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.

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.

Lavinia

September 17, 2015 § 2 Comments

ORIGIN:
Unknown; possibly Etruscan; the name of Aeneas’ wife in The Aeneid.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Lavina, Lavena, Viney, Vinie, Vinnie, Vinny.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Lavinia Lyte (called “Vinny“), Johnny’s proud and determined mother (and Merchant Lyte’s niece), once the “wildest and handsomest girl in Boston”, in Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (written in 1943; set during the years leading up to the American Revolutionary War, 1773-1775).
Lavinia Lyte, Merchant Lyte’s daughter, a beautiful, spoiled, jaded, rich girl who gets what she wants no matter who suffers by it, in Johnny Tremain.

WRITERS:
Lavinia R. Davis (1909-1961), American children’s book author and novelist, who also published under the pen name “Wendell Farmer”.
Lavinia Derwent (1909-1989), pen name of Scottish author and broadcaster Elizabeth Dodd.
Lavinia Dock (1858-1956), American activist, author, and nurse.
Lavinia Greenlaw (b. 1962), English novelist and poet.

QUOTATIONS:
– From Titus Andronicus (c. 1594), Act II, scene 1, by William Shakespeare: “She is a woman, therefore may be woo’d; / She is a woman, therefore may be won; / She is Lavinia, therefore must be loved.”

Dorcas

September 12, 2015 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
Greek variation of the Arabic name “Tabitha”, meaning “gazelle”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Dodie, Dody, Dor, Dora, Dorri, Dorrie, Dorry, Dory, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Dorcas Lapham, Mrs. Lapham’s second-oldest daughter, “built like Madge, but not so loud-voiced, nor as roughly good-natured”, who “thirsted for elegance” and is frequently “painfully prissy [and] proper”, in Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (written in 1943; set during the years leading up to the American Revolutionary War, 1773-1775).

WRITERS:
Dorcas Cochran Jewell (c.1903-1991), American lyricist and screenwriter.

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.

Sigurd

August 31, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
From Old Norse, meaning “victorious guardian”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Siguror, Sigurour, Sigvard, Sjurd, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Sigurd Nelson, a neighbor from “our toward Old Grandville”, who joins in the watch over the Creighton farm when it’s threatened by Guy Wortman and his gang, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).

WRITERS:
Sigurd Abel (1837-1873), German historian.
Sigurd Bødtker (1866-1928), Norwegian critic and poet.
Sigurd Christiansen (1891-1947), Norwegian novelist and playwright.
Sigurd Engelstad (1914-2006), Norwegian archivist, genealogist, and writer.
Sigurd Evensmo (1912-1978), Norwegian author and journalist.
Sigurd Hoel (1890-1960), Norwegian author, editor, and consultant.
Sigurd Ibsen (1859-1930), Norwegian author, lawyer, and statesman.
Sigurd Lybeck (1895-1975), Norwegian farmer, novelist, and short story writer.
Sigurd Segelcke Meidell (1878-1968), Norwegian genealogist, journalist, and novelist.
Sigurd Nergaard (1873-1932), Norwegian educator, folklorist, and writer.
Sigurd F. Olson (1899-1982), American activist and author.
Sigurd Risting (1870-1935), Norwegian historian, teacher, and writer.
Sigurd Senje (1919-1993), Norwegian author, children’s book writer, historian, and novelist.
Sigurd Swane (1879-1973), Danish painter and poet.
Sigurd Willoch (1903-1991), Norwegian art director and historian.

Israel

August 31, 2015 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
Hebrew, meaning “ruling with the Lord” or “wrestling with the Lord” (from “Yisra’el”, meaning “God contended”).

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Is, Iser, Israhel, Isreal, Isreel, Issur, Issy, Iz, Izrael, Izreel, Izzy, Sroel, Yisrael, Yizreel, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Israel Thomas, a friend and neighbor of the Creighton’s, who sometimes brings their mail over from Hidalgo, and who joins in the watch over the Creighton farm when it’s threatened by Guy Wortman and his gang, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).

WRITERS:
Israel the Grammarian (c.895-c.965), Breton (?) philosopher, poet, scholar, theologian, and writer.
Israel Belkind (1861-1929), Russian activist, author, educator, historian, and writer.
Israel Davidson (1870-1939), American publisher and writer.
Israel Friedlander (1876-1920), Polish activist, educator, rabbi, scholar, and translator.
Israel Dov Frumkin (1850-1914), Russian-Palestinian author and journalist.
Israel Gollancz (1863-1930), English editor, professor, scholar, and translator.
Israel Gutman (1923-2013), Polish-Israeli historian.
Israel Horovitz (b. 1939), American actor, director, and playwright.
Israel ben Moses Najara (c.1555-c.1625), Ottoman poet, preacher, and rabbi.
Israel Orenstein (1831-after 1888?), Russian novelist.
Israel Pinkas (b. 1935), Israeli poet.
Israel Regardie (1907-1985), Anglo-American occultist and writer.
Israel Segal (1944-2007), Israeli author, commentator, and journalist.
Israel Joshua Singer (1893-1944), American novelist.
Israel Zangwill (1864-1926), English activist and author.

Ross

August 27, 2015 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
From a Scottish and English place name, meaning “headland” or “promontory”; or from the Norman French word for “red”; or from a Germanic word meaning “horse”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Roos, Roose, Ros, Rosce, Rose, Rosse, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Ross Milton (called “Red“), “the red-haired editor of the county newspaper”, who takes Jethro under his wing, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).

WRITERS:
Ross Clark (b. 1953), Australian poet.
Ross Copperman (b. 1982), American singer and songwriter.
Ross Fitzgerald (b. 1944), Australian academic, historian, and novelist.
Ross Hassig (b. 1945), American anthropologist and author.
Ross King (b. 1962), Canadian novelist and writer.
Ross Leckie (b. 1947), Scottish novelist.
Ross Lockridge, Jr. (1914-1948), American novelist.
Ross Macdonald (1915-1983), pen name of Canadian-American crime author Kenneth Millar.
Ross Parmenter (1912-1999), Canadian author, critic, and editor.
Ross Rocklynne (1913-1988), pen name of American science fiction author Ross Louis Rocklin.
Ross Russell (1909-2000), American author and producer.
Ross Thomas (1926-1995), American crime author who also published under the pen name “Oliver Bleeck”.
Ross Yockey (1943-2008), American author, journalist, producer, and writer.

Taylor

August 26, 2015 § 4 Comments

ORIGIN:
Originally an Old English occupational name, meaning (unsurprisingly) “tailor”, from the French “tailleur”, meaning “cutter of cloth”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Tai, Tailler, Tailleur, Tailour, Tay, Tayler, Taylour, Taylur, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Middle name of William Taylor Creighton (b. 1838), Jethro’s favorite older brother, “a big, silent man who was considered ‘peculiar’ in the neighborhood”, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).

WRITERS:
Taylor Branch (b. 1947), American author and historian.
Taylor Caldwell (1900-1985), pen name of Anglo-American novelist Janet Taylor Caldwell, who also published as “J. Miriam Reback”, “Marcus Holland”, and “Max Reiner”.
Taylor Mali (b. 1965), American humorist, poet, teacher, and voice actor.
Taylor Mead (1924-2013), American actor, performer, and poet.

Ward

August 20, 2015 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
From an Old English last name, meaning “guard” or “watchman”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Varde, Warda, Warde, Warden, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Middle name of Thomas Ward Creighton (b. 1843), Jethro’s older brother, who, at just 18 years of age, runs off to join the Union Army, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).

WRITERS:
Ward Churchill (b. 1947), American activist, author, and professor.
Ward Costello (1919-2009), American actor, composer, and lyricist.
Ward Hawkins (1912-1990), American author, producer, and screenwriter.
Ward Moore (1903-1978), pen name of American novelist and short story writer Joseph Ward Moore.
Ward Morehouse (1895-1966), American author, columnist, critic, and playwright.
Ward Ruyslinck (1929-2014), pen name of Belgian novelist, poet, translator, and writer Raymond De Belser.

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