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American Given Names: Their Origin and History in the Context of the English Language (Opr Series) [Hardcover]

by George R. Stewart
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 1, 1979 0195024656 978-0195024654 First Edition
A carefully researched dictionary which explains the origin and usage of over 800 American first names. Includes a very substantial historical introduction, which follows the patterns and influences afffecting naming from the Anglo-Saxons in nineteenth-century America.

Product Details

  • Series: Opr Series
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; First Edition edition (February 1, 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195024656
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195024654
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,633,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
I collect name books, and can recommend for purchase only a scant few. One, by Britons Leslie Dunkling and William Gosling, has been published under at least two different names. The other such book is "American Given Names".
Both books tell you not only the meaning and derivation of the name, but when it entered the English language, when it became popular, disappeared, and came back into fashion, which segments of the populace used the name most-- and the reasons behind it all. Next to these two, almost all other name books available in the U.S. today are junk.
Whereas Dunkling/Gosling has many more names (and is much, much cheaper!), Stewart sticks to fewer and goes into more depth on many. He also concentrates on American practice, rather than the entire English-speaking world. There are quite a few Puritan names here (ever heard of Preserved Fish?), making this especially useful for U.S. genealogists.
Finally, every literate person should have a name dictionary on his reference shelf next to the regular dictionary and the thesaurus. If you just want to name your next kid, Dunkling/Gosling is good enough, but if you're a student, writer, historian or genealogist, get Stewart's too. It's worth it.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Routine with a Great Preface January 30, 2000
The dictionary of names isn't much to write home about. It's thorough and well-done, but doesn't include any statistical depth (e.g. when was a name most popular, where does it 'rank' nowadays, etc). However, the historical background covers some of this information quite well, so that compensates somewhat.
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3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I found it great! wonderful! February 27, 1999
By A Customer
I found it great. I decided to come here because I thought u would be the best of the best. I was doing a project for my school about my name and it's history and what is meant so I thought maybe this book would help, and that maybe I could check it out on-line.
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