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The Penguin Dictionary of First Names (Penguin Reference) [Paperback]

David Pickering
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
RRP: £9.99
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Book Description

5 Aug 2004 Penguin Reference
What's in a name? Rather more than you might at first suspect, for names are steeped in history and myth and have much to tell us about our past, our beliefs - even our personality traits. Now fully updated for its second edition, with 150 new entries, The Penguin Dictionary of First Names takes a close look at over 5,000 examples, ranging from the familiar to the comparatively obscure, drawn from all parts of the English-speaking world. Detailed and informative, it is essential reading for expectant parents and for anyone who is intrigued by the story attached to each name.

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The Penguin Dictionary of First Names (Penguin Reference) + Bring Back Beatrice: 1,108 Baby Names with Meaning, Character, and a Little Bit of Attitude
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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; 2Rev Ed edition (5 Aug 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141013982
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141013985
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Described as 'the maven of reference book writers', David Pickering has written, contributed to, edited, or ghosted over 250 reference books for major British and American publishers. His works on history, folklore, language, theatre, and other subjects have won many fans and have led to numerous appearances in television and radio studios over the years. The enduringly popular dictionaries of Witchcraft and Superstitions are now available here as ebooks for the first time.

An experienced editor of fiction and autobiography as well as reference books, he has also published several works of fiction. His epic debut novel 'And Stones Shall Dance' was begun at Oxford in the 1970s and was finally published, after development on youwriteon.com, in 2012. 'Things Lost and Other Short Stories' and 'Things Undreamt Of' comprise collections of his shorter fiction. Other titles include a series of classic short story anthologies featuring tales by some of the greatest names in world literature.

Product Description

About the Author

David Pickering is a freelance writer and editor. He is the author of a number of reference works including the Cassell Dictionary of Abbreviations and the Cassell Dictionary of Proverbs. He lives in Buckingham.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough, informative & inspiring 28 Sep 2006
By Mrs. A. C. Whiteley VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
This is easily the best name book which I own (and I own several). It is arranged in alphabetical order (as one might expect from a dictionary, I suppose) but for all names rather than with the usual Girl/Boy division. The gender of the name is indicated in brackets with either m or f. Each name has a paragraph of information about its derivation, meaning and historic use. This is far more thorough than many others on the market and allows you to make a very informed choice about your son or daughter's future name. I have used this book to make many suggestions to my sister about my future niece/nephew and she is very impressed. Even if you aren't expecting a child, this is an extremely interesting book to leaf through and well worth the modest price tag.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Penguin Dictionary of First Names 22 Jun 2007
Format:Paperback
The Penguin Dictionary of First Names is easily the most comprehensive compendium of names I have ever come across. It is peppered with historical background and little anecdotes making it a most enjoyable read even if you are not planning on having babies but have always been extremely curious as to the story behind the name .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but might not be the only book you'll need 28 Aug 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is insightful on providing a 'definition' of a pretty substantial list of names. On the down side, I've been through the whole book and wasn't particularly inspired by any of the names. I also don't find it very helpful that genders are mixed, as we know what we are expecting and are still having to read a large number of names that don't apply just to get through the list. On the other hand, it is a well researched book and does have a lot of English names in it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for well researched name definitions 4 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I really like having name definitions and origins which are well researched and it ticks the box on that score. However in my opinion it doesn't reflect 21st century or even late 20th century names or trends.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and helpful 2 Aug 2009
Format:Paperback
We purchased this when trying to pick a name for baby. We already had a conventional baby name book but were not finding any inspiration. This was a great change from normal name books as it gave some interesting comments against each name and not just the bog standard meaning. Some of the references to well known and famous people with the same name are a bit outdated but that doesn't take away stop this from being a very entertaining and informative read and eventually helped us decide on a name we both liked.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good 6 Aug 2010
By Triigs
Format:Paperback
Is a pretty good list of names, focuses on Latin, Roman and English names is my preception. Mainly traditionally focussed
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It delighted the wife 11 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback
My wife was delighted when she received this book as a gift and has not stopped flicking through the pages since.
Good coverage of many names both common and the more unusual.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of names! 25 April 2014
By Lom
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are LOTS of names in this book..... I am looking for traditional names so was rather overwhelmed by the large number of foreign or 'names suitable for famous people!'

However, it is nice to see the origins of names..
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book of names and where they came from. Very interesting reading x
Published 19 days ago by N DRAPER
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
I would have preferred it if the girl and boy names were separated. Maybe I'm just being fussy
Published 25 days ago by Sam
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Worth a read through for some inspiration although mostly very traditional names.
Published 1 month ago by jefnur
3.0 out of 5 stars think there are better ones out there though
alright, think there are better ones out there though.
Published 1 month ago by Steveyd
5.0 out of 5 stars Best first name book
This is the best first name book I've come across and I love the fact that it even makes reference to how certain names are used in other languages.
Published 2 months ago by kacifint
5.0 out of 5 stars ... pregnant daughter and her partner and they are very pleased with...
Purchased for my pregnant daughter and her partner and they are very pleased with it.
Published 3 months ago by janet pearson
1.0 out of 5 stars Not good
Disappointed as not broken down into boys and girls names so it's hard to follow and takes ages to scroll through. Didn't find babies name from here was on the internet. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Bobble
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book we bought!
We bought a few baby name books and this was by far my favorite. It has a good selection of name and includes a lot of the traditional names which are becoming popular. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Miss A Richardson
4.0 out of 5 stars like this book
finding first names was interesting as years ago, we commonly used the same names as family members, grandparents etc. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jeanette Challice
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This book makes for an interesting read whether you are searching for baby names or just curious about the origins of names. certainly been inspired. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Stepnee
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