Percival

October 7, 2015 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
Alternate spelling of “Perceval”, a name created for the poem Perceval, or the Story of the Grail, written in the 12th century by French poet Chrétian de Troyes; possibly influenced by the Old French for “to pierce the valley” or “to perceive the veil (of religious mystery)”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Parsifal, Parzifal, Perce, Perceval, Percevale, Percie, Percy, Percyvelle.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Percival Tweedie, the “eligible bachelor” silversmith who comes to join Lapham as partner after Johnny’s accident, in Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (written in 1943; set during the years leading up to the American Revolutionary War, 1773-1775).

WRITERS:
Percival Everett (b. 1956), American novelist, professor, and short story writer.
Percival Pickering (1865-1965), pen name of English author Anna Marie Wilhelmina (A.M.W.) Pickering.
Percival Pollard (1869-1911), American critic, novelist, and short story writer.
Percival Serle (1871-1951), Australian bibliographer and biographer.
Percival Spear (1901-1982), English educator, government worker, and historian.
Percival Stockdale (1736-1811), English poet, reformer, and writer.
Percival Wilde (1887-1953), American author and playwright.
Percival Christopher (P.C.) Wren (1875-1941), English author and educator.

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Carey

August 10, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
One of those “last names as first names” that were once a quite popular way for a mother’s maiden name to be passed on to her sons, “Carey” (alternately spelled “Cary”) may be from an English place name, meaning “fort”; or a Welsh place name, meaning “stony island”; or a French place name from Normandy or Burgundy; or an Irish name meaning “descended from Ciardha (the Black)”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Carew, Cary, Carrey, Carye, Ceary, Crey, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Carey Kriszinski, Sheila’s overweight older brother, “forever working the meat slicer”, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

WRITERS:
Carey Parrish (b. 1967), American author and writer.
Carey Wilson (1889-1962), American producer, screenwriter, and voice actor.

Sheila

August 10, 2015 § 3 Comments

ORIGIN:
Alternative / Anglicized spelling of “Sile”, an Irish variation of “Cecilia” / “Cecily” / “Cicely“; or an alternate spelling of “Sheela” / “Shila”, a Hindu / Sanskrit name meaning “good character” or “good conduct”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Cacilia, Cacelie, Caecilia, Cecilia, Cecilie, Cecilija, Cecille, Cecily, Cecylia, Cicely, Cicily, Cila, Cila, Cili, Cilka, Cilla, Cille, Cissi, Cissie, Cissy, Shayla, Shaylah, Shelagh, Sheelagh, Sheelah, Sheilah, Shelia, Shyla, Shylah, Sila, Sile, Sileas, Silja, Silje, Silke, Silla, Sille, Sissi, Sissie, Sissy, Tsetsiliya, Zila, Zile, Zilla, Zillah, Zille, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Sheila Kriszinski, Lily’s new best friend in high school, who counts as somewhat “bad company”, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

WRITERS:
Sheila Baxter (b. 1933), Canadian activist and author.
Sheila Bhatia (1916-2008), Indian playwright and poet.
Sheila Burnford (1918-1984), Scottish-Canadian author and traveler.
Sheila Callaghan (b. 1973), American playwright and screenwriter.
Sheila Connolly (b. 1950), American mystery author.
Sheila Cussons (1922-2004), South African painter, poet, and writer.
Sheila Finch (b. 1935), Anglo-American science fiction author.
Sheila Fischman (b. 1937), Canadian columnist, editor, and translator.
Sheila Fitzpatrick (b. 1941), Australian-American author, historian, and professor.
Sheila Meiring Fugard (b. 1932), South African novelist, playwright, poet, and short story writer.
Sheila Gordon (1927-2013), South African novelist.
Sheila Heti (b. 1976), Canadian author and editor.
Sheila Holland (1937-2000), English romance author who also published under the pen names “Charlotte Lamb”, “Laura Hardy”, “Sheila Coates”, “Sheila Lancaster”, and “Victoria Wolf”.
Sheila Kaye-Smith (1887-1956), English novelist.
Sheila K. McCullagh (1920-2014), English author and children’s book writer.
Sheila E. Murphy (b. 1951), American poet.
Sheila Nicholls (b. 1970), English singer and songwriter.
Sheila Nickerson (b. 1942), American poet and writer.
Sheila Quigley (b. 1947), English suspense and thriller author.
Sheila Rowbotham (b. 1943), English activist and writer.
Sheila Stewart (1937-2014), Scottish author, singer, and storyteller.
Sheila Stuart (1892-1974), pen name of Scottish author and children’s book writer Gladys May Baker.
Sheila Walsh (1928-2009), English romance author who also published under the pen name “Sophie Leyton”.
Sheila Watson (1909-1998), Canadian critic, novelist, and teacher.

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.

Igor

August 4, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Russian variation of “Ingvar”, from the Old Norse “hero” name “Yngvarr”, meaning “warrior of the god Yngvi-Freyr“; sometimes used as a variation of “George“.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Ingvar, Ingvarr, Yngvar, Yngvarr, Yngvi, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Igor, the (possibly false) name of more than one of Uncle Len’s mysterious friends, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

WRITERS:
Igor Akimushkin (1929-1993), Russian writer and zoologist.
Igor M. Diakonoff (1915-1999), Russian historian, linguist, scholar, and translator.
Igor Goldkind (b. 1960), American lecturer, poet, science fiction author, and writer.
Igor Guberman (b. 1936), Russian-Israeli poet and writer.
Igor Marojević (b. 1968), Serbian novelist, playwright, short story writer, and translator.
Igor Severyanin (1887-1941), Russian poet.
Igor Škamperle (b. 1962), Slovenian essayist, novelist, sociologist, and translator.
Igor Štiks (b. 1977), Croatian author, editor, reporter, and scholar.
Igor Talankin (1927-2010), Russian director and screenwriter.
Igor Torkar (1913-2004), pen name of Slovenian poet, playwright, and writer Boris Fakin.
Igor Yefimov (b. 1937), Russian-American philosopher, publisher, and writer who also publishes as “Andrei Moscovit”.

Edna

August 2, 2015 § 3 Comments

ORIGIN:
Possibly an Anglicized version of the Gaelic “Eithne”, meaning “kernel”, or from Hebrew, meaning “pleasure” or “rejuvenation”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Aithne, Edena, Ednah, Eithne, Ena, Enya, Ethna, Ethne, Etna, Idina, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Edna (or Esther 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:
Edna Anhalt (1914-1987), American screenwriter.
Edna Buchanan (b. 1938/39), American crime author, journalist, and novelist.
Edna Ferber (1885-1968), American novelist, playwright, and short story writer.
Edna (E.) Mayne Hull (1905-1975), Canadian science fiction author.
Edna Iturralde (b. 1948), Ecuadorian children’s book author.
Edna Lewis (1916-2006), American author and chef.
Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950), American poet and playwright who also published under the pen name “Nancy Boyd”.
Edna O’Brien (b. 1930), Irish memoirist, novelist, playwright, poet, and short story writer.
Edna Osser (1919-2005), American songwriter.
Edna Staebler (1906-2006), Canadian author and journalist.

Inez

May 24, 2015 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
Anglicization of “Inés”, the Italian or Spanish version of “Agnes“.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Annice, Annis, Aune, Iines, Ines, Nainsi, Nance, Nancie, Nancy, Nensi, Nes, Neske, Nessie, Nessy, Nest, Nesta, Neysa, Oanez, Ynes, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Inez Carew, the actress Carrie replaces for her first big break, in Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie (published in 1900; set 1889-1890s).

WRITERS:
Inez Baskin (1916-2007), American activist and journalist.
Inez Hogan (1895-1973), American children’s book author and illustrator.
Inez Holden (1903-1974), English journalist, socialite, and writer.
Inez Haynes Irwin (1873-1970), American activist, author, and journalist who sometimes published as “Inez Haynes Gillmore”.

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