Wednesday, 3 August 2011

New Poll: Which Austen heroine has the best first-name?

The second poll in the name poll series is up! Following on from the first one, "Which Austen hero has the best first-name" the new poll is:

"Which Austen heroine has the best first-name" 

Once again we have 8 heroes and 8 names, all of which are the female *halves* of the heroes which were represented in the last poll. Just a reminder this poll is supposed to be based upon the name (not which heroine is your favourite) and as before I have also given the origin and some of the meanings. You do not have to vote on which meaning is your favourite, I personally just find that if I am stuck between two names the meaning may help me to pick between them. Have fun :)

*in alphabetical order (not preference)
  


ANNE 

Origin: Hebrew, French, English

Meaning: "He (God) has favored me", "gracious", "grace"



CATHERINE

Origin: Greek, English, French

Meaning: "pure"


ELINOR

Origin: Greek

Meaning: "sun ray, shinning light", "light"




ELIZABETH

Origin: Hebrew

Meaning: "God's promise", "God is my oath", "consecrated to God"


EMMA

Origin: German

Meaning: "entire", "universal", "whole"



FANNY

Origin: Latin

Meaning: "from France", "free"
*A diminutive or pet name of Frances (which was Fanny's mother's full name. I am not entirely sure but personally I think it is highly likely Frances was also Fanny's full name)



JANE

Origin: Hebrew

Meaning: "God is gracious"




MARIANNE

Origin: French

Meaning: A combination of MARIE (meaning "star of the sea") and ANNE (meaning "grace")





Didn't Jane choose some beautiful names with equally lovely meanings for her heroines! They all also seem to suit the characters so very well.


Much love,

Mel xx

PS. Sorry for the delay in posting this up- I've been having a little trouble with the poll gadget. Hopefully it is working now- even if the question/title does appear twice.

8 comments:

Jemimah C. said...

I have to agree--Jane Austen's heroines have lovely names that suit them very well. The meanings are so nice! And that makes it hard to choose which one has the best name.

Melody said...

My favorites are Marianne and Emma, and I voted for Marianne.

(Although if it was Maryanne or Mary Anne or whatever, I wouldn't like it as much. haha)

Elizabeth said...

I like quite a lot of these names!! It is so hard to chose!

Miss Laurie said...

This poll is a bit trickier for me than the hero poll because some of these names I like almost equally the same! Elinor (when spelled this way), Emma, Jane and Catherine are all favorites of mine and I love them all almost equally. I voted for Elinor though because Eleanor is my favorite girls name and I do like the Elinor spelling, it's all the same sound and meaning anyway.

Jane Austen did choose lovely names for her heroines and yet they aren't fanciful (with the possible exception of Elinor and Marianne which were both poetical in their day but Elinor/Eleanor was also the name of royalty) but have that simple elegance. It's interesting that she used some Biblical names like Anne (from Anna & Hannah in the Bible), Elizabeth (or Elisabeth in the Bible), Jane (from John in the Bible) and Marianne (from Marie/Mary and Anne/Anna in the Bible) but they all have that elegance that's a step above Biblical names that were more often used "below stairs" and in Religious groups of the day. I do love the meanings and most of them suit the heroines perfectly. Anne Elliot is gracious and also graceful in her manner and sweetness. Catherine Morland is acts out of a pure mind and heart which greatly attracts her hero. Elinor is that ray of sunshine to help her sisters and mother, easing their burdens. Elizabeth in return always keeps her promises. The town of Highbury is Emma's "universe" where she presides as queen. Jane Bennet is gracious and kind in return to everyone she meets. And Marianne is the graceful star of her story (and in S&S 2008 Barton Cottage was right on the Devon coast!).

Now Fanny's name suits her perfectly but not sure the meaning does as well but we could say she is "free" my guilt because she always acts rightly! Her full name would have most certainly been Frances Price after her mother, but I'm not sure that is particularly mentioned in the novel. In that Era there were many accepted things about names such as children were almost always named after family members whether you liked them of not. Most name histories, meanings and origins were generally known because the culture among the upper class was very literary and used their words and names carefully. Even if a girl was going to be called by a nickname (Lizzy, Sally, Kitty, Fanny) she would most always be christened the full name (Elizabeth, Sarah, Catherine, Frances) even if her parents didn't like the full name. Because it wasn't considered proper not to give children "a proper Christian name". "Fanny" suits the character because it is younger and quieter than the more regal sounding Frances, it also tells volumes of her lowly status that the Bertram family still call her "Fanny" when they could upgrade her to a "Frances" so far from her mother. Instead she is still "little Fanny Price".

Listen to me rattle on! Names are just so interesting!

~Miss Laurie :)

Mary said...

I love Elizabeth! So pretty:)

ZZ said...

Either Jane or Elinor. Nice solid names. Sounds like you can trust them.

Cute site by the way, keep it up. I'm a guy and I like Patrick O'brian, who's sometime called "the man's Jane Austen". He writes about Georgian England.

Mel said...

Jemimah: I absolutely agree, I still cannot decide which one I like best as they are all so nice!

Melody: Marianne is a lovely name, and I agree it HAS to be spelt that way! I love the spelling with the "i"- It's so sweet!

Elizabeth: Me too! It was so much easier with the heroes I think :)

Miss Laurie: I was definitely counting on a long response from you. And I am so glad I got one, I love reading what you have to say about names :)
I love how you tied the meanings of the names with the heroines, I agree with them all. When I read the meaning of Fanny it struck me that perhaps her name stands for what she desires - to be "free". Free from the Bertrams, her duty to marry Henry, free to marry whom she wanted etc.
I am glad I was right in believing Fanny's full name to have been Frances. Although I could not find it in the novel, I always thought it must have been.
I much prefer Fanny to Frances and I am so glad that Fanny did continue to be called "Fanny" throughout her life because like you I do not think Frances suits her.

Mary: Thanks for commenting! Elizabeth really is such a beautiful name :)

ZZ: Thank you for taking the time to comment :)

Jane and Elinor do sound like people you could trust (and their characters were quite trustworthy too!)

I have never heard of Patrick O'brian so thank you for mentioning it. I will definitely take a look into some of his work, as by your short description he sounds very interesting!

Mel

Abby said...

I've always liked the simple elegance of Catherine and Elizabeth. Jane and Emma are also favourites of mine. Plus Marianne is a really beautiful name, very romantic sounding. I agree with Melody about the spelling: the i and -nne ending makes it look very pretty written down :)
By the way, I really loved your comment Miss Laurie! I love how you matched each heroines name meanings to their character: makes you wonder if perhaps Jane Austen did choose some of her heroines names for a particular reason. I especially liked your reasoning for Emma, I would never have thought of that before!

~Abby