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)


“Miss C. Morgeson, we will call you,” she said, in our first interview; “the name of Cassandra is too peculiar.”

(Elizabeth Stoddard, The Morgesons, 1862)

Camille (f)

I used to think that was the loveliest name in the world. I knew a little girl who was named Camille, and the name fitted her. She had a skin with the softness of camellias.

(John Steinbeck, To a God unknown, 1933)


Don’t laugh – it’s better than being called Lambrusco, isn’t it?

(Alison Graham, Radio Times, 5-11 January 2002)


“And if any ask my name, it is Christian, and true Christian I am as any here, and true to my salt.”

(Ellis Peters, The Pilgrim of hate, 1984)


“It makes you think of turquoise seas and lovely white sand . . . Brazilian things to go with my Brazilian name.”

(Adele Geras, Stagestruck, 1999)

Colly (m)

“He can’t be called Colly. That’s silly. Collie’s a kind of dog.”

“Probably short for Colin.”

(Catherine Storr, The Underground Conspiracy, 1982)


“Cecilia is a pretty name.”

(Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby, 1858-9)


“His pore mother, not being a Scripture-read woman, made a mistake at his christening, thinking ‘twas Abel killed Cain, and called ‘em Cain, meaning Abel all the time. The parson put it right, but ‘twas too late, for the name could never be got rid of in the parish. ‘Tis very unfortunate for the boy…. We soften it down as much as we can, and call him Cainy.”

(Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd, 1874)