Kate Monk's Onomastikon

(Dictionary of Names)

Literary Inventions

The novel became a popular literary form during the C18th and C19th Authors often chose fanciful or invented names for their characters, especially the female ones, and some became quite well-established.


Cedric Sir Walter Scott, 'Ivanhoe' 1819 (based on 'Cerdic')

Also FHB LLFauntleroy 1886

Ceddie Cedrick Cedrik
Keddrick Kedric Kedrick
Sedrick Zedrik  

Dorian Oscar Wilde 'The Portrait of Dorian Grey' 1891 ('from Doris')

Doran Dore Dorey
Dorie Dorien Dorin
Dorion Dorjan Doron
Dorran Dorren Dorrian
Dorrien Dorryen Dory

Orville Fanny Burney 'Evelina' 1778


Amelia Henry Fielding, 'Amelia' 1751 (mixture of Emilia and Amalia)

Anitra Henrik Ibsen, 'Peer Gynt' 1867 (for an Eastern princess)

Bambi Felix Salter, 'Bambi'

Bambee Bambie Bamby

Belinda Sir John Vanbrugh 'The Provok'd Wife', 1697 (Lat bella or OG Betlindis 'snake/serpent')

Belindra Bellina Belynda
Berla Berlin Berlinda
Berline Berling Berlyn
Berlyne Berlynn Berlynne
Blenda Blinda Lindee
Lindey Lindy Lynda
Lyndee Lyndi Lynnda

Christabel Samuel Taylor Coleridge 'Christabel' 1816

Christabell Christabella Christabelle
Christable Christobella Christobelle

Clarinda Spenser 'Faerie Queene' 1596

Clarissa revived by Richardson 'Clarissa Harlowe' (diminutive of Clare)

Clairese Clairisse Clarecia
Claresa Claressa Claresta
Clarice Clarisa Clarissia
Claritza Clariza Clarizza
Clarrissa Clerissa Klarisa
Klarise Klarissa Klarisza
Klarrisa Klarysa Kleresa

Evangeline popularised? Longfellow 'Evangeline' 1848 (Lat evangelium 'gospel' from Gk euangelion 'good tidings')

Haidee Byron 'Don Juan' 1819-24 (Greek haido 'caress' or aidoios 'modest'?)

Haide Haydee Hedaya

Jancis Mary Webb 'Precious Bane' 1924 (Jan + Frances?)

Janice Paul Leicester Ford 'Janice Meredith' 1899 (from 'Jane')

Genasea Genessa Genice
Genise Jahnessa Janaca
Janaesha Janece Janecia
Janees Janeesa Janeice
Janesa Janesah Janese
Janesey Janesha Janesia
Janeska Janessa Janesse
Janica Janiece Janiesa
Janiesha Janika Janique
Janis Janise Janisha
Janisia Janissa Janitza
Janizzette Jannesa Jannese
Jannesha Jannessa Jannice
Janniece Jannis Jannisa
Jannisha Jannissa Janyce
Jarniesha Jeanice Jeneca
Jenesa Jenessa Jenesse
Jenica Jenice Jenis
Jenisa Jenisee Jenisha
Jenisis Jenissa Jennese
Jennica Jennisa Jennise
Jennisha Jennissa Jennisse
Jennysa Jennyssa Jenyce
Jenysa Jenyssa Jinessa
Johnecia Johnesha Johnessa
Johnisha Johnishi Johnnessa
Johnnise Jonessa Jonice
Jonis Jonisa Jonisha
Jonyssa Jynice  

Kim Kipling 'Kim' 1901 (boy's name short for 'Kimball') or from 'Kimberley'

Kimana Kimani Kimee
Kimette Kimi Kimia
Kimme Kimmee Kimmi
Kimmie Kimmy Kimra
Kimy Kym  

Lorna R.D. Blackmore 'Lorna 'Doone' 1869 (Scottish placename 'Lorne'

Lornae Lorne Lorrna

Luana King Vidor film 'The Bird of Paradise' 1932 (a Polynesian maiden)

Luanna Luanne  

Lucinda Cervantes 'Don Quixote' 1605 (from Lucia)

Malinda from Melina?

Malin Malina Malina
Malinde Maline Malinna
Malinna Malynda  

Myra Fulke Greville (1554-1628)

Mira Mirae Mirah

Norma Felice Romani, libretto for Bellini's opera 'Norma' 1832

Pamela Sir Philip Sidney 1554-86 'Arcadia' (used by Samuel Richardson 'Pamela' 1740)

Pam Pama Pamala
Pamalla Pamelia Pamelina
Pamella Pamilla Pammela
Pammi Pammie Pammy

Romola George Eliot '(adopted from It masc 'Romolo')

Selima Thomas Gray 1716-71 (Arabic masc Selim 'peace?)

Shirley Charlotte Bronte 'Shirley' 1849 (masc. surname adaptation)

Sherileen Sherlee Sherleen
Sherlene Sherley Sherli
Sherlie Sherline Shir
Shirelle Shirl Shirlena


Shirlie Shirlina
Shirline Shirlly Shirly
Shirlyn Shirlynn Shurlee

Stella Sir Philip Sidney, C16th 'Astrophel and Stella' (Lat 'star)

Estel Estela Estele
Estelina Estelita Estell
Estella Estellina Estellita
Esthella Estrela Estrelinha
Estrell Estrella Estrelle
Estrellita Trella  

Thelma Marie Corelli, 'Thelma', 1887 (Gk thelema 'wish/act of will'?)


Topsy Harriet Beecher Stowe 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' (slave character)

Toppsy Topsey Topsie

Vanessa Jonathan Swift 1667-1745 (from 'Esther Vanhomrigh')



Vanassa Vanesa
Vanesha Vaneshia Vanesia
Vanesse Vanessia Vanessica
Vaneza Vania Vaniece
Vaniessa Vanija Vanika
Vanisa Vanisha Vanissa
Vanna Vannesa Vannessa
Vannie Vannisa Vanny
Varnessa Venecia Venesa

Wendy J.M. Barrie 'Peter Pan' 1904 (from 'fwendy-wendy' i.e. 'friend')

Wenda Wendaine Wendaline
Wendall Wendalyn Wendayne
Wende Wendee Wendeline
Wendella Wendelle Wendelline
Wendey Wendi Wendie

This collection of names was compiled by Kate Monk and is ©1997, Kate Monk.

Copies may be made for personal use only.

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