Nina

August 4, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Usually, a diminutive of names ending in “-nina”, such as “Antonina” or “Giannina”, or a variation of “Ann” / “Anne“. Possibly referring to the Spanish word, meaning “little girl”; or from the Native American (Quechua) word, meaning “fire”; or the Russian feminine version of “Nino”; or to the name of a Babylonian and Assyrian fertility goddess.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Ani, Ann, Anne, Anni, Annie, Anny, Antonina, Giannina, Nainsi, Nan, Nana, Nance, Nanci, Nancie, Nancy, Nandag, Nanette, Nanice, Nanine, Nannie, Nanny, Nanse, Nansi, Nansie, Nansy, Neena, Neenah, Nena, Nenci, Nensi, Neske, Nest, Nesta, Nina, Ninette, Ninon, Nona, Nonna, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Nina Leffer, the sophisticated girl who becomes Lily’s first new friend after moving to a new neighborhood and a new school, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

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Sandra

August 4, 2015 § 2 Comments

ORIGIN:
Diminutive of “Alexandra” / “Alessandra”, the feminine version of “Alexander“; popularized by George Meredith in his novel Emilia in England (1864; republished in 1887 as Sandra Belloni).

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Alastriona, Ale, Alejandra, Aleksandra, Aleksandrina, Alessa, Alessandra, Alexandra, Alexia, Alexis, Ali, Alix, Alley, Alli, Allie, Ally, Andra, Lesya, Ola, Oleksandra, Ondra, Sandi, Sandie, Sandy, Sandrina, Sandrine, Sasha, Saundra, Shandra, Shondra, Shura, Sondra, Szandra, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Sandra, a schoolmate of Lily’s, who is afraid of Lily’s pet cocker spaniel, Bonny, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

Linda

July 22, 2015 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
Meaning “soft” or “tender”, a diminutive of names ending with “-linda” or “-linde”: e.g., “Belinda”, “Melinda”, “Rosalinda”, “Sieglinda”, etc. Also associated with the Spanish word, meaning “pretty”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Lin, Lindall, Lindell, Lindie, Lindsay, Lindsey, Lindsie, Lindy, Linette, Linn, Linne, Linnet, Linnette, Linnie, Linsay, Linsey, Linsie, Lyn, Lyndee, Lyndi, Lyndie, Lyndsay, Lyndsey, Lyndsie, Lynette, Lynn, Lynna, Lynne, Lynnette, Linza, Lynda, Lynzee, Lynzie, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Linda, one of the Lexington girls clamoring to partner with Rab at the Silsbee country dance in Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (written in 1943; set during the years leading up to the American Revolutionary War, 1773-1775).
Linda, one of the other “irregular” children at Lily’s school, so deemed because of her pink plastic prosthetic arm, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

Toni

July 18, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
For girls, a shortened version of “Antonia” (a feminine form of “Anthony“, etc.). For boys, a Croatian, Finnish, or Hungarian diminutive of the same.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
For girls: Antia, Antica, Antoinette, Antonela, Antonella, Antonia, Antonie, Antonietta, Antonija, Latonya, Nela, Nella, Nia, Tania, Tanja, Tanya, Teuna, Toini, Tonia, Tonie, Tonina, Tonja, Tonka, Tony, Tonya, etc.
For boys: Akoni, Anakoni, Andon, Andony, Antal, Antanas, Ante, Anthony, Anto, Antoine, Anton, Antonello, Antoni, Antonie, Antonij, Antonije, Antonio, Antonis, Antonius, Antono, Antony, Antoon, Doncho, Teun, Teunis, Theun, Theunis, Ton, Tone, Tonci, Tonino, Tonio, Tonis, Tono, Tony, Toon, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Toni Bloom, an older girl who is also attending Camp Ava during Lily’s disastrous summer there, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

WRITERS:
Toni Cade Bambara (1939-1995), American activist, author, film-maker, and professor.
Toni Braxton (b. 1967), American actress, musician, philanthropist, producer, and singer-songwriter.
Toni Childs (b. 1957), American singer-songwriter.
Toni Cucarella (b. 1959), pen name of Spanish author Lluís Antoni Navarro i Cucarella.
Toni Halliday (b. 1964), English lyricist, musician, and singer.
Toni Morrison (b. 1931), American editor, novelist, and professor.
Toni Rothmund (1877-1956), German biographer, journalist, novelist, poet, and short story writer.
Toni (T.K.F.) Weisskopf (b. 1965), American editor and publisher.
Toni Wine (b. 1947), American songwriter.

Oliver

December 3, 2014 § 6 Comments

ORIGIN:
Variation of the French “Olivier”; either from German, meaning “elven army”, or from Latin, meaning “olive tree”, or from the Nordic “Olaf”, meaning “ancestor’s descendant”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Oli, Olivier, Oliviero, Ollie, Noll, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Oliver Landry, Thea’s accompanist, and friend to both Thea and Fred, in The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (written in 1915 and set in the 1890s).

WRITERS:
– Oliver Crawford (1917-2008), American author and screenwriter.
– Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), Anglo-Irish novelist, playwright, and poet.
– Oliver Herford (1863-1935), American artist, humorist, illustrator, and writer.
– Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809-1894), American author, lecturer, physician, poet, and professor.
– Oliver Lodge (1851-1940), English physicist and writer.
– Oliver W.F. Lodge (1878-1955), English author and poet.
– Oliver Onions (1873-1961), English writer.
– Oliver Sacks (b. 1933), Anglo-American author and neurologist.

Otto

December 3, 2014 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
Variation of the Germanic “Audo” or “Odo”, meaning “wealth”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Audo, Eudes, Oddo, Ode, Odi, Odilon, Odo, Otello, Otho, Othello, Ottone, Ottorino, Rino, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Otto Ottenburg, Fred’s brewing magnate father, in The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (written in 1915 and set in the 1890s).

WRITERS:
– Otto Julius Bierbaum (1865-1910), German writer.
– Otto Binder (1911-1974), American author and comic book writer.
– Otto Ludwig (1813-1865), German critic, dramatist, and novelist.
– Otto Manninen (1872-1950), Finnish poet, translator, and writer.
– Otto Rank (1884-1939), Austrian educator, psychoanalyst, and writer.
– Otto Scott (1918-2006), American author, biographer, and journalist.
– Otto Steiger (1909-2005), Swiss broadcaster and writer.

Silvo

November 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Finnish version of “Silvius” or “Sylvester”, or possibly a variation of “Silvio”, the Italian / Spanish / etc. version of “Silvius”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Silivi, Silvi, Silvijo, Silvio, Silviu, Silvius, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Silvo Ramas, one of Miguel’s flirtatious cousins, in The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (written in 1915 and set in the 1890s).

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