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.

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Abdul

August 10, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Arabic, meaning “servant of” (usually combined with another name, to mean “servant of the [whatever the other name means]”).

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
None, I don’t think? None that I’ve come across, at any rate.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Abdul Schwartz, one of Uncle Gabe’s two favorite students at his Jewish vocational school, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

Jan

August 10, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
For girls, a variant of “Jane” or diminitive of “Janet“, “Janice”, “Janelle”, etc. For boys, a medieval version of “John“, or a variation on “Johannes”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
For girls: Jana, Janae, Janelle, Janetta, Janet, Janette, Janey, Janie, Janice, Janis, Janith, Janna, Jannah, Jannetta, Jannette, Jayna, Jayne, Jaynie, Jean, Jeanette, Jeanne, Jenae, Jenna, Jennet, Jenni, Jenny, Joan, Joanie, Joanne, Joanna, etc.
For boys: Janek, Jani, Janne, Jannick, Jean, Jens, Jo, Johan, Johannes, John, Johnnie, Johnny, Jon, Jonas, Joni, Jono, Jovan, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Jan Foot, the first of Lily’s high school friends to have “done it”, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

Stuie

August 10, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Diminutive of another of those “last name as first names”, in this case “Stuart” / “Stewart”, meaning “steward”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Stu, Stuart, Stew, Stewart, Stewie, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Stuie Kriszinski, Sheila’s fitness-obsessed younger brother, the object of Lily’s devotion, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

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.

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