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.

Sigurd

August 31, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
From Old Norse, meaning “victorious guardian”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Siguror, Sigurour, Sigvard, Sjurd, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Sigurd Nelson, a neighbor from “our toward Old Grandville”, who joins in the watch over the Creighton farm when it’s threatened by Guy Wortman and his gang, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).

WRITERS:
Sigurd Abel (1837-1873), German historian.
Sigurd Bødtker (1866-1928), Norwegian critic and poet.
Sigurd Christiansen (1891-1947), Norwegian novelist and playwright.
Sigurd Engelstad (1914-2006), Norwegian archivist, genealogist, and writer.
Sigurd Evensmo (1912-1978), Norwegian author and journalist.
Sigurd Hoel (1890-1960), Norwegian author, editor, and consultant.
Sigurd Ibsen (1859-1930), Norwegian author, lawyer, and statesman.
Sigurd Lybeck (1895-1975), Norwegian farmer, novelist, and short story writer.
Sigurd Segelcke Meidell (1878-1968), Norwegian genealogist, journalist, and novelist.
Sigurd Nergaard (1873-1932), Norwegian educator, folklorist, and writer.
Sigurd F. Olson (1899-1982), American activist and author.
Sigurd Risting (1870-1935), Norwegian historian, teacher, and writer.
Sigurd Senje (1919-1993), Norwegian author, children’s book writer, historian, and novelist.
Sigurd Swane (1879-1973), Danish painter and poet.
Sigurd Willoch (1903-1991), Norwegian art director and historian.

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).

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).

Josef

August 4, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
German, Scandinavian, or Czech variation of “Joseph“.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Beppe, Giuseppe, Jo, Joe, Joep, Joey, Jojo, Joop, Joos, Jos, José, Joseph, Josephus, Josip, Osip, Pepe, Pepito, Peppe, Peppi, Peppino, Pino, Seph, Sepp, Sjef, Youssef, Zef, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Josef Shaine, Lily’s grandfather, who married Etka to “share her interests”, not to gain a subservient housewife, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

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