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”.

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Ira

August 9, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
From Hebrew, meaning “watchful”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
I . . . got nothin’.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Ira Tourin, Marty’s younger brother, “born a month prematurely, and . . . permanently trying to catch up”, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

WRITERS:
Ira Aldridge (1807-1867), Anglo-American actor and playwright.
Ira Berkow (b. 1940), American columnist, reporter, and writer.
Ira Berkowitz (b. 1939), American crime author.
Ira Berlin (b. 1941), American author, historian, and professor.
Ira Cohen (1935-2011), American filmmaker, photographer, poet, and publisher.
Ira Eisenstein (1906-2001), American author, rabbi, and theologian.
Ira Lunan Ferguson (1904-1992), American author, essayist, and psychologist.
Ira Joe Fisher (b. 1947), American broadcaster, educator, and poet.
Ira Gitler (b. 1928), American historian and journalist.
Ira Gershwin (1896-1983), American lyricist.
Ira D. Gruber (b. 1934), American author, bibliographer, and historian.
Ira B. Harkey, Jr. (1918-2006), American author, editor, professor, and publisher.
Ira Ishida (b. 1960), Japanese actor, commentator, novelist, and short story writer.
Ira M. Lapidus (b. 1937), American author, historian, and professor.
Ira Levin (1929-2007), American dramatist, novelist, and songwriter.
Ira Lewis (1932-2015), American actor, playwright, and writer.
Ira Louvin (1924-1965), pen name of American musician, singer, and songwriter Ira Lonnie Loudermilk.
Ira Sadoff (b. 1945), American critic, novelist, poet, and short story writer.
Ira Schuster (1889-1945), American songwriter who also published under the pen name “John Siras”.
Ira Stanphil (1914-1993), American songwriter.
Ira Wallach (1913-1995), American novelist and screenwriter.
Ira Wolfert (1908-1997), American reporter and writer.

Benjamin

May 24, 2015 § 5 Comments

ORIGIN:
From the Hebrew name “Binyamin”, meaning “son of the south” or “son of the right hand”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Ben, Beniamin, Beniamino, Benj, Benja, Benji, Benjie, Benjy, Bennie, Benny, Benyamen, Beryamen, Binyamin, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Benjamin Hardin Creighton (b. 1832), oldest of the Creighton children, “left for Californy 1849”), in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).
– Middle name of Matthew Benjamin Creighton, Ellen’s husband and Jethro’s father, a well-respected farmer of integrity and compassion, in Across Five Aprils.
Benjamin Norton, the president of the trolley company Hurstwood attempts to work for, in Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie (published in 1900; set 1889-1890s).

WRITERS:
Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), English novelist and politician.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), American activist, author, diplomat, inventor, politician, publisher, scientist, and statesman.

Dudley

January 6, 2015 § 2 Comments

ORIGIN:
An Old English last name, meaning “from Dudda’s meadow”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
None that I can think of.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Lord Dudley, the evil Duke Wulf’s fat son, in the fantasy novel The Last Unicorn (1968) by Peter S. Beagle.

WRITERS:
– Dudley Carew (1903-1981), English critic, journalist, poet, and writer.
– Dudley Costello (1803-1865), Anglo-Irish journalist, novelist, and soldier.
– Dudley Doust (1930-2008), American author and journalist.
– Dudley Fitts (1903-1968), American critic, educator, poet, and translator.
– Dudley Leavitt (1772-1851), American editor and publisher.
– Dudley Nichols (1895-1960), American screenwriter.
– Dudley Randall (1914-2000), American poet and publisher.
– Dudley Pope (1925-1997), English author.

Alban

December 19, 2014 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
From the Latin place name, meaning “from Alba”, derived from the Latin word “albus”, meaning “white”. Also the name of a prominent English saint.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Albano, Albanus, Albany, Alben, Albin, Albinus, Aubin, Aubyn, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Duke Alban, whose land needs to be saved from a rampaging ogre, in the fantasy novel The Last Unicorn (1968) by Peter S. Beagle.

WRITERS:
– Alban Butler (1710-1773), English author and priest.
– Alban Stoltz (1808-1883), German author and theologian.
– Alban Thomas (c. 1660?-c.1740), Welsh cleric, poet, and translator.

Oliver

December 3, 2014 § 6 Comments

ORIGIN:
Variation of the French “Olivier”; either from German, meaning “elven army”, or from Latin, meaning “olive tree”, or from the Nordic “Olaf”, meaning “ancestor’s descendant”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Oli, Olivier, Oliviero, Ollie, Noll, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Oliver Landry, Thea’s accompanist, and friend to both Thea and Fred, in The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (written in 1915 and set in the 1890s).

WRITERS:
– Oliver Crawford (1917-2008), American author and screenwriter.
– Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), Anglo-Irish novelist, playwright, and poet.
– Oliver Herford (1863-1935), American artist, humorist, illustrator, and writer.
– Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809-1894), American author, lecturer, physician, poet, and professor.
– Oliver Lodge (1851-1940), English physicist and writer.
– Oliver W.F. Lodge (1878-1955), English author and poet.
– Oliver Onions (1873-1961), English writer.
– Oliver Sacks (b. 1933), Anglo-American author and neurologist.

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.

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