Jenifer

November 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Alternate spelling of “Jennifer”, a variation of the Welsh “Gwynhyfar” / “Guinevere” /  “Gwenevere” / etc.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Jen, Jena, Jenae, Jenelle, Jenessa, Jeni, Jenna, Jenni, Jennie, Jennifer, Jenny, Jinelle, Jin, Jinessa, Jini, Jinifer, Jinni, Jinnie, Jinny, Yenifer, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Jenifer Lorne (née Silsbee), Rab’s aunt, “tiny-footed and too plump”, a kind-hearted woman who is very fond of Johnny, in Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (written in 1943; set during the years leading up to the American Revolutionary War, 1773-1775).

Nance

October 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Shortened version of “Nancy“, or a medieval Cornish place name, meaning “valley”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Nainsi, Nan, Nancie, Nana, Nancy, Nanice, Nannie, Nanny, Nanse, Nansi, Nansie, Nansy, Nenci, Nensi, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Nance, one of the hounds belonging to Sir Peter’s family in The Door in the Wall (written in 1949 and set sometime between 1327-1377), by Marguerite de Angeli.

Gwenny

September 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Variation of “Gwen”, or diminutive of “Gwendoline” / “Gwendolyn”, “Guenivere”, etc.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Gwen, Gwennie, Gwin, Gwinne, Gwinnie, Gwinny, Gwyn, Gwynn, Gwynne, Gwynnie, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Gwenny Carfax, Lorna’s stout-figured and stout-hearted Cornish servant and friend, in Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackmore (written in 1869, set in the 1670s-1680s).

Nanfan

August 22, 2014 § 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, “Nanfan” was the name of a Cornish village.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Honestly, no idea.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Nanfan Speckle, a local tanner, who is suggested to (and summarily rejected by) Keren Lemon as a possible husband, in “The Farrier Lass o’ Piping Pebworth” (written in 1887, set circa 1600), from A Brother to Dragons, and Other Old Time Tales (1888), by Amélie Rives.

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