Percival

October 7, 2015 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
Alternate spelling of “Perceval”, a name created for the poem Perceval, or the Story of the Grail, written in the 12th century by French poet Chrétian de Troyes; possibly influenced by the Old French for “to pierce the valley” or “to perceive the veil (of religious mystery)”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Parsifal, Parzifal, Perce, Perceval, Percevale, Percie, Percy, Percyvelle.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Percival Tweedie, the “eligible bachelor” silversmith who comes to join Lapham as partner after Johnny’s accident, in Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (written in 1943; set during the years leading up to the American Revolutionary War, 1773-1775).

WRITERS:
Percival Everett (b. 1956), American novelist, professor, and short story writer.
Percival Pickering (1865-1965), pen name of English author Anna Marie Wilhelmina (A.M.W.) Pickering.
Percival Pollard (1869-1911), American critic, novelist, and short story writer.
Percival Serle (1871-1951), Australian bibliographer and biographer.
Percival Spear (1901-1982), English educator, government worker, and historian.
Percival Stockdale (1736-1811), English poet, reformer, and writer.
Percival Wilde (1887-1953), American author and playwright.
Percival Christopher (P.C.) Wren (1875-1941), English author and educator.

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Priscilla

September 9, 2015 § 2 Comments

ORIGIN:
Diminutive of “Prisca”, from a Roman family name meaning “ancient” or “of ancient birth”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Cece, Cila, Cili, Cilka, Cilla, Cille, Pricila, Pricilla, Pris, Prisca, Priscila, Priska, Priskilla, Prissie, Prissy, Scilla, Sileas, Silja, Silje, Silke, Sile, Sille, Sisi, Sissie, Sissy, Zilla, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Priscilla Lapham (called “Cilla“), Mrs. Lapham’s devoted, reliable, practical teenaged daughter, who remains a true friend to Johnny through all the turmoil of Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (written in 1943; set during the years leading up to the American Revolutionary War, 1773-1775).

WRITERS:
Priscilla (1735-1812), pen name of English activist, reformer, and writer Ann Jebb.
Priscilla Buckley (1921-2012), American author and editor.
Priscilla Galloway (b. 1930), Canadian children’s book author.
Priscilla Napier (1908-1998), English author and biographer.
Priscilla Uppal (b. 1974), Canadian novelist, playwright, and poet.
Priscilla Wakefield (1751-1832), English activist, children’s book author, and writer.

Jonathan

September 9, 2015 § 4 Comments

ORIGIN:
From the Hebrew “Yehonatan” or “Yonatan”, meaning “Jehovah has given” or “gift of God”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Gionata, Ionathan, Johnathan, Johnathon, Johnnie, Johnny, Jon, Jonatas, Jonathon, Jonatan, Jonaton, Jon-jon, Jonni, Jonnie, Jonny, Jontie, Jonty, Nat, Nate, Nathan, Nattie, Natty, Yehonatan, Yonatan, Yoni, Yonni, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Jonathan Lyte, the sly and selfish wealthy merchant who was Johnny’s great-uncle, though he refused to acknowledge the connection, in Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (written in 1943; set during the years leading up to the American Revolutionary War, 1773-1775).
– Jonathan Lyte Tremain (called “Johnny“), the gifted and proud teenaged hero of Johnny Tremain.

WRITERS:
– Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), Irish author, cleric, essayist, poet, and satirist.

Guy

August 31, 2015 § 2 Comments

ORIGIN:
French (pronounced “gee”), meaning “guide”, or Germanic, meaning “wood”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Guide, Guido, Gvidas, Veit, Vid, Vida, Vit, Wide, Wido, Wit, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Guy Wortman, the cowardly local who bullies the Creighton family in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).

WRITERS:
Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893), French novelist, poet, and short story writer.

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.

Colvin

August 27, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Perhaps from the Old Welsh name “Coluin”, meaning unknown; or from an old English and Scottish last name, derived from a French place name; or from the Irish “Mac Conluain”, meaning “son of the great hero”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Colleville, Colewin, Coluin, Colville, Colvine, Colvinus, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Middle name of Matthew Colvin Creighton (1850-1852), one of the three young Creighton boys who died of “paralysis” the year Jethro was born, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).

Travis

August 23, 2015 § 1 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, “Travis” is a variation of the English place name “Travers”, meaning “near a bridge or ford” (from the old French word for “crossing” or “to cross”).

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Trav, Travers.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Travis Burdow, the drunken young tough who caused the accident which killed Mary Creighton, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).

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