Rab

October 7, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
A Scottish variation of “Rob“, short for “Robert“.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Bob, Bobbie, Bobby, Brecht, Hob, Hopcyn, Hopkin, Pertti, Rabbie, Rob, Robbe, Robbie, Robby, Robi, Robin, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Rab Silsbee, the laconic apprentice and nephew to Mr. Lorne, owner of The Observer; a born fighter who becomes Johnny’s best friend and hero in Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (written in 1943; set during the years leading up to the American Revolutionary War, 1773-1775).

WRITERS:
Rab Noakes (b. 1947), Scottish singer and songwriter.
Rab Wilson (b. 1960), Scottish poet and translator.

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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.”

Hig

September 2, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Unknown; possibly a variation of “High” or diminutive of “Higgins” or some such, but really, I’ve no idea.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
. . . I’ve got nothing.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Hig Phillips, a wealthy farmer infamous in the area for hiring a substitute to go to war for him, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).

Victoria

September 2, 2015 § 6 Comments

ORIGIN:
Latin, from the Roman goddess of victory; feminine form of “Victorius” (which is also, of course, from Latin, meaning “victory”).

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Latoya, Toree, Tori, Toria, Toriana, Torie, Torri, Torrie, Torry, Tory, Toya, Vic, Vicie, Vickey, Vicki, Vickie, Vicky, Victoire, Victoriana, Victorina, Victorine, Victory, Vicy, Vikki, Viktoria, Viktorie, Viktorija, Viktoriya, Vitoria, Vittoria, Wikolia, Wiktoria, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Aunt Victoria, Shad’s aunt in Washington, who works as a nurse during the war, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).

WRITERS:
Victoria Benedictsson (1850-1888), Swedish novelist who published under the pen name “Ernst Ahlgren”.
Victoria Mary Clarke (b. 1966), Irish journalist and writer.
Victoria Chang (b. 1970), American poet and writer.
Victoria Hislop (b. 1959), English novelist and short story writer.
Victoria Newcomb (b. 1974), American novelist.
Victoria Ocampo (1890-1979), Argentine intellectual and writer.
Victoria Strauss (b. 1955), American fantasy author.
Victoria Williams (b. 1958), American musician, singer, and songwriter.

Lafe

September 2, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Possibly an Anglicization of the Old Norse “Leif”, meaning “heir” or “descendant”, or a diminutive of “Lafayette”, a French last name, meaning “son of Lafay” (“Lafay” being a place name meaning “near the beech tree”).

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Lafay, Lafaye, Lafayette, Lafee, Leif, Leiv.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Lafe Edwards, proprietor of a saloon in Newton, which falls prey to Guy Wortman’s band of troublemakers, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).

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.

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