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).

Igor

August 4, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Russian variation of “Ingvar”, from the Old Norse “hero” name “Yngvarr”, meaning “warrior of the god Yngvi-Freyr“; sometimes used as a variation of “George“.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Ingvar, Ingvarr, Yngvar, Yngvarr, Yngvi, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Igor, the (possibly false) name of more than one of Uncle Len’s mysterious friends, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

WRITERS:
Igor Akimushkin (1929-1993), Russian writer and zoologist.
Igor M. Diakonoff (1915-1999), Russian historian, linguist, scholar, and translator.
Igor Goldkind (b. 1960), American lecturer, poet, science fiction author, and writer.
Igor Guberman (b. 1936), Russian-Israeli poet and writer.
Igor Marojević (b. 1968), Serbian novelist, playwright, short story writer, and translator.
Igor Severyanin (1887-1941), Russian poet.
Igor Škamperle (b. 1962), Slovenian essayist, novelist, sociologist, and translator.
Igor Štiks (b. 1977), Croatian author, editor, reporter, and scholar.
Igor Talankin (1927-2010), Russian director and screenwriter.
Igor Torkar (1913-2004), pen name of Slovenian poet, playwright, and writer Boris Fakin.
Igor Yefimov (b. 1937), Russian-American philosopher, publisher, and writer who also publishes as “Andrei Moscovit”.

Etka

August 2, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Unknown; possibly a Russian variation of “Edna” or “Esther“.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
See Edna, I suppose. Perhaps Etta or Ettie?

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Etka (or Esther or Edna) 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).

Tanya

November 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Diminutive of “Tatiana” or “Titania”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Taina, Tania, Tanja, Tatiana, Tatienne, Tatjana, Tiana, Tonia, Tonya, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Tanya Harsanyi, Andor Harsanyi’s young daughter, in The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (written in 1915 and set in the 1890s).

Adam

October 4, 2014 § 2 Comments

ORIGIN:
From Hebrew, meaning “man”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Aatami, Adamo, Addy, Adem, Adhamh, Adomas, Akamu, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Adam Bowyer, a guardsman in Sir Peter’s castle, in The Door in the Wall (written in 1949 and set sometime between 1327-1377), by Marguerite de Angeli.

Sabina

September 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
From Latin, meaning “a Sabine woman”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Sabien, Sabine, Savina, Szabina.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
“Aunt” Sabina, the woman who raised Lorna, although the coarseness and violence of living among the Doones broke her heart, in Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackmore (written in 1869, set in the 1670s-1680s).

Angela

August 30, 2014 § 3 Comments

ORIGIN:
Feminine form of the Latin “Angelus”, derived from the Greek “angelos”, meaning “messenger”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Aingeal, Anda, Andela, Andelka, Andjela, Angele, Angelia, Angelien, Angelina, Angeline, Angelita, Angelle, Angie, Aniela, Anielka, Anzhela, Anzhelina, Lina, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Angela Jocelyn, a bright, naive girl whose poverty makes her self-conscious, in “An April Fool”, from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).

WRITERS:
– Angela Brazil (1868-1947), English author.
– Angela Carter (1940-1992), English novelist and journalist.
– Angela Huth (b. 1938), English novelist and journalist.
– Angela Jackson (b. 1951), American poet, playwright, and writer.
– Angela Johnson (b. 1961), American poet and children’s book writer.
– Angela Thirkell (1890-1961), Anglo-Australian novelist.

Diana

August 26, 2014 § 2 Comments

ORIGIN:
Latin, meaning “divine”, from the Roman goddess of the moon, hunting, forests, and childbirth.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Dajana, Dede, Dee, Di, Diahann, Dian, Diane, Dianna, Dianne, Dijana, Kiana, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Diana, a girl at school Lily befriends, one of the other “irregular” children in her grade, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).
Diana Duval, one of Lily’s first friends, “a dirty blonde in every sense”, in Sleeping Arrangements.
Diana Rivers (later Fitzjames), one of St. John’s sisters, who befriend Jane after she leaves Thornfield, in Jane Eyre, 1847, by Charlotte Bronte.

WRITERS:
– Diana Athill (b. 1917), English editor, novelist, and memoirist.
– Diana Gabaldon (b. 1952), American author.
– Diana Gould (b. 1944), American author and screenwriter.
– Diana Hendry (b. 1941), English author and poet.
– Diana Wynne Jones (1934-2011), English writer.
– Diana Mitford, the Hon. Lady Mosley (1910-2003), English socialite and writer.
– Diana Morgan (b. 1913), English novelist.

Georgy

August 25, 2014 § 3 Comments

ORIGIN:
Alternate spelling of “Georgie“. Diminutive of “Georgia”, “Georgina“, “Georgiana“, “Georgette”, etc. Or, diminutive of “George“.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
For girls: Geena, Gena, Geordie, Georgeanna, Georgia, Georgiana, Georgie, Georgina, Georgine, Georgette, Gigi, Gina, etc.
For boys: Gino, Giorgio, Giorgino, Geordie, Georg, George, Georges, Georgios, Georgi, Georgie, Jordi, Jordy, Jorge, Jorgen, Jorgie, Jorgy, Jori, Jory, Jurgen, Yorgos, Yuri, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Georgy (Georgiana) Reed, one of Jane’s spoiled, mean-spirited cousins, in Jane Eyre, 1847, by Charlotte Bronte.

David

August 22, 2014 § 4 Comments

ORIGIN:
From Hebrew, meaning “beloved”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Dai, Daividh, Dauid, Dave, Daveth, Davey, Davide, Davie, Davis, Davit, Davy, Daw, Dawid, Dawud, Dewie, Dewey, Dewydd, Dovid, Taavetti, Taavi, Tavi, Taffy, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Brother David, the stonemason, one of the monks at St. Mark’s in The Door in the Wall (written in 1949 and set sometime between 1327-1377), by Marguerite de Angeli.
David Langston, the titular clean-living “harvester of the forest”, in The Harvester (1911) by Gene Stratton Porter.
David Wyburn, Esther’s cousin, who works as a clerk at Weyman & Co.’s importing-house, in “Esther Bodn”, from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).

WRITERS:
David Craig (b. 1929), pen name of Welsh novelist James Tucker, who also publishes as “Bill James” and “Judith Jones”.
David Herbert (D.H.) Lawrence (1885-1930), English critic, essayist, novelist, painter, playwright, and poet.
David Malouf (b. 1934), Australian novelist, playwright, and short story writer.
David McCullough (b. 1933), American author, historian, and lecturer.
David Mitchell (b. 1969), English novelist.
David Sedaris (b. 1956), American author and humorist.
David Foster Wallace (1962-2008), American essayist, novelist, professor, and short story writer.
David Walliams (b. 1971), English activist, actor, children’s book writer, and comedian.

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