Hardin

September 1, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
From an English last name / place name, meaning “hare’s valley”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Hardan, Harden, Hardene, Hardeyn, Hardon, Haredene.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Middle name of 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).

WRITERS:
Hardin E. Taliaferro (1811-1875), American humorist, preacher, 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”.

Otto

December 3, 2014 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
Variation of the Germanic “Audo” or “Odo”, meaning “wealth”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Audo, Eudes, Oddo, Ode, Odi, Odilon, Odo, Otello, Otho, Othello, Ottone, Ottorino, Rino, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Otto Ottenburg, Fred’s brewing magnate father, in The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (written in 1915 and set in the 1890s).

WRITERS:
– Otto Julius Bierbaum (1865-1910), German writer.
– Otto Binder (1911-1974), American author and comic book writer.
– Otto Ludwig (1813-1865), German critic, dramatist, and novelist.
– Otto Manninen (1872-1950), Finnish poet, translator, and writer.
– Otto Rank (1884-1939), Austrian educator, psychoanalyst, and writer.
– Otto Scott (1918-2006), American author, biographer, and journalist.
– Otto Steiger (1909-2005), Swiss broadcaster and writer.

Hiram

November 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Hebrew, meaning “exalted brother”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Hi, High, Hirem, Huram, Hurem, Hy, Hyram, Hyrem.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Hiram Bowers, Madison Bowers’ father, a Boston choirmaster, in The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (written in 1915 and set in the 1890s).

WRITERS:
– Hiram M. Chittenden (1858-1917), American historian.
– Hiram Alfred (H.A.) Cody (1872-1948), Canadian clergyman and novelist.
– Hiram Fuller (1814-1880), American educator and journalist.

Alfred

October 4, 2014 § 7 Comments

ORIGIN:
From the Old English “Aelfraed”, meaning “elf-counsel”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Aelfraed, Al, Alf, Alfie, Alfredo, Avery, Fred, Fredde, Freddie, Freddy, Fredo, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Alfred, one of the boys Robin plays with during his stay at St. Mark’s, in The Door in the Wall (written in 1949 and set sometime between 1327-1377), by Marguerite de Angeli.

WRITERS:
– Alfred Andersch (1914-1980), German writer, publisher, and radio editor.
– Alfred Austin (1835-1913), English poet.
– Alfred Bester (1913-1987), American author and writer.
– Alfred de Musset (1810-1857), French dramatist, novelist, and poet.
– Alfred de Vigny (1797-1863), French playwright, poet, and novelist.
– Alfred Döblin (1878-1957), German doctor, essayist, and novelist.
– Alfred Hartmann (1814-1897), Swiss writer.
– Alfred Hayes (1911-1985), English novelist, poet, and screenwriter.
– Alfred Edward (A.E.) Housman (1859-1936), English poet and scholar.
– Alfred Jarry (1873-1907), French writer.
– Alfred Kazin (1915-1998), American critic and writer.
– Alfred Kerr (1867-1948), German-Jewish critic and essayist.
– Alfred Lansing (1921-1975), American journalist and writer.
– Alfred Henry Lewis (1855-1914), American editor, journalist, lawyer, novelist, and short story writer.
– Alfred Lichtenstein (1889-1914), German writer.
– Alfred Masson-Forestier (1852-1912), French writer.
– Alfred Neumann (1895-1952), German writer and translator.
– Alfred Noyes (1880-1958), English playwright, poet, and short story writer.
– Alfred Ollivant (1874-1927), English novelist.
– Alfred Perlès (1897-1990), Austrian writer.
– Alfred Reynolds (1907-1993), Anglo-Hungarian writer.
– Alfred Percy Sinnett (1840-1921), English author, journalist, and Theosophist.
– Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892), English poet.
– Alfred Williams (1877-1930), English author and poet.

QUOTATIONS:
– From “Epistle to Earl Harcourt, on his wishing her to spell her name of Catherine with a K“, by an unknown poet (“F—-“), found in A Collection of Poems, Chiefly Manuscript, and from Living Authors (1823), edited by Joanna Baillie: “Alfred, who quell’d th’ unsurping Dane, / And burst, indignant, from his chain; / Who slaves redeemed, to reign o’er men, / Changing the faulchion for the pen, / And outlin’d, with a master’s hand, / Th’ immortal charter of the land; / Alfred, whom yet these realms obey”

Josiah

September 15, 2014 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
From Hebrew, meaning “Jehovah supports”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Iosias, Jos, Josias, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Josiah Bowden, the local parson in Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackmore (written in 1869, set in the 1670s-1680s).
Josiah Quincy, the “best young lawyer in Boston”, who defends Johnny against charges of theft and fraud, in Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (written in 1943; set during the years leading up to the American Revolutionary War, 1773-1775).

WRITERS:
– Josiah Conder (1789-1855), English author and editor.
– Josiah Gregg (1806-1850), American author, explorer, merchant, and naturalist.
– Josiah Henson (1789-1883), American-Canadian abolitionist, author, and minister.
– Josiah Gilbert Holland (1819-1881), American novelist and poet who sometimes used the pen name “Timothy Titcomb”.
– Josiah Quincy III (1772-1864), American historian and politician.
– Josiah Priest (1788-1851), American pseudohistorical and pseudoscientific writer.
– Josiah Strong (1847-1916), American author, clergyman, editor, and organizer.
– Josiah Tucker (1713-1799), Welsh churchman, economist, and political 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.

Elinor

September 2, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Alternate spelling of “Eleanor“.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Alianor, Aliénor, Eilionoir, Eilidh, Elea, Eleanor, Eleanora, Eleanore, Elenor, Elenora, Elenore, Eleonor, Elinora, Elinore, Ella, Ellanore, Elle, Ellen, Elli, Ellie, Ellinor, Elly, Elnora, Leanora, Leonore, Lenora, Lenore, Leonor, Lore, Lorita, Nell, Nelle, Nellie, Nelly, Nonie, Nony, Noor, Noora, Nora, Norah, Noreen, Norene, Norina, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Elinor Dashwood, the practical and restrained older Dashwood sister, with “an excellent heart; — her disposition was affectionate, and her feelings were strong; but she knew how to govern them”, in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (set between 1792-1797, published in 1811).

WRITERS:
– Elinor Brent-Dyer (1894-1969), English children’s book writer.
– Elinor Glyn (1864-1943), English novelist and writer.
– Elinor Lyon (1921-2008), English children’s book writer.
– Elinor Mordaunt (1872-1942), pen name of English writer Evelyn May Clowes, who also wrote under the pen names “Evelyn May Mordaunt” and “Elenor Mordaunt”.
– Elinor Wylie (1885-1928), American novelist and poet.

Ellen

August 30, 2014 § 3 Comments

ORIGIN:
Variation of “Helen“, meaning “torch” or “bright one”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Alena, Alyona, Elen, Elena, Eleni, Eli, Elin, Elina, Ella, Elle, Ellie, Ellin, Elly, Ellyn, Elyn, Helen, Helena, Helene, Hellen, Ileana, Jelena, Leena, Lena, Lene, Leni, Lenke, Nell, Nelle, Nellie, Nelly, Olena, Yelena, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Ellen, a maidservant in the Lambert household, in “The Thanksgiving Guest”, from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).
Ellen, one of the servants who was looking after Robin while his parents were away, until the plague hit the household, in The Door in the Wall (written in 1949 and set sometime between 1327-1377), by Marguerite de Angeli.
Ellen Creighton, a strong, sensible, and affectionate woman, mother of the Creighton clan, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).
– Middle name of Mary Ellen Creighton (b. 1844-46), Jethro’s older sister, “pretty as Jenny, only blond and more delicate”, who was killed in a carriage accident caused by a drunken Travis Burdow in 1859, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).

WRITERS:
– Ellen Gilchrist (b. 1935), American novelist, short story writer, and poet.
– Ellen Glasgow (1873-1945), American novelist.
– Ellen Goodman (b. 1941), American columnist and journalist.
– Ellen Key (1849-1926), Swedish writer.
– Ellen Peck (1942-1995), American activist and writer.
– Ellen Raskin (1928-1984), American writer, illustrator, and fashion designer.
– Ellen Wood (1814-1887), English novelist who often wrote under the pen name “Mrs. Henry Wood”.

Esther

August 29, 2014 § 3 Comments

ORIGIN:
Possibly Persian, meaning “star”, or derived from “Ishtar”, the name of the Babylonian and Assyrian mother goddess of love, fertility, and war.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Aster, Eistir, Esfir, Essi, Essie, Esta, Estee, Ester, Estera, Esteri, Eszter, Eszti, Hester, Ishtar, Istar, Yesfir, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Esther Bowdoin, whose shabby home life belies her blue-blooded ancestry and artistic heritage, in “Esther Bodn”, from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).
Esther (or Edna or Etka) Kroll Shaine — “Esther in Hebrew, Edna in English, and Etka in Russian” — Lily’s increasingly-senile grandmother in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

WRITERS:
You can find a good, solid starter list of writers named “Esther” in this post.

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