Rab

October 7, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
A Scottish variation of “Rob“, short for “Robert“.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Bob, Bobbie, Bobby, Brecht, Hob, Hopcyn, Hopkin, Pertti, Rabbie, Rob, Robbe, Robbie, Robby, Robi, Robin, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Rab Silsbee, the laconic apprentice and nephew to Mr. Lorne, owner of The Observer; a born fighter who becomes Johnny’s best friend and hero in Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (written in 1943; set during the years leading up to the American Revolutionary War, 1773-1775).

WRITERS:
Rab Noakes (b. 1947), Scottish singer and songwriter.
Rab Wilson (b. 1960), Scottish poet and translator.

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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.

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).

Hale

August 27, 2015 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
From an English last name meaning “nook” or “retreat”, an old Scottish place name meaning “from a faraway valley” or “by the estuary”, or possibly referencing the word meaning “healthy and strong”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Haile, Hails, Hal, Hales, Hallas, Halys, Hayle, Hayles, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Middle name of Nathan Hale Creighton (1848-1852), 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).

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).

Nan

June 9, 2015 § 2 Comments

ORIGIN:
Diminutive of “Ann” / “Anne“, or shortened version of “Nancy“.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Ann, Anne, Annie, Anny, Nainsi, Nancie, Nancy, Nana, Nance, Nandag, Nanette, Nanice, Nanine, Nannie, Nanny, Nanse, Nansi, Nansie, Nansy, Nenci, Nensi, Neske, Nest, Nesta, Nina, Ninette, Ninon, Nona, Nonna, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Nan Duval, Diana’s younger sister, who lost an eye in a dart accident, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

QUOTATIONS:
– From The Merry Wives of Windsor (1602), Act IV scene 4, by William Shakespeare: “My Nan shall be the Queen of all the fairies, / Finely attired in a robe of white.”

WRITERS:
Nan Agle (1905-2006), American children’s book writer.
Nan Chauncy (1900-1970), Anglo-Australian children’s book writer.
Nan Cohen (b. 1968), American poet.
Nan Fairbrother (1913-1971), English lecturer and writer.
Nan McDonald (1921-1974), Australian editor and poet.
Nan C. Robertson (1926-2009), American author, educator, and journalist.
Nan (Anna) Shepherd (1893-1981), Scottish novelist and poet.
Nan Bentzen Skille (b. 1945), Norwegian biographer and editor.

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