He always signed his name “Henery” – strenuously insisting upon that spelling, and if any passing schoolmaster ventured to remark that the second ‘e’ was superfluous and old-fashioned, he received the reply that ‘H-e-n-e-r-y’ was the name he was christened and the name he would stick to – in the tone of to whom orthographical differences were matters which had a great deal to do with personal character.

(Thomas Hardy, Far from the madding crowd, 1874)

Virtue Names

Hope or Charity. One of those sorts of name, if you know what I mean. Used to be used a lot in Victorian times but you don’t hear them so much nowadays.”

(Agatha Christie – Nemesis, 1971)


Priss felt in awe of a person who could fasten a name like that onto a baby. “Aren’t you afraid he’ll be called ‘Icky’ in school?”

(Mary McCarthy, The group, 1963)


What a dreadful name!

(William Haggard, The high Wire, 1963)