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Book A Dictionary of First Names

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A Dictionary of First Names

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | A Dictionary of First Names.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Patrick Hanks(Editor) Flavia Hodges(Editor)

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This dictionary explains the origin and meaning of some 4500 European and American names, while two appendices cover the most commonly recurring Indian and Arabic names. Entries give the ethnic and linguistic root of a name, cross-referring them to those closely related, and list associated cognates, masculine and feminine forms, variants, diminutives, derivatives and pet forms. Summarizing much historical and etymological information, this authoritative reference work will be beneficial to family historians, genealogists, linguists and the interested general reader.

"I have returned to this dictionary again and again for sheer pleasure."-- Jackie Wullschlager, Financial Times"full of anecdotal material as well as historical facts"-- Glasgow Herald --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Review Text

  • By Guest on 21 November 2015

    good condition

  • By Simon Barrett 'Il Penseroso' on 24 April 2017

    Over fifteen years, four grandchildren and innumerable other consultations, never once has this shed light. Dunkling and Gosling's 1983 dictionary for Everyman is still the benchmark. (The modest revised paperback of 1984's the edition I have.) Superficially imposing, much chunkier and ambitious, this is cluttered up with unhelpful stuff like Huub, the Dutch abbreviation of Hubert(!), while unaccountably omitting Bevis: there must be others. But with dictionaries, quite as important as the choice of words (names) is their definition (meaning, history and context), and here too this has never yet failed to let me down. Pace other negative reviewers, it is ALSO useless in its historical function. Why do I keep it? I guess it'd like the appeal of one-armed bandits. Each time I consult my trusty Everyman I give it another chance (and each time it screws me)Incidentally, I note that at the time this book was published Patrick Hanks was Manager, English Dictionaries, at OUP. Hmm. Wonder how he got the gig?

  • By A. Non on 21 January 2016

    Other name guides assign an arbitrary one-word meaning, such as Rachel "pure", or Emma "whole". If they're feeling particularly generous, they might assign an origin: Hebrew, French, Germanic...These books are typically full of adorable pictures of pink-cheeked babies, baby bootees, and other baby paraphernalia, and are very clearly aimed at pregnant women and their partners.The Oxford Dictionary of First Names is not a baby-naming book. It is a dictionary of names, usual and unusual, with a more complete guide to meanings and the potential origin (which often tells you when the name first originated), and offers similar alternatives. It also includes a list of genuine Irish, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Scandinavian, Arabic, and other cultural names. You can also find out the most popular names in England and the United States between 1954 and 2004, which is very interesting.This book could be used as a baby-naming book: certainly most baby-naming books don't have offerings as variable as Lily, Lark and Edeltraud.But where it really comes into its own is as a guide for authors and would-be authors. If you are an author, or would-be author, you can use this dictionary to research a name you like for your character and see if it existed at the time your novel is set. It also tells you where certain names are especially popular, and gives you ideas for names that you may not have considered unisex.No matter what your reason for needing names, the Oxford Dictionary for First Names is an interesting and informative read.

  • By aliphil on 30 April 2012

    I have to disagree with the people who say this book is not suitable for choosing baby names, as that's exactly why I bought it and it has been much more useful than the actual "baby name books". Of course there are plenty of names in it that I wouldn't choose, but that's purely down to personal taste and is the case with any name book. The advantages of this one, as far as I'm concerned, are (1) that it gives you a more detailed account of the name's meaning and history, rather than just a one-word meaning; (2) that because of this, and because it's from a reputable publisher, I feel that the accounts it gives are more likely to be accurate; and (3) that it cross-references related names for both sexes. The only downside for me was that I'd have liked a list of Cornish names along with the Welsh, Scottish, Irish, etc.

  • By Debby on 25 September 2015

    It doesn't always tell the meaning of a name, but I don't mind. I have found some fun, unusual and interesting names so far. I'm keeping it close by, as it's just interesting to pick up every now and again, even when I don't need to, to have a browse through.


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