Saul

September 21, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
From the Hebrew “Sha’ul”, meaning “asked for” or “prayed for”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Saoul, Sauli, Saulius, Shaul, Shuah, Sol, Suah.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Saul, one of Johnny’s acquaintances, an apprentice at one of the shops on the wharf, in Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (written in 1943; set during the years leading up to the American Revolutionary War, 1773-1775).

WRITERS:
Saul Akkemay (b. 1964), Belgian columnist, novelist, and publicist, who publishes under the pen name “Panbello”.
Saul Alinksy (1909-1972), American activist and writer.
Saul Ascher (1767-1822), German bookseller, translator, and writer.
Saul Bellow (1915-2005), American novelist, playwright, and short story writer.
Saul David (b. 1966), Welsh author, broadcaster, historian, and professor.
Saul Elkins (1907-2001), American director, producer, and screenwriter.
Saul Friedländer (b. 1932), Israeli historian and professor.
Saul Friedman (1929-2010), American educator and journalist.
Saul Landau (1936-2013), American author, commentator, filmmaker, and journalist.
Saul Alves Martins (1917-2009), Brazilian anthropologist, folklorist, and poet.
Saul K. Padover (1905-1981), Austrian-American academic and historian.

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”.

Therese

December 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Variation of “Teresa” / “Theresa”, possibly from Greek, meaning “summer” or “harvest”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Teca, Tena, Teresa, Terese, Teresia, Teresinha, Tereza, Tera, Tere, Teresita, Teri, Terra, Terri, Terrie, Terry, Tess, Tessa, Tessan, Tessie, Tessy, Thera, Theresa, Theresia, Tracee, Tracey, Traci, Tracie, Tracy, Treasa, Treece, Trees, Treese, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
–  ThérèseThea’s French lady’s maid, in The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (written in 1915 and set in the 1890s).

WRITERS:
– Thérèse Bentzon (1840-1907), pen name of French essayist, journalist, and novelist Marie Thérèse Blanc.
– Therese Huber (1764-1829), German author.
– Thérèse-Adèle Husson (1803-1831), French writer.
– Therese von Lützow (1804-1852), German author.
– Therese Albertine Luise Robinson (1797-1870), German-American author, linguist, and translator.

Gunner

November 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Alternate spelling of “Gunnar”, from Old Norse, meaning “warrior”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Gunnar, Gunnarr, Gunne, Gunter, Gunther, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Gunner Kronborg, one of Thea’s rambunctious younger brothers in The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (written in 1915 and set in the 1890s).

WRITERS:
– Gunner Berg (1764-1827), Norwegian politician, priest, 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.

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.

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.

James

August 2, 2014 § 14 Comments

ORIGIN:
From the same source as “Jacob”, from Hebrew, meaning “supplanter”, or possibly, “may God protect”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Giacomo, Hamish, Iago, Jae, Jacques, Jago, Jai, Jaime, Jaimie, Jamie, Jameson, Jamieson, Jamey, Jay, Jaymes, Jeames, Jem, Jemmy, Jim, Jimbo, Jimi, Jimmie, Jimmy, Jimsy, Seamus, Shamus, Sheamus, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
James, the manservant at 999 Marlborough Street, in “Ally”, from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).
James, butler for the Joy family while in Newport, in A Little Country Girl (1885), by Susan Coolidge.
James, Mr. Woodhouse’s coachman in Jane Austen’s Emma (1815).
James, 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).
James Cooper, whose wife is one of those married friends from Bath that Augusta Elton cites as an example of how married women always give up their pursuit of music, in Emma.
James Alexander, the alias chosen by the con man who persecutes Georgie Gray and Berry Joy in A Little Country Girl.
– James Crawley (sometimes called “Jim“), one of the Rev. Bute Crawley’s sons in Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray (published in 1847-48, but set in the 1810s-20s).
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).
James Marlowe (called “Jim“), the impetuous young man whose impulsive nature leads to a sorrowful mix-up, 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)
James McMull, the “young sprig of Scotch nobility” Miss Rhoda Swartz ends up marrying after Mr. Osborne fails to add her to his family, in Vanity Fair.

WRITERS:
– See this post for a long list of writers named James dating all the way back to the thirteenth century.

Barbara

July 31, 2014 § 4 Comments

ORIGIN:
From Greek, meaning “strange” or “foreign”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Babs, Barb, Barbary, Barbera, Barbie, Barbra, Barby, Bobbie, Bobby, Varvara, Varvora, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Barbara, a servant at Lowood Academy, in Jane Eyre, 1847, by Charlotte Bronte.
Barbara, a “severe and devout Princess of the House of Bolkum, widow of the monarch of Pumpernickel, where Dobbin, Amelia, Jos, and Georgy stop for a while on their Grand Tour, in Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray (published in 1847-48, but set in the 1810s-20s).
Lady Barbara Fitzurse is an heiress who serves as a topic for gossip between Miss Crawley, Rawdon Crawley, and Becky Sharp in Vanity Fair.
Barbara Pinkerton, the formidable sister in charge of Miss Pinkerton’s Academy for young ladies in Vanity Fair.

WRITERS:
Want to learn more about writers named “Barbara”? Check out this post for starters.

QUOTATIONS:
– “Barbara Allen” is a traditional folk song with origins in England and Scotland in the 17th century, though it has undergone hundreds of variations since it was first recorded by Samuel Pepys in 1666: “In Scarlet town where I was born / there was a fair maid dwellin’ / and every youth cried Well-a-day / For her name was Barb’ra Allen”.

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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