Maria Falconbridge (1769-c. 1816), English writer.
– Anna Katherine Green (1846-1935), American poet and novelist.
– Anna Maria Hall (1800-1881), Irish novelist (sometimes credited as “Mrs. S.C. Hall”)
– Anna Maria Hussey (1805-1853), English scientist, writer, and illustrator.
– Anna Kavan (1901-1968), English novelist, short story writer, and painter.
– Anna Maria Lenngren (1754-1817), Swedish poet, translator, and writer.
– Anna Maria Ortese (1914-1998), Italian poet and short story writer.
– Anna Maria Porter (1780-1832), English poet and novelist.
– Anna Quindlen (b. 1953), American author, columnist, and journalist.
– Anna Maria Rückerschöld (1725-1805), Swedish author.
– Anna Seghers (1900-1983), pen name of German writer Anna Reiling.
– Anna Sewell (1820-1878), English novelist.
– Anna Maria van Schurman (1607-1678), German-Dutch engraver, painter, poet, and scholar.
– Anna Marie Wilhelmina (A.M.W.) Stirling (1865-1965), English author who published under the pen name “Percival Pickering”.
– Anna Maria Wells (c. 1794-1868), American poet and children’s book writer.
– Anna Wheeler (c. 1780-1848), Irish activist and writer.

Fanny

August 2, 2014 § 4 Comments

ORIGIN:
Diminutive of “Frances” or “Francisca” (feminine versions of “Francis“, meaning “Frenchman”), or of “Stefania”, etc.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Chica, Cissie, Cissy, Fan, Fannie, Fran, Franca, Franci, Francie, Francka, Franka, Frankie, Franky, Frannie, Franny, Franzi, Paca, Paquita, Sissie, Sissy, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Fanny, a cousin of Col. Brandon’s, who Mrs. Jennings guesses may have recently married, in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility(set between 1792-1797, published in 1811).
Fanny Bludyer, a friend of the social-climbing Maria Bullock (née Osborne) Fanny Bludyer, a friend of the social-climbing Maria Bullock (née Osborne) in Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray (published in 1847-48, but set in the 1810s-20s).
Fanny de Butterbrod, a Countess of Pumpernickel who nearly captures Joseph Sedley’s all-too-susceptible heart in Vanity Fair.
Fanny Crawley, one of the Rev. Bute Crawley’s daughters in Vanity Fair.
Fanny Dashwood (née Ferrars), John Dashwood’s wife and Edward Ferrar’s sister, a cold, greedy, snobbish woman with no consideration for others, in Sense and Sensibility.
Fanny (called “Fan“) Fletcher, a friend of Jessie Delano who needs dancing lessons, in “An Ivy Spray and Ladies’ Slippers”, from A Garland for Girls, by Louisa May Alcott, 1887.
Fanny Hamlin, Susy’s best friend in “Susy’s Dragon”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).
Fanny Magenis, one of the army wives who make up the social circle for Amelia Sedley after her marriage to George Osborne, in Vanity Fair.
Fanny Scape, who, with her sister and mother, “fade away to Boulogne” after her father’s failure in the firm of Fogle, Fake, and Cracksman, in Vanity Fair.
Fanny (Frances) Wentworth, Will’s conceited, snobbish cousin in “That Little Smith Girl” from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).

WRITERS:
Fanny (Frances) Burney (1752-1840), English diarist, novelist, and playwright.
Fanny Crosby (1820-1915), American composer, lyricist, mission worker, and poet.
Fanny de Beauharnais (1737-1813), French salon-holder, socialite, and woman-of-letters.
Fanny Fern (1811-1872), pen name of American children’s book writer, columnist, humorist, and novelist, Sara Willis.
Fanny Howe (b. 1940), American novelist, poet, and short story writer.
Fanny Kemble (1809-1893), English actress and writer.
Fanny Lewald (1811-1889), German activist and author.

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