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).

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Mabruk

December 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Probably Persian, meaning “blessed” or “prosperous”, or related to the Arabic “Mabrouk”, meaning “congratulations”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Mabrouk. And I don’t know what else.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Mabruk, the master magician Schmendrick usurps as a member of King Haggard’s court in the fantasy novel The Last Unicorn (1968) by Peter S. Beagle.

Drinn

December 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Unknown. Possibly related to an Arabic word for a particular type of wild grass or grain, or to a Germanic word, meaning “inside”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Dirin, Dirini, Dren, Drini, Drin, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Drinn, the miserly and mean-spirited leader of the villagers of Hagsgate, in the fantasy novel The Last Unicorn (1968) by Peter S. Beagle.

Adam

October 4, 2014 § 2 Comments

ORIGIN:
From Hebrew, meaning “man”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Aatami, Adamo, Addy, Adem, Adhamh, Adomas, Akamu, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Adam Bowyer, a guardsman in Sir Peter’s castle, in The Door in the Wall (written in 1949 and set sometime between 1327-1377), by Marguerite de Angeli.

Sarah

August 6, 2014 § 8 Comments

ORIGIN:
Alternately spelled “Sara”, from Hebrew, meaning “lady” or “princess”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Cera, Cerah, Sadie, Sal, Sallie, Sally, Sairey, Sairy, Sara, Sarai, Saraih, Sarette, Sarey, Sari, Sariah, Sarina, Sarit, Sarita, Sary, Sera, Serah, Serita, Seryl, Sorale, Soralie, Sorella, Suri, Syril, Tzeitel, Zara, Zarah, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Sarah, a housemaid at the Reed’s house, Gateshead Hall, in Jane Eyre, 1847, by Charlotte Bronte.
Sarah Parsons, a neighbor of the Kennedy’s who is befriended by Ida Standish in “May Flowers”, from A Garland for Girls, by Louisa May Alcott, 1887.
Sarah Reed (née Gibson), Jane’s selfish, hard-hearted aunt-by-marriage, in Jane Eyre.
Sarah Ridd, the lovely and good-hearted farmer’s widow who is mother to John, Annie, and Eliza, in Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackmore (written in 1869, set in the 1670s-1680s).

WRITERS:
– Sarah Stickney Ellis (1799-1872), English author.
– Sarah Josepha Hale (1788-1879), American writer and editor.
– Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909), American author.
– Sarah Chauncey Woolsey (1835-1905), American children’s book writer who published under the pen name “Susan Coolidge”.

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