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).

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.

Sheila

August 10, 2015 § 3 Comments

ORIGIN:
Alternative / Anglicized spelling of “Sile”, an Irish variation of “Cecilia” / “Cecily” / “Cicely“; or an alternate spelling of “Sheela” / “Shila”, a Hindu / Sanskrit name meaning “good character” or “good conduct”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Cacilia, Cacelie, Caecilia, Cecilia, Cecilie, Cecilija, Cecille, Cecily, Cecylia, Cicely, Cicily, Cila, Cila, Cili, Cilka, Cilla, Cille, Cissi, Cissie, Cissy, Shayla, Shaylah, Shelagh, Sheelagh, Sheelah, Sheilah, Shelia, Shyla, Shylah, Sila, Sile, Sileas, Silja, Silje, Silke, Silla, Sille, Sissi, Sissie, Sissy, Tsetsiliya, Zila, Zile, Zilla, Zillah, Zille, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Sheila Kriszinski, Lily’s new best friend in high school, who counts as somewhat “bad company”, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

WRITERS:
Sheila Baxter (b. 1933), Canadian activist and author.
Sheila Bhatia (1916-2008), Indian playwright and poet.
Sheila Burnford (1918-1984), Scottish-Canadian author and traveler.
Sheila Callaghan (b. 1973), American playwright and screenwriter.
Sheila Connolly (b. 1950), American mystery author.
Sheila Cussons (1922-2004), South African painter, poet, and writer.
Sheila Finch (b. 1935), Anglo-American science fiction author.
Sheila Fischman (b. 1937), Canadian columnist, editor, and translator.
Sheila Fitzpatrick (b. 1941), Australian-American author, historian, and professor.
Sheila Meiring Fugard (b. 1932), South African novelist, playwright, poet, and short story writer.
Sheila Gordon (1927-2013), South African novelist.
Sheila Heti (b. 1976), Canadian author and editor.
Sheila Holland (1937-2000), English romance author who also published under the pen names “Charlotte Lamb”, “Laura Hardy”, “Sheila Coates”, “Sheila Lancaster”, and “Victoria Wolf”.
Sheila Kaye-Smith (1887-1956), English novelist.
Sheila K. McCullagh (1920-2014), English author and children’s book writer.
Sheila E. Murphy (b. 1951), American poet.
Sheila Nicholls (b. 1970), English singer and songwriter.
Sheila Nickerson (b. 1942), American poet and writer.
Sheila Quigley (b. 1947), English suspense and thriller author.
Sheila Rowbotham (b. 1943), English activist and writer.
Sheila Stewart (1937-2014), Scottish author, singer, and storyteller.
Sheila Stuart (1892-1974), pen name of Scottish author and children’s book writer Gladys May Baker.
Sheila Walsh (1928-2009), English romance author who also published under the pen name “Sophie Leyton”.
Sheila Watson (1909-1998), Canadian critic, novelist, and teacher.

Barry

August 7, 2015 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
Anglicized version of the Irish “Bairre”, ultimately meaning “fair-haired”, or “Berach”, meaning “sharp”; or from Welsh, meaning “son of Harry“; or possibly from the French place name “Berri”; or a diminutive of names like “Barney“, “Barrett”, “Bernard“, “Beruch”, “Finbar”, etc.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Bairrfhionn, Barrfind, Bairre, Barney, Barra, Barrie, Bary, Baz, Bazza, Bearach, Berach, Bernard, Berri, Berry, Beruch, Finbar, Finbarr, Finnbar, Finnbarr, Fionnbarra, Fionnbharr, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Barry, the name of more than one of the boys Lily dates, who perhaps not-so-coincidentally often have names which rhyme with her long-absent father, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

Edna

August 2, 2015 § 3 Comments

ORIGIN:
Possibly an Anglicized version of the Gaelic “Eithne”, meaning “kernel”, or from Hebrew, meaning “pleasure” or “rejuvenation”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Aithne, Edena, Ednah, Eithne, Ena, Enya, Ethna, Ethne, Etna, Idina, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Edna (or Esther or Etka) Kroll Shaine — “Esther in Hebrew, Edna in English, and Etka in Russian” — Lily’s increasingly-senile grandmother in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

WRITERS:
Edna Anhalt (1914-1987), American screenwriter.
Edna Buchanan (b. 1938/39), American crime author, journalist, and novelist.
Edna Ferber (1885-1968), American novelist, playwright, and short story writer.
Edna (E.) Mayne Hull (1905-1975), Canadian science fiction author.
Edna Iturralde (b. 1948), Ecuadorian children’s book author.
Edna Lewis (1916-2006), American author and chef.
Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950), American poet and playwright who also published under the pen name “Nancy Boyd”.
Edna O’Brien (b. 1930), Irish memoirist, novelist, playwright, poet, and short story writer.
Edna Osser (1919-2005), American songwriter.
Edna Staebler (1906-2006), Canadian author and journalist.

Curly

June 11, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Unknown; possibly a nickname for someone with curly hair, or perhaps derived from the Gaelic last name “Curley”, ultimately meaning “in the shape of the god of thunder”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Curley, Curlie, Kerley.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Curly, a local tennis champ who dates Lily’s mother, Rosie, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

Orrin

May 24, 2015 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
Alternate spelling of “Oran” / “Orin”, from Irish, meaning “little pale green one”, or of “Oren”, from Hebrew, meaning “pine tree”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Odran, Odrhan, Oran, Oren, Orin, Orren, Orrie, Orry, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Orrin Cushing, a friend of Lola’s who tries to strike up a flirtation with Carrie, in Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie (published in 1900; set 1889-1890s).

Colin

January 6, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Anglicized version of the Celtic “Cailean” or “Coilean”, or a diminutive of “Nicholas“.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Cailan, Cailean, Cailin, Calan, Calum, Coilean, Col, Colan, Cole, Coley, Collin, Collins, Colombe, Colombo, Colombano, Colson, Columbanus, Colyn, Kolman, Koloman, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Prince Colin, one of Princess Alison Jocelyn’s three brothers, in the fantasy novel The Last Unicorn (1968) by Peter S. Beagle.

WRITERS:
– Colin Campbell (1859-1928), Scottish actor, director, and screenwriter.
– Colin Dann (b. 1943), English author.
– Colin Dexter (b. 1930), English author.
– Colin Douglas (b. 1945), pen name of Scottish novelist Colin Thomas Currie.
– Colin Fletcher (1922-2007), Welsh outdoorsman and writer.
– Colin Forbes (1923-2006), pen name of English author Raymond Sawkins, who also wrote under the pen names “Harold English”, “Jay Bernard”, and “Richard Raine”.
– Colin Greenland (b. 1954), English author.
– Colin Harvey (1960-2011), English author and editor.
– Colin Henry Hazlewood (1823-1875), English playwright.
– Colin Higgins (1941-1988), Australian-American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter.
– Colin Kapp (1928-2007), English author.
– Colin MacInnes (1914-1976), English journalist and novelist.
– Colin Mackay (1951-2003), Scottish novelist and poet.
– Colin McDougal (1917-1984), Canadian author.
– Colin McEvedy (1930-2005), English author, historian, and scholar.
– Colin Morton (b. 1948), Canadian poet.
– Colin Thiele (1920-2006), Australian author and educator.
– Colin Turbayne (1916-2006), Australian philosopher and writer.
– Colin Ward (1924-2010), English activist and writer.
– Colin Watson (1920-1983), English author.
– Colin White (1951-2008), English historian.
– Colin Wilson (1931-2013), English philosopher and writer.

Lir

December 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
The Irish version of the Welsh “Llyr”, meaning “the sea”. These were the names of the Irish and Welsh gods of the sea, respectively.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Lear, Leier, Leir, Leire, Leyr, Leyre, Lhyr, Llyr, Lur, Lyer, Lyr, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Prince Lír, the young hero in the fantasy novel The Last Unicorn (1968) by Peter S. Beagle.

Oscar

November 15, 2014 § 3 Comments

ORIGIN:
Possibly from Gaelic, meaning “deer lover”, or from Old English, meaning “divine spear”, or from Old Norse, meaning “spear god” or “spear of god”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Asgar, Asgeirr, Osgar, Oskar, Oskari, Osku, Ossie, Oszkar, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Oscar, Dr. Archie’s regular waiter at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver, in The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (written in 1915 and set in the 1890s).
– Oscar Andersen, Irene’s late husband, who was killed in an explosion, in The Song of the Lark.

WRITERS:
– Oscar Fraley (1914-1994), American author and reporter.
– Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960), American librettist, lyricist, and producer.
– Oscar Hijuelos (1951-2013), Cuban-American novelist.
– Oscar Levy (1867-1946), German-Jewish physician and writer.
– Oscar Micheaux (1884-1951), American author, director, and producer.
– Oscar Millard (1908-1990), English author and screenwriter.
– Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Irish author, playwright, and poet.

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