Magdalen! It was a strange name to have given her? Strange indeed; and yet, chosen under no extraordinary circumstances. The name had been borne by one of Mr Vanstone’s sisters, who had died in early youth; and, in affectionate remembrance of her, he had called his second daughter by it…

Magdalen! Surely, the grand old Bible name – suggestive of a sad and sombre dignity; recalling, in its first association, mournful ideas of penitence and seclusion – had been here, as events had turned out, inappropriately bestowed?

(Wilkie Collins, No Name, 1862)


An absurdly long name for so small a girl. Aunt Martha always calls me Marguerite with an accent of strong disapproval. She does not like my name but she gives me the full benefit of it.”

(L. M. Montgomery, “A Sandshore Wooing”, 1908)


Uncle Mo’s name is short for Moses, but . . . he got beaten up too much when he was a kid (“Think about it,” he said. “Would you like to be called Moses?”) and so he shortened it to Mo, which sounded ‘more butch’.

(Sharon Creech, The Wanderer, 2000)


What kind of name is that for a demon to choose?

(Keith Topping, Slayer – Unofficial Guide to Buffy, 2001)


Any family in which there’s a male named Muhammad will have an angel sent by God every morning and evening to pray for the household.

(Ancient Muslim belief).