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The Penguin Dictionary of First Names (Penguin Reference) Paperback – 5 Aug 2004


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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 + Baby Names 2015: Over 8,000 of this year's favourite names
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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: 12.9 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,339 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.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. A. C. Whiteley VINE VOICE on 28 Sept. 2006
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jenny B. on 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By shinealight on 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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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Goode on 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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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By S. Slucock on 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 By Triigs on 6 Aug. 2010
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 By Lom on 25 April 2014
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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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. C. Large on 5 Nov. 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is great. It has so many names from so many different origins and even the variants of those. Within 10 minutes of picking it up I had found 2 great possible names for my new addition wheras I'd found none in the countless books I had studied so far. Well worth the £8.99 RRP.
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