Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Alphabet Favorites - December 2011

At this end of the year I'll just take a few minutes to review some of my favorite names by playing the alphabet favorites game that I've always enjoyed since I was a girl.

I'd love if all of you would play along and post some of your favorites by alphabet too!

A - Amy, Adelaide, Amelia, Anna, Anneliese, Arabella, Aurelia
B - Beatrice, Beatrix
C - Clara, Catherine, Cora, Cassandra
D - Dorothy, Dorothea, Delyth
E - Eleanor, Emma, Ella, Evangeline, Evelyn, Emmeline, Eloise
F - Felicity, Frances, Florence
G - Grace, Gretchen
H - Hope, Helena
I - Irene, Isabella, Isolde
J - Julia, Juliet, Jane, Jocelyn, Juliana, Jeanette
K - Kathryn, Karis
L - Lena, Lydia, Leah, Laura,
M - Mary, Margot, Margaret, Marjorie
N - Niamh, Niobe, Naomi, Nora
O - Olivia, Opal
P - Phoebe, Priscilla, Phyllis
Q - Quinn
R - Rosalie, Rosemary, Ruby
S - Sadie, Sally, Sophia, Susannah
T - Tabitha, Tamara, Tessa
U - Unity, Ursula
V - Violet, Victoria, Vanessa, Verity
W - Willa, Winifred, Wilhelmina
X - Xandra
Y - Yelena, Yvonne
Z - Zoe, Zinnia

Current Top 10 Girls Names: Lena, Amy, Sadie, Eleanor, Clara, Lydia, Emma, Jane, Phoebe, Julia


A - Aidan, Alexander, Alec, Alistair, Abel, Asa
B - Brody, Benjamin, Bryce, Bartholomew
C - Callum, Colin, Ciaran, Crispin, Caspian
D - David, Dermot, Declan, Duncan
E - Edmund, Emmett, Ezekiel, Ezra, Ewan, Eamon
F - Finbar, Frederick, Francis "Frank", Fletcher, Finley, Fabian
G - Garrett, Gilbert, Gideon, Gethin
H - Henry, Hugh, Hugo, Harry, Humphrey
I - Ian, Iain, Isaiah, Israel
J - Jack, Jonathan, Jasper, Jubal
K - Kenneth, Kieran, Keegan
L - Laurence, Liam, Luke, Lucius, Levi
M - Matthias, Matthew, Miles, Michael, Maxwell
N - Nathaniel, Nathan, Noah, Noble
O - Owen, Oliver
P - Patrick, Philip, Peter, Pearce
Q - Quinlan, Quincy
R - Roderick, Rhys, Robert
S - Simon, Silas, Sebastian
T - Titus, Theodore, Thomas, Tristan
U - Uriah, Uilliam
V - Vaughn, Vance, Victor
W - Welcome, William, Walter, Willoughby
X - Xander, Xavier
Y - Yoan, Yosef
Z - Zachariah, Zacharias, Zebulon

Current Top 10 Boys Names: Edmund, Simon, Nathaniel, Henry, Colin, Ciaran, Emmett, Aidan, Ian, Jack

Can you think of a favorite name for each letter of the alphabet?
Are any of my favorites your favorites too?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What Would You Name Your Child? - Letter D

Fluffy Cuteness!

The votes for letter C so far are:
Catherine with 4 votes
Caleb with 5 votes

Also the votes for the surname polls are at present:
Hamilton & Sullivan both with 4 votes

The question is: Which of these names starting with the Letter D would you actually consider naming your son or daughter?

Polls: Happy voting!

Letter D - What would you name your daughter?
Danika free polls 

Letter D - What would you name your son?
Dustin free polls 

-Which name did you choose in each poll?
-Why did you choose those names? (e.i. do you like it best? does it honor someone?)
-Are there any other names starting with D that you'd be more likely to use for a real child?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Isn't this photo adorable? I love her hair! 

If you're a young lady like me you probably occasionally dream about what last name your future husband will have and whether it will fit nicely with your first name. Here are some random surnames (with a few Jane Austen surnames stuck in), vote for which ones fit best with your first name.

Thanks to Melody who suggested this post! I'll probably do similar posts with surnames in future because it's a fun idea! :)

Which of these surnames goes best with your first name?
Willoughby free polls 

Which surnames did you choose and why?

Do you have any favorite surnames maybe from history, literature or your family tree?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What Would You Name Your Child? - Letter C

The votes for letter C so far are:
Bridget with 4 votes
Benjamin with 7 votes

The question is: Which of these names starting with the Letter C would you actually consider naming your son or daughter?

I had to put more voting options this time because I love C names!

Polls: Happy voting!

Letter C - What would you name your daughter?
Charity free polls 

Letter C - What would you name your son?
Corbin free polls 

-Which name did you choose in each poll?
-Why did you choose those names? (e.i. do you like it best? does it honor someone?)
-Are there any other names starting with A that you'd be more likely to use for a real child?

Monday, October 24, 2011

What Would You Name Your Child? - Letter B

This Looks exactly like my cat Gunther when he was a kitten

The votes for letter A so far are:
Amelia with 5 votes
Andrew with 4 votes

The question is: Which of these names starting with the Letter B would you actually consider naming your son or daughter?

Polls: Happy voting!

Letter B - What would you name your daughter?
Brooke free polls 

Letter B - What would you name your son?
Bryce free polls 

-Which name did you choose in each poll?
-Why did you choose those names? (e.i. do you like it best? does it honor someone?)
-Are there any other names starting with A that you'd be more likely to use for a real child?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

What Would You Name Your Child? - Letter A

I wanted to try something different so I'm putting two polls in this post for you to vote in and comment on. I'll hopefully be working my way through the alphabet so be on the lookout for more posts like this!

The question is: Which of these names starting with the Letter A would you actually consider naming your son or daughter?

Polls: Happy voting!

Letter A - What would you name your daughter?
 Aurora free polls 

Letter A - What would you name your son?
Addison free polls 

-Which name did you choose in each poll?
-Why did you choose those names? (e.i. do you like it best? does it honor someone?)
-Are there any other names starting with A that you'd be more likely to use for a real child?

Your Resident Name Enthusiast,
Miss Laurie :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

This or That Game - English Nicknames

With all my posts about English nicknames I decided it would be lovely to give my readers a chance to talk about which nicknames you like best for each name. 

I chose the names that had the most nickname options. Copy the lists and tell me which nickname you like best for each (if you like more than one that's okay too). I'll try and post my favorites too.  

Girls Nicknames

  • Anne - Annie, Nan, Nannie or Nancy?
  • Barbara - Babs, Barbie or Bobbi?
  • Brigid - Biddy or Birdie?
  • Caroline - Caro or Carrie?
  • Catherine - Cat, Cathy, Kate, Kathy, Katie, Kit or Kitty?
  • Charlotte - Charley or Lottie?
  • Dolores - Dolly or Lola?
  • Dorothy - Dodie, Dodo, Dolly, Dorie, Dot or Dottie?
  • Eleanor - Ella, Ellie, Lena or Nora?
  • Elizabeth - Bess, Beth, Betsy, Betty, Eliza, Leeza, Libby, Liz, Liza, Lizzie or Tibby?
  • Ellen - Nell, Nellie or Ellie?
  • Esther - Essie or Ettie?
  • Felicity - Fliss or Lissie?
  • Florence - Flo, Flora, Florrie or Flossie?
  • Frances - Fanny, Frankie or Frannie?
  • Georgina - Georgie or Gina?
  • Henrietta - Etta, Hettie or Hetty?
  • Isabella - Bella, Belle, Izzy, Nib or Nibbie?
  • Jane - Janie, Janet or Jenny?
  • Josephine - Jo, Jodie, Josie or Posy?
  • Julia - Jewel, Julie or Juley?
  • Margaret - Daisy Maggie, Margery, Meg, Meggie, Peg or Peggy?
  • Maria - Mari, Marie or Mary?
  • Mary - Maidie, Maisie, May, Minnie, Molly or Polly?
  • Matilda - Maud, Mattie, Matty, Tilda or Tilly?
  • Philippa - Phil, Pip, Pippa or Pippi?
  • Sarah - Sadie, Sally or Saro?
  • Sophia - Sophie, Sophy
  • Susan - Sue, Sukey, Sukie or Susie?
  • Teresa - Tess, Tessa, Tessie or Terry?

Boys Nicknames

  • Albert - Al, Bert or Bertie?
  • Alexander - Alec, Alex, Lex or Xander?
  • Andrew - Andy, Dandy or Drew?
  • Charles - Charlie, Chaz, Chip or Chuck?
  • Christopher - Chris, Christie or Kit?
  • David - Dakin, Dave, Davey or Dawkin?
  • Edward - Ed, Eddie, Ned, Ted or Ward?
  • Francis - Francie, Frank, Frankie or Frankin?
  • Frederick - Fred, Freddy or Fritz?
  • Geoffrey - Geffrin, Jeff or Jepp?
  • Gilbert - Gib, Gibbin, Gibby or Gil?
  • Harold - Hal or Harry?
  • Henry - Hal, Hank, Hankin, Harry or Hawkin?
  • James - Jaime, Jake, Jem, Jim or Jimmy?
  • John - Jack, Jankin, Jenkin, Jock, Johncock or Johnny?
  • Joseph - Joe, Joey or Josey?
  • Laurence - Larkin, Larry or Laurie?
  • Michael - Mick, Mickey, Mike or Mikey?
  • Nicholas - Cole, Nick or Nicky?
  • Oliver - Noll or Ollie?
  • Philip - Phil, Philkin, Pip or Pippin?
  • Richard - Dick, Dickin, Hick, Rich or Rick?
  • Robert - Bob, Bobby, Dob, Hob, Hobkin, Nob, Rabbie, Rob, Robin, Robbie or Robby?
  • Roger - Dodge, Hodge, Nodge or Rodge?
  • Simon - Sy, Sim or Simkin?
  • Theodore - Dorie, Ned, Ted, Teddy or Theo?
  • Walter - Wally, Walt or Watkin?
  • William - Bill, Billy, Liam, Wilk, Wilkin, Will, Willie, Wills or Willy?

Which nicknames do you like and why? 
Are there any of these names that you think don't need a nickname? or names that definitely need a nickname?

Your Resident Name Enthusiast,
Miss Laurie :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

English Nicknames in Jane Austen's Day

As promised, here is a list of English Nicknames! Not all of these names were used in Jane Austen's novels but most of these would have been used during her day. As always not everyone would use a nickname and which nickname was used would be the parent's choice. Some of these I've noted as being used in more modern times or by specific nationalities. 

  • Agatha - Ag, Aggie, Tag, Taggie
  • Ann / Anne - Annie, Nan, Nannie, Nancy
  • Barbara - Babs, Barbie, Bobbi 
  • Brigid - Biddy, Birdie
  • Caroline - Caro, Carrie
  • Cassandra - Callie, Cassie
  • Catherine / Katherine - Cat, Cathy, Kate, Kathy, Katie, Kit, Kitty
  • Charlotte - Charley, Lottie
  • Clara / Clarissa - Clare, Clarey
  • Dolores - Dolly, Lola
  • Dorothy - Dodie, Dodo, Dolly, Dorie, Dot, Dottie
  • Eleanor / Elinor - Ella, Ellie, Nora
  • Elizabeth - Bess, Bessie, Beth, Bethan (Welsh) Betsey, Betsy, Bette (French), Betty, Elsie (Scottish often used for Elspeth), Eliza, Leeza, Libby, Lise, Lisette (French), Liz, Liza, Lizzie, Lizzy, Tibby
  • Esther - Essie, Ettie
  • Felicity - Fliss, Lissie
  • Florence - Flo, Flora (Scottish), Florrie, Floss, Flossie
  • Frances - Fanny, Fran, Frannie
  • Georgiana / Georgina - Georgie, Gina
  • Harriet - Hattie
  • Helen / Ellen - Nell, Nellie, Nelly
  • Henrietta - Etta, Hettie, Hetty
  • Isabel / Isabella - Bel, Bella, Belle, Izzy (Modern), Nib, Nibbie
  • Jane - Janie, Janet, Jenny
  • Josephine - Jo, Jodie, Josie
  • Julia - Jule, Julie, Juley
  • Margaret - Daisy (from the French Marguerite), Maggie, Marg, Margery, Margot (French), Meg, Megan (Welsh), Meggie, Peg, Peggy (Scottish), Pegeen (Irish)
  • Maria - Mari, Marie, Mary 
  • Mary - Maidie, Maisie (Scottish), Malkin, Marion, May (used by royalty), Minnie, Molly, Molly, Polly
  • Matilda - Mattie, Matty, Tilda, Tilly
  • Philippa - Pip, Pippa, Pippi
  • Sarah - Sadie, Sally, Saro (1800's)
  • Sophia - Sophie, Sophy
  • Susan / Susana - Sue, Sukey, Sukie, Susie (more modern)
  • Teresa / Theresa - Tess, Tessa, Tessie, Terry (modern)      


  • Adam - Adcock, Adekin, Adkin
  • Albert - Al, Bert, Bertie
  • Alexander - Alec (Scottish), Alex, Lex (modern), Xander (foreign)
  • Andrew - Andy, Dandy, Drew (modern)
  • Charles - Charlie (often Scottish), Chaz (modern), Chip, Chuck
  • Christopher - Christ, Christie (often Scottish), Kit
  • David - Dakin, Dave, Davey, Dawkin
  • Edward - Ed, Eddie, Ned, Ted, Ward (modern)  [some of these nickname also used for Edgar & Edmond / Edmund]
  • Francis - Francie (1800's Irish), Frank, Frankie, Frankin
  • Frederic / Frederick - Fred, Freddie, Freddy, Fritz (German)
  • Geoffrey - Geffrin, Jeff, Jepp
  • George - Georgie
  • Gilbert - Gib, Gibbin, Gibby, Gil 
  • Harold - Hal, Harry
  • Henry - Hal, Hank, Hankin, Harry, Hawkin, Henecok, Henkin
  • James - Jaime (often Scottish or Irish), Jake (because James is a form of Jacob), Jem, Jim, Jimmy
  • John - Jack, Jackie, Jankin, Jenkin, Jock (Scottish), Johncock, Johnny
  • Joseph - Joe, Josey
  • Lawrence / Laurence - Larkin, Larry (modern), Laurie  
  • Luke - Luckin, Lukin
  • Matthew - Makin, Matt, Maycock, Maykin
  • Michael - Mick, Mickey (often Irish), Mike, Mikey
  • Nicholas - Cole, Colin (Scottish), Nick, Nicky
  • Oliver - Noll, Ollie
  • Peter - Parkin, Perkin, Pete (modern), Peterkin
  • Philip / Phillip - Phil, Philkin, Pip, Pippin
  • Ralph - Rafe, Rawkin
  • Richard - Dick, Dickin, Hick, Rich (modern), Rick
  • Robert - Bob, Bobby, Dob, Hob, Hobkin, Nob, Rabbie (Scottish), Rob, Eobin, Robbie, Robby
  • Roger - Dodge, Hodge, Hodgkin, Nodge, Rodge, Rodgkin
  • Samuel - Sam, Sammy
  • Simon - Sim, Simkin
  • Theodore - Dorie, Ned, Ted, Teddy, Theo
  • Thomas - Tam, Tom, Tomkin, Tonk, Tonkin
  • Walter - Wally (modern), Walt, Watkin
  • William - Bill, Billy, Liam (Irish), Wilcock, Wilk, Wilkin, Will, Willie, Wills, Willy

While I was searching for some history about Regency names I came across a few websites and articles of interest.


Do any of these nicknames surprise you? 

Your Resident Name Enthusiast,
Miss Laurie :)

P.S. I'm still planning on posting about Jane Austen & English Nicknames on Old-Fashioned Charm bit it's going to take me a but to edit it so it's more readable. Thanks for all of your encouragement! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Jane Austen and English Nicknames

This post is sort of a request but I've also been wanting to investigate the theme of English Nicknames for a while now. Back in February I commented on my blogging friend Melody at Regency Delight ~Jane Austen, etc.~ posted Sense and Sensibility: Nancy or Anne? in which she asked why Miss Steele, sister of Lucy Steele in Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility is sometimes called Anne and sometimes called Nancy.
The easy answer is that her Christian name is Anne and her nickname is Nancy, but this leads to the question why is Nancy a common nickname for Anne? And for that matter why is Catherine Bennet in Pride and Prejudice always called Kitty and why is Fanny Price of Mansfield Park named after her mother Frances but she's never called Frances in the book? 

Those folks in the United Kingdom have always seemed to me to be quite fond of nicknames, shortening and abbreviating. But this leads to the question where did these "common" nicknames actually come from? To answer this question some research on English nicknames and their origins was in order! It took me a while to find a good source but once I did I found more information than I'd ever dreamed of! Reading's terrific article Where Do Our Nicknames Come From? was an enlightening experience for me, one of those "ah ha!" moments. I highly recommend reading their article but I'll be quoting heavily from them here too.

Nicknames and terms of endearment have been used in almost every culture world wide but common English nicknames we have today have their roots in the Middle Ages. 
"Way back in the middle ages, a common way to make diminutives of names is to add -kin-in, or -cock to the end. Thus, John  became Jankin or Jenkin, which eventually became shortened to Jakin, which in turn became Jack. Many of these names today survive in surname form (i.e., Jenkins, Wilkins, Perkins, Tompkins, Wilcox, Johncox, etc.) though there are not many used as first names anymore." -

Some examples of these -kin / -in / -cock type of nicknames I found interesting:
  • Francis = Frankin, Frank  (Jane Austen's brother Francis "Frank" Austen and Emma character Frank Churchill)
  • Gilbert = Gibbin
  • Henry = Hawkin, Henkin, Hankin, Hank, Henecok
  • John = Jankin, Jenkin, Jakin, Jack, Johncock
  • Lawrence = Larkin
  • Nicholas = Colin, Cole (this answers some of my Colin origin questions!)
  • Robert = Robin, Hobkin  (like Robin Hood, Robert of Locksley)
  • Simon = Simkin 
  • Thomas = Tonkin, Tomkin, Tonk 
  • William = Wilkin, Wilk, Wilcock
Other style of nicknames in the Middle Ages were: "Rhyming names also have been popular diminutive forms of names. For example, Robert spawned not only Rob, but Hob and Dob as well, which in turn became Hobkin and Dobkin." -
Other examples are:

  • Andrew = Andy, Dandy
  • Robert = Rob, Bob, Hob, Dob, Nob
  • William = Will, Bill

"The Norman Invasion of England in 1066 changed the language as well as the naming pool. The Normans introduced many new sounds into the language that the native populations had difficulty with. The "r" sound was one of these, which led to it being dropped or changed in many diminutive forms of names."

For example:
  • Barbara = Babs
  • Dorothy = Dolly
  • Mary = Moll, Molly, Polly, Maisie, Maidie  (Molly Gibson of Mrs. Gaskell's Wives & Daughters is named after her mother Mary)
  • Margaret = Maggie, Meg, Meggie, Peg, Peggy 
  • Sarah = Sally, Sadie  (Answers the conumdrum of Catherine Morland's sister's name in Chapter 2 Northanger Abbey!)
  • Frances = Fanny
  • Brigid = Biddy
  • Teresa = Tess, Tessa, Tessie (like in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbevilles)

"-ch and -th sounds were pronounced like "k" and "t" in these days as well. Surviving today are the pronunciations of Thomas, Theresa and Anthony (pronounced like Antony in Britain still). Richard was pronounced more like Rickard, thus giving rise to the pet forms Rick, Hick, and Dick."

Some examples:
  • Dorothy = Dot, Dodie
  • Elizabeth = Bess, Bessie, Betty  (and Betsey like Fanny Price's sister in Mansfield Park and other characters!)
  • Catherine = Kit, Kitty, Kate (like Kitty Bennet of Pride and Prejudice!)
  • Christopher = Kit
  • Theodore = Ted
  • Theresa = Tess, Tessie
"Another pet name trend was to use "mine" in front of a name. This eventually contracted to add an "n" sound to the beginnings of some names."
For example:
  • Ann = Nan, Nannie
  • Edward = Ned
  • Helen = Nell, Nelly
"Present day finds us adding -ie, -y, -i or other "ee" sounds to a name (or name's syllable) to form the diminutive. This began in Scotland and spread to the rest of England, and then were brought to the USA. In Scotland, Christie was originally a man's name, short for Christopher. Likewise, Josey was short for Joseph (i.e., the Clint Eastwood movie The Outlaw Josey Wales)." -

Like I said, this article answered so many questions for me! 
But there's just a few more questions lurking in the back of my mind.


If there are all these cool nicknames why do some of Jane Austen's characters (especially heroines) have nicknames and some do not?
Similar to today nicknames in Jane Austen's day were entirely up to the individual and the family.
A lot of times the child would be named after a family member and often a nickname would be used for the young child to distinguish one from the other (i.e. Molly Gibson of Elizabeth Gaskell's Wives and Daughters is said to have been Christened Mary after her mother but was called Molly to tell them apart, when her mother died she kept being called Molly because it suited her). Often parents would Christen their child after a wealthier relative and make them godfather or godmother of the child in the hopes that the wealth relative might favor their namesake with wealth. I believe this is the case with George Wickham in Pride and Prejudice, his godfather the elder Mr. Darcy mentioned Wickham in his will. (This and the fact that his young daughter was named Georgiana leads me to believe that the elder Mr. Darcy's first name was probably George!)  In Mansfield Park Fanny's youngest sister Betsey is goddaughter to their Aunt Norris (which leads me to believe they shared the common Christian name Elizabeth) but young Betsey is less fortunate than other godchildren receiving from her stingy aunt only the apologizes of not sending her a prayer book!
Names always tell a story, the naming of a child can tell you volumes about their parent's hopes and dreams for them. I believe Jane Austen knew this and chose the names of her characters very carefully. If you look closely at the sounds, histories and meanings of her character's names you'll find that most of the names suit the character's personality to a tea!

Why are some characters only called by their nicknames? do these characters even have proper Christian names?
Like I said before a lot of children who were named after family members often were given nickname to distinguish them from their relatives. Some children would grow into their full names but some would find that their nickname suited them throughout their lives. (Example: In a letter to a relative soon after Jane Austen's birth her father called his daughters Cassie and Jenny but we find in their teens and early twenties "Jenny" is never in use in family letters to mean Jane but Jane Austen sometimes called her sister "Aunt Cassie" when writing to her nieces and nephews.)
Why is Catherine Bennet called Kitty and Catherine Morland is never called so? Well, perhaps Kitty Bennet was named after her mother and so they always use her nickname to distinguish, or perhaps she's named after her Aunt Phillips. Perhaps Catherine Morland never needed a nickname because she didn't live close to a relative she was named after. Why is Anne Steele usually called Nancy and Anne Elliot is never called by a nickname? Perhaps she is named after a family member but then again their names may tell us more about their stations in life. Nancy Steele is from a humble Devonshire family while Anne Elliot's family is among the nobility of England and Ireland! To Sir Walter Elliot Anne was the name of Queens and royalty so in his eyes it suited his daughter better.  
Characters like Fanny Price who are only ever called by the nickname would most certainly have had full Christian names even if they aren't mentioned in the novels. Most of Jane Austen's characters would have had a faith association that required in proper society that a child be Christened otherwise it would be considered that they didn't legally have a name. Among the middle and upper classes that Jane Austen associated with there were definitely names that were considered acceptable as Christian names and those that were not, names have even stricter connotations than they do now.  A nickname like Sally, Jack, Fanny or Ned would not have been considered a "proper Christian name". Therefore Fanny would have been legally Christened Frances Price, but her family called her Fanny. It tells volumes of her relative's thoughts about her that when she is taken into their upper class society she is not raised to the rank of a Frances but is kept at the lowly positions of "just Fanny Price". I personally think the nickname suits the meek character better and Jane Austen must have too!

A few other observations:

  • Few Biblical names were accepted in the upper classes of Jane Austen's day, perhaps because they were still associated with the Puritains, Quakers and other pious religious groups who scoured their Bibles for the names of saints and virtues. Biblical names were often considered plain and used more frequently among the lower classes. Anglicized versions such as Anne (Anna), Elizabeth (Elisabeth), Jane (John and Joanna), Susan (Susana) and Maria (Mary) were more frequently used.
  • Names were very much linked with their origins so it could be assumed that if you had a "foreign" name that you would probably be a foreigner. 
  • Flower names didn't come into fashion until the late 1800's so it would seem odd for a girl to be named Violet or Lily. 
  • Meanings of names, their histories and associations (social, political, religious) were almost always taken into account when parents named their children. Jane Austen plays on this language of names from time to time in her novels. 
I hope this answers some of your questions as it has mine about the whys and wherefores of English nicknames and Jane Austen's usages of them in her novels.  
In a few days I'm hoping to post a fuller list of names and their common nicknames so be on the look out for that!

Your Resident Name Enthusiast,
Miss Laurie :)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Blog Buttons!

Dear Readers, I've long been wanting to make buttons so you could link to me if you wish. It took me a while to come up with images I liked but in the end I decided on these three so you can all pick which one you like best.

I hope you link to me and visit often. Thanks! :)

Name Enthusiast

Name Enthusiast

Name Enthusiast

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Liebster Blog Award

Mel at But when a young lady is to be a heroine kindly awarded me! The Liebster Blog Award is an award which is given to blogs with less than 200 followers in the hope that we can spread the word about their lovely blogs.

Rules of this award:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them
2. Give the Liebster Blog Award to five bloggers and comment on their blogs, letting them know they got it.
3. Copy and paste the award to your blog.
4. Have faith your followers will spread the love to other bloggers
5. Have blogging fun!

I only have a few followers so far and most of them have already been awarded with this blog so I'll try to think of five but we'll see. 

I award:
Larkin from Libri - thanks so much for being a faithful follower!
Miss Emma from All Things Jane Austen
Elinor Dashwood of Floating Lanterns
Pallavi from Period Movie Box

I hope to see you all pass on this award!

Thanks so much to Mel for being such a fabulous follower and commenting often on Name Enthusiast and for awarding me! 

Very Truly Your's,
Miss Laurie :)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Strange Victorian Names!

I just found this delightful Horrible Histories video about Names In Victorian times. Some of these names are horrid but they were actually given in Victorian times! A great laugh!

Horrible Histories Victorian Names

Just wow!

Miss Laurie :)

Interesting Facts on Storm Names

Hurricane Irene

Recently I was chatting with a friend about Hurricane Irene which touched the east coast of the USA last weekend. She was wondering why all east coast hurricanes seem to be named using girls names. So I had some fun doing a bit of research about the naming of hurricanes here in the USA.

First of all, I knew that not only girls names are used for storms and hurricanes. Storms are named through the alphabet, alternating between girls and boys names. For example Hurricane Irene was followed by Hurricane Joel and then Katia. It does seem recently that more of the hurricanes with feminine names have touched land and therefore they get more publicity.

After this I had to do some research and found some interesting facts about the naming of storms. In 1979 the World Meteorologist Organization are the ones who originally made up six alphabetical lists of names to be used for storms. The lists are rotated through so that the same names are used over and over again. In 2011 the same names used in 1999 and 2005 are being used.
The name lists and the years used look like this:

Click Image to View names larger
(list came from

The only exception to this list is with storms that are particularly destructive (like hurricane Katrina in 2005), then the name can be replaced with a different name starting with the same letter (like this year Katrina was retired and Katia has been added to the list in it's place). I found a list of Retired Hurricane Names with what years they were retired (this list doesn't include info for 2011).
A few names I'm glad they took off the storm naming list are: Andrew, Eloise, David, Elena, Fabian, Hugo, Keith and Opal.

My parents still mention Hurricane Andrew of 1992 from time to time. How glad they must be that my brother, Colin Andrew "Andy", was born the year before this storm. I remember in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina went through it created so much damage and I thought at the time how awful it was that such a beautiful name had been given to such a horrible storm. I'm sure the name Katrina has suffered a downfall in popularity since that time.

Would you still used a name you liked even if it was associated with a natural disaster (hurricane, storm, volcano)?
Are storms in your area given names?

Your Resident Name Enthusiast,
Miss Laurie :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Boy or Girl?

Isn't this little kitty cute? I love cats!
There are many names that are used given equally to boys and girls. Everyone has an opinion on whether a name sound more masculine or feminine and this is your turn!

With the names listed below comment back and let me know whether you prefer the name on a girl or a boy.


Your Resident Name Enthusiast,
Miss Laurie :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Guess The Name

I've been watching this older British mystery series where the main detective Inspector Morse won't ever say his first name because he doesn't like it. Well it came down to the last few episodes and he finally gives a clue to what his first name is. I thought it was so neat I wanted to share it with you and see if any of my readers could figure out what his first name is.

His Clue: 
Inspector Morse loves crossword puzzles so he gave the clue to his name in the form of a crossword puzzle clue: "My whole life's effort has revolved around -eve-. 9 letters."

Name Associations: 
His mother was from a Quaker background and his father loved reading about the explorer Captain James Cook. 

This might be tricky but all the information is there if you care to try and figure it out. If there's interest shown then I'll post the answer!

Your Resident Name Enthusiast,
Miss Laurie :)

Edited August 12, 2011: Since no one hazarded a guess I decided to post the answer here. His first name was Endeavour which is a Virtue name that Quakers sometimes used and Captain James Cook's ship was called The Endeavour. Spelled the British way with the extra "u" in it makes 9 letters. I thought the clues were rather clever when you remember that the word effort is often used synonymously with the word endeavor

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Exotic Pronunciations

Recently I've encountered some interesting names while watching a few interior design and cooking shows.  Most of these are girls names and a lot of these just have interesting pronunciations. Enjoy!


  • Aarti - a Hindi name pronounced ARH-tee (a bit like Artie, to rhyme with party). I probably wouldn't have liked it but the name was on a lovely young chef who infuses her Indian upbringing and warm caring nature into every dish! And her accent has a slight British clearness to it which makes her name almost sound like she's saying the letters R T together.
  • Adela - on an older BBC TV show I watched a while ago there was a lady with this name but they pronounced it uh-DAY-luh. I was very surprised but like the name a bit more now because this pronunciation reminds me of Helena (heh-LAY-nuh) and Elena (eh-LAY-nuh) which I love!
  • Alicia - alot of people where I'm from pronounce this name uh-LEESH-uh (or uh-LEESH-er depending on their costal Maine accent) even if they spell it with a variant like Alisha or Alecia. Recently on a TV show there was a model turned chef who's name was pronounced uh-LISH-uh. I still think I like the British uh-LEESH-ee-uh best of all these pronunciations. How do you pronounce Alicia?
  • Aria - this name has always had such music to my ear (hee hee :D) but when I recently heard it used on a beautiful young chef it added a bit of sparkle to the name as well.
  • Celie - I encountered this name while playing name games at Behind the Name and kind of fell in like with it! I've always like Celia, Cecilia and Cecily so to find Celie and it's cute pronunciation of SEE-lee I just loved it!
  • Dzintra - this was the name of another chef (and in fact her last name was Dzenis - zehn-is!) and being the name enthusiast that I am my interest at how this name is pronounce was piqued! Dzintra is pronounced ZIHN-truh. It sounds so exotic, but all the information I got pointed to it being a Polish name.
  • Ellis - as the name of a young teenager. I love it for a boy but had never heard it used for a girl!
  • Orchid - the name of a Philippine chef, she was petite and sweet and I thought her name was gorgeous on her! I don't think it would work as well on an American girl.
  • Peach - the name of a 50-year-old fashion designer who looked very distinguished. I thought the name was a bit funny of her at first but it turns out she's just a southern Georgia Peach!  
  • Serena - I really like this name and knew that it was popular in Italy and some Spanish speaking countries as well. The young lady this name was on was a petite, spunky, beautiful Italian chef who talked too fast when she got excited. Her name was pronounced seh-RAY-nuh with the rolled Rrrr sound. So beautiful! She was anything but serene though! :)
  • Tamsin - Although I don't like a lot of T names for girls, I've been liking this name a lot more lately, I just think it's so cute and sweet! Actress Tamzin Merchant is definitely all of those things. And I've also heard the name Thomasine (or Thomasyn) pronounced like Tamsin.


  • Juba - one African-American chef with a boyish look. His name is pronounced ju-BAH which reminds me of the Biblical names Judah and Jubal which I love!

What do you think of these names and especially their pronunciations?
Have you seen or heard these names used before reading my post?
What interesting names have you encountered lately?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Two Sibsets of Interest

I just loved this photo of a sweet girl with darling curly pigtails! 

Now just a few sibsets that I hear while watching the old British TV show "Nanny". Time period is the 1930's.

Frederick & Dorinda "Dolly" Sackville have:
  • Artemis
  • Dorothy "Dottie" (mother says "It's an ugly name but daddy chose it so we just have to live with it, don't we Dottie?")
  • Emerald (sometimes "Em")
  • Sophia "Nancy" (pronounced so-FYE-uh, always called "Nancy" except when her father is in the room)
  • Caroline "Caro" (always called Caro except by her grandmother)
  • Peregrine George Alexander Gordon (only boy and since he's a baby they just call him "Boy")

Robert & Olivia Lamerton have:
  • James "Jaime" (always called Jaime)
  • Lalage "Lally" (pronounced LA-luh-gee, her brother calls her "Lally" LAL-ee)

I'm absolutely delighted to find this charming old-fashioned families and their wonderful names!

With the first sibset the mother introduces her children to the Nanny with explanations on which names she chose and which names her husband chose. I now love the name Artemis! I'd never heard it before and actually I would never have guessed it was a girl's name. It is rather lovely! And I do love "Caro" as a nickname for Caroline and the way they pronounce Sophia has always interested me (Maria is often pronounced mah-RYE-uh as well). The boy's long extravagant name is also interesting!

I've always like Jaime on a boy and as a nickname for James or Jamison is best. I've never heard Lalage pronounced that way before and I thought it was very interesting! Also I like the nickname "Lally", it's similar to "Lollie" which is what my dad calls me sometimes for fun.

What do you think of the names individually?
What do you think of the names when used for siblings?
Would you pronounce these names differently than they did in this particular program?

Your resident name enthusiast,
Miss Laurie :)  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Zebidah or Beulah?

So you all know I'm a name enthusiast, but even so I don't often name objects (I know my dear laptop should have a name but usually it just goes by "Satellite" which is the type of Toshiba it is). But my parents have always named their vehicles - currently they have a gemstone theme based on the paint color "Emerald" and "Beryl".

My car is similar to this one
So when I was very blessed by a lady in my church giving me her old white Suburu I knew that I had to choose a special name! I wanted a name that means "blessing" or "gift" and because I know her through church I decided that a Biblical name would be best. I had so much fun researching Biblical names and found a few interesting names that I wanted to share!

The first Biblical name that came to my attention was Beulah, and it immediately seemed to suit my new car because she is older but has a distinguished air about her. But although Beulah means "blessed, favored" and has a lovely Biblical uses, it wasn't quite what I was looking for. 

In my searching I stumbled upon the site, a wonderful resource that has detailed info on so many great names used in the Old and New Testament in their Database. I highly recommend you check out their page!

It was through their webpage that I found the Old Testament female name Zebidah. It not only has the lovely meaning "gift" but was also the name of the wife of good King Josiah. I had fun looking up the verses and finding the various forms which are: Zebudah (used in King James Version), Zebida, Zabia.
Zebidah is the feminine form of the masculine Hebrew name Zabad (other forms: Zabbud, Zabud) which also means "gift".  

"Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left." - 2 Kings 22: 1-2 KJV
"And Pharaohnechoh made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in the room of Josiah his father, and turned his name to Jehoiakim, and took Jehoahaz away: and he came to Egypt, and died there.Jehoiakim was twenty and five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Zebudah, the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah." - 2 Chronicles 25: 34, 36 KJV

Again, similar to my car
So I really like the idea of naming my car Zebidah (maybe with nickname Zeb or Zebbie) but I also love Beulah and think it sort of fits a bit better. Of course the more I talk about Zebidah more I like it! 

What do you think? Which one should I choose?

Don't forget to check out

Your Resident Name Enthusiast,
Miss Laurie :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


After dear Mel asked below my opinion of the name Edmund my thoughts overtook me and I decided that I needed a separate post all about the name Edmund! So this is for you Mel, enjoy! 


Gender: MasculineUsage: EnglishGermanPolishPronounced: ED-mənd (English), ED-muwnt (German, Polish)  [key]Means "rich protector" from Old English ead "rich, blessed" and mund "protector". This was the name of two Anglo-Saxon kings of England. It was also borne by twosaints, including a 9th-century king of East Anglia who, according to tradition, was shot to death with arrows after refusing to divide his Christian kingdom with an invading pagan Danish leader. This Old English name remained in use after theNorman conquest (even being used by king Henry III for one of his sons), though it became less common after the 15th century.
Famous bearers of the name include the English poet Edmund Spenser (1552-1599), the German-Czech philosopher Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) and New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary (1919-2008), the first person to climb Mount Everest.
-Behind the Name database entry.

First, you need to know that I absolutely love the name Edmund and it is currently at the top of my favorite boys names list! I've always like the name but recently it has soared to the top for several reasons. 

Here are a few:

Reason One: Jane Austen's Edmund Bertram
Although he's not my favorite of Jane Austen's heroes, he is a truly kind good-hearted gentleman and very worthy of dear Fanny Price. There is a lovely passage from Mansfield Park in which Fanny Price and Mary Crawford give their opinion of Edmund's name. 

'Fanny was silent, and Miss Crawford relapsed into thoughtfulness, till suddenly looking up at the end of a few minutes, she exclaimed, “Ah! here he is.” It was not Mr. Rushworth, however, but Edmund, who then appeared walking towards them with Mrs. Grant. “My sister and Mr. Bertram. I am so glad your eldest cousin is gone, that he may be Mr. Bertram again. There is something in the sound of Mr. Edmund Bertram so formal, so pitiful, so younger–brother–like, that I detest it.”

“How differently we feel!” cried Fanny. “To me, the sound of Mr. Bertram is so cold and nothing–meaning, so entirely without warmth or character! It just stands for a gentleman, and that’s all. But there is nobleness in the name of Edmund. It is a name of heroism and renown; of kings, princes, and knights; and seems to breathe the spirit of chivalry and warm affections.

“I grant you the name is good in itself, and Lord Edmund or Sir Edmund sound delightfully; but sink it under the chill, the annihilation of a Mr., and Mr. Edmund is no more than Mr. John or Mr. Thomas. Well, shall we join and disappoint them of half their lecture upon sitting down out of doors at this time of year, by being up before they can begin?”'  - Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, Chapter 22

I definitely take Fanny's point of view! That's why I put my favorite lines in bold. Jane Austen chose well, the name's meaning fits the character, Edmund Bertram is Fanny's "blessed protector"!

Reason Two: C.S. Lewis' Edmund Pevensie
Edmund Pevensie has always been one of my favorite Narnia characters. He does (like Eustace Scrubb, who is my favorite) start out as a fairly nasty character but he undergoes a transformation that is a picture of salvation. Edmund after his encounter with Aslan is an amazing character who bravely tries to make amends for all the wrong he's done earlier. 

Reason Three: Actor Edmund Gwenn (1877-1959)
If you've ever seen the black & white film Miracle On 34th Street then you'll recognize that he played Kris Kringle, the man who was Santa Claus. He was born Edmund Kellaway in London, England. Mr. Gwenn added charm and class to every film he acted in whether playing a lovable character or a villain. One of my favorites is his role as Mr. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice (1940), he brought such humor and thoughtfulness to the role!

Reason Four: This Photo
I can't even remember which blog I found this photo on but the thing that struck me is that this adorable little boy's name is Edmund! I'd never seen or met anyone named Edmund before so the little boy in this photo just brought fresh life to the name and helped me to see that the name Edmund could be so fresh and charming on a little boy. It is an old-fashioned name, fit for a king, but by no means old-man sounding. 

If you felt Edmund needed a nickname I would suggest "Ned" as apposed to the more natural "Ed", "Eddy" or "Eddie" which I think are boring and overused. 

Names that are related to EDMUND:

EADMUND   m   Anglo-Saxon
EAMON   m   Irish
ÉAMONN   m   Irish
ED   m   EnglishDutch
EDDIE   m & f   English
EDDY   m   English
EDMAO   m   Limburgish
EDMÉ   m   French (Archaic)
EDMÉE   f   French (Rare)
EDMOND   m   French
EDMONDA   f   Italian
EDMONDO   m   Italian
EDMUND   m   EnglishGermanPolish
EDMUNDO   m   SpanishPortuguese
MAO (2)   m   Limburgish
MONET   f & m   Various
NED   m   English
ÖDI   m   Hungarian
ÖDÖN   m   Hungarian

I love the name Eamon / Eamonn and also think Edmee would be a nice name to use for a girl, especially if you wanted to honor a father or grandfather named Edmund. 

My favorite combo now is Edmund Laurence which I just think is so strong handsome! Laurence honors my paternal grandfather who I was named after and I've really felt the need to use it and the feeling that the name is "mine" lately. 

Edmund is such a handsome name!

Your Resident Name Enthusiast,
Miss Laurie :)