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.

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).

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).

A Selection of Très Chic French Baby Names

July 29, 2015 § 1 Comment

If you follow the link, you’ll be able to find out a little bit more about these lovely French names (although a pronunciation guide is not included; you may have to look that up yourself!):

20 French Baby Names You’ll Want to Steal Immediately

(Click here for the Dutch version.)

For girls: Anaelle, Aveline, Coralie, Elize, Fleur, Marielle, Solene
For boys: Bale, Cabot, Danton, Henri, Janvier, Landry, Luc, Mathis, Montgomery, Olivier
For either: Bellamy, Jorden, Remi

Galahad

July 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
A name of unknown origin used in the Arthurian romances (written in Norman French), and associated with the ideals of “purity” and “nobility”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Um . . . Gal, maybe? Eh, maybe not . . .

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Galahad, the rumored brother of Guinevere, one of the “irregular” children at Lily’s school, presumed to come from a “very well-educated if not sanitation-minded home”, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

Guinevere

July 23, 2015 § 3 Comments

ORIGIN:
French version of the Welsh “Gwenhwyfar”, meaning “smooth and white” or “white-cheeked”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Gaenor, Gaynor, Genevra, Geneva, Ginevra, Guenevere, Guenievre, Guinever, Gwen, Gwenevere, Gwenhwyfar, Gwenni, Gwennie, Gwenny, Gwenyver, Janelle, Jen, Jena, Jenae, Jenelle, Jenessa, Jeni, Jenifer, Jenna, Jenni, Jennie, Jennifer, Jenny, Jinelle, Jin, Jinessa, Jini, Jinifer, Jinni, Jinnie, Jinny, Yenifer, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Guinevere, one of the “irregular” children at Lily’s school, presumed to come from a “very well-educated if not sanitation-minded home”, where she is rumored to have a brother named Galahad, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

WRITERS:
Guinevere Turner (b. 1968), American actress and screenwriter.

Benjamin

May 24, 2015 § 5 Comments

ORIGIN:
From the Hebrew name “Binyamin”, meaning “son of the south” or “son of the right hand”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Ben, Beniamin, Beniamino, Benj, Benja, Benji, Benjie, Benjy, Bennie, Benny, Benyamen, Beryamen, Binyamin, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Benjamin Hardin Creighton (b. 1832), oldest of the Creighton children, “left for Californy 1849”), in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).
– Middle name of Matthew Benjamin Creighton, Ellen’s husband and Jethro’s father, a well-respected farmer of integrity and compassion, in Across Five Aprils.
Benjamin Norton, the president of the trolley company Hurstwood attempts to work for, in Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie (published in 1900; set 1889-1890s).

WRITERS:
Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), English novelist and politician.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), American activist, author, diplomat, inventor, politician, publisher, scientist, and statesman.

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