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.

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Victoria

September 2, 2015 § 6 Comments

ORIGIN:
Latin, from the Roman goddess of victory; feminine form of “Victorius” (which is also, of course, from Latin, meaning “victory”).

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Latoya, Toree, Tori, Toria, Toriana, Torie, Torri, Torrie, Torry, Tory, Toya, Vic, Vicie, Vickey, Vicki, Vickie, Vicky, Victoire, Victoriana, Victorina, Victorine, Victory, Vicy, Vikki, Viktoria, Viktorie, Viktorija, Viktoriya, Vitoria, Vittoria, Wikolia, Wiktoria, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Aunt Victoria, Shad’s aunt in Washington, who works as a nurse during the war, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).

WRITERS:
Victoria Benedictsson (1850-1888), Swedish novelist who published under the pen name “Ernst Ahlgren”.
Victoria Mary Clarke (b. 1966), Irish journalist and writer.
Victoria Chang (b. 1970), American poet and writer.
Victoria Hislop (b. 1959), English novelist and short story writer.
Victoria Newcomb (b. 1974), American novelist.
Victoria Ocampo (1890-1979), Argentine intellectual and writer.
Victoria Strauss (b. 1955), American fantasy author.
Victoria Williams (b. 1958), American musician, singer, and songwriter.

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.

Jan

August 10, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
For girls, a variant of “Jane” or diminitive of “Janet“, “Janice”, “Janelle”, etc. For boys, a medieval version of “John“, or a variation on “Johannes”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
For girls: Jana, Janae, Janelle, Janetta, Janet, Janette, Janey, Janie, Janice, Janis, Janith, Janna, Jannah, Jannetta, Jannette, Jayna, Jayne, Jaynie, Jean, Jeanette, Jeanne, Jenae, Jenna, Jennet, Jenni, Jenny, Joan, Joanie, Joanne, Joanna, etc.
For boys: Janek, Jani, Janne, Jannick, Jean, Jens, Jo, Johan, Johannes, John, Johnnie, Johnny, Jon, Jonas, Joni, Jono, Jovan, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Jan Foot, the first of Lily’s high school friends to have “done it”, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

Trudy

August 4, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Diminutive of “Gertrude“.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Geltrude, Geretrudis, Gerta, Gertha, Gerthe, Gerti, Gertie, Gertraud, Gertrud, Gertruda, Gertrude, Gertrudes, Gertrudis, Gerty, Gurda, Gurde, Gurt, Kerttu, Tru, Truda, Trude, Trudi, Trudie, True, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Trudy Leffer, Nina’s librarian mother, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

WRITERS:
Trudy Dittmar (b. 1944), American essayist and nature writer.
Trudy Larkin Förster (c.1935-2005), American novelist.

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).

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