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First Name Reverse Dictionary: Given Names Listed by Meaning Hardcover – Oct 1993

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Hardcover, Oct 1993
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Mcfarland & Co Inc Pub (October 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0899507484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0899507484
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,727,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Booklist

Circulating copies of baby name books are hard to keep on the shelves, and the ones in reference get heavy use between prospective parents in search of names for their children and writers in search of character names. These books are arranged by name, sometimes with a division by gender. If you want to name your child Adrian, you can find out what the name means easily enough. But what if you want to give your child a name that reflects a particular attribute or you want to be sure a character in your next novel has a name that suggests a certain character trait--or flaw? The First Name Reverse Dictionary can help.

The format is easy to use. Male and female names are in separate sections. The "Index to Entry Names" will help those who have a name and need to be referred back to the meaning or to alternate forms of the name. Entries are in strict alphabetical order. Language of origin is noted parenthetically; pronunciation is not given.

Selection criteria are not given, and some omissions are odd. Faith and Prudence, once-common personal names in their own right, are not entries. Entries for such attributes as "girl" or "brave" cover a column or more. Western European names (Celtic, Germanic, Romance, Greek) predominate. Eastern European and Hebrew names follow, and Sanskrit, African, Asian, and Native American names appear less frequently. African and Native American names are not generally identified by tribal or language group.

The layout of the book is easily readable, with plenty of white space and varied type faces. At 206 pages, there is no way this can be a comprehensive list of names and their meanings, but it is a good start at a different, and helpful, way to select names. The curious browser can enjoy it as well.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9ecc5744) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e43dae0) out of 5 stars a superb reference for writers! Nov. 28 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
this dictionary of first names has become indispensable to me as a writer. it is much easier to find a significant name for a character with this reverse book than it is by slogging through pages of alphabitacal names with their meaning. the book is cross-referenced well and has concise but detailed entries. it's a worthwhile investment!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e985b7c) out of 5 stars Writers' Guide to Names and Their Meanings July 22 2005
By Stephanie Mankins - Published on
Format: Hardcover
If you are a creative writer and have problems assigning names to characters, this may be what you need. The meanings are listed alphabetically, followed by the names connected with those meanings. The index of names in back refers you to all the meanings associated with a paticular name. It's a great reference.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e985ba0) out of 5 stars I can't recommend it highly enough... July 2 2009
By The Taminator - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is indispensable to creative writers, especially for those who struggle for names. There is a durable, hard cover, plenty of names to choose from, and an index in the back. However, be forewarned that after investing in this reference, you may be stunned at how thin the volume is. Amazon's description says 275 pages, and it is accurate. However while ordering you may find yourself in such a hurry to buy it that when you receive a dictionary that is about the size of an average.... I don't know. You know those 3 for 2 specials they have in bookstores? It might be the size of one of those, if you took the average thickness.

It doesn't even come close to an inch thick with the hard cover. I honestly thought I had gotten the wrong book in the mail this afternoon. In spite of this surprise, there is a lot of well organized information in the book, and you'll probably be able to find it faster than if it was on a computer program some where. I mean think about it-- boot the program, wait for Windows Vista to start it, maybe it crashes, type in a name or key word, maybe you spell it wrong... you get the idea.

Some things are just better on paper, and this is one of them. Packed with names and meanings, light enough to throw in your backpack with your netbook, good clear print, durable cover that will last a lifetime... I don't think there is a more valuable resource out there for creative writers. I'm not sure I'd recommend this alone for baby names, but I don't have experience naming a child, so your mileage may vary in that respect. Bottom line: If you're a creative writer, get it soon, and if you have trouble coming up with character names, get it now. This is going on my shelf of essential creative writing tools, and it should be on yours as well.