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30 Reviews
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2 star:
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough, informative & inspiring
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...
Published on 28 Sep 2006 by Mrs. A. C. Whiteley

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for well researched name definitions
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.
Published on 4 Jan 2011 by shinealight


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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good value book, 4 July 2013
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This review is from: The Penguin Dictionary of First Names (Penguin Reference) (Paperback)
I bought this for my husband as we are expecting our second baby and are struggling with name choices. I have a list of names I like but we are struggling to agree so I thought it about time he came up with a few suggestions! I bought this book as it seemed straightforward and not too 'girly' looking so he'd be happy to flick through it. I'm looking forward to hearing his suggestions...!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but it is basically as interesting as reading a dictionary, 16 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Penguin Dictionary of First Names (Penguin Reference) (Paperback)
I bought this as a gift for girlfriend who is expecting. She is quite the traditional type so I wanted a book that would have lots of traditional names and less of the made up, mis spelled names you get in some books.

On that point it does deliver. I highly doubt any of the old faithfulls and historic names have been excluded. It also has a good, and I assume highly accurate description of the name and its history - it is a dictionary after all.

The reason I don't rate it above 3 stars is that unfortunately for me, it made the very exciting experience of choosing a baby name rather dull. It really is written like a dictionary, and a lot of the definitions are dry, or just refer to another variation of the name. I actually got bored after about the 4th name I looked up.

I think before buying you may want to consider why you are buying this book. I see a lot of reviews from writers looking to name their characters and for that its probably fine. But if its a gift or if you are expecting then I would suggest you review a few pages using names you know first and see if its for you.

This book just wasn't a page turner for me and I think that says a lot given how exciting choosing a baby name can be. I probably will go for something a bit more exciting when its my turn even if I do have to wade through the 18 ways of spelling "Britney" (sorry if your child is named Britney).
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing, 6 April 2012
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This review is from: The Penguin Dictionary of First Names (Penguin Reference) (Paperback)
I was looking forward to receiving this book after reading the reviews, but I am a bit disappointed with it. It seems to have lots of information on different names, but some I have checked don't have the meaning of the name.
For me the meaning of the name is important. I'm not that bothered about knowing its foreign equivalents. Also it includes foreign names, so there is a lot of irrelevant material if you are just looking for British names.
I wish now I had gone for something a little less comprehensive.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book but one small negative, 23 Mar 2011
This review is from: The Penguin Dictionary of First Names (Penguin Reference) (Paperback)
This book has a great mix of modern and tradional names. It has enough names for you to choose from without being to big to read them all! My only negative with it is that the girls and boys names are all mixed together, which is fine if you don't know what sex baby you are having but a bit annoying if you only want to look at one sex names! Overall, I'd recommend.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing, 7 Oct 2010
By 
C. Patton "kiome" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Penguin Dictionary of First Names (Penguin Reference) (Paperback)
I didn't feel this book lived up to previous reviews. It is interesting in that it has names from lots of different cultures. However, its not very comprehensive and has an odd mixture of names.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, 15 May 2009
By 
T. FOSH - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Penguin Dictionary of First Names (Penguin Reference) (Paperback)
This book is great with lots of interesting names and good desciptions. Only bummer is the paper could be of better quality.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 2 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Penguin Dictionary of First Names (Penguin Reference) (Paperback)
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. Having been looking for ideas for the name of our first child this book gives a refreshing change to the names of the recent decades. I have certainly been inspired.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Penguin Dictionary of First Names, 14 Feb 2011
This review is from: The Penguin Dictionary of First Names (Penguin Reference) (Paperback)
An excellent collection of many of the most common (and some not so common) first names, and by far and away the best published book currently on offer on the subject. Ideal for those trying to choose a name for a new baby, or else just interested in the meanings and origins of first names. However, many hundreds of names are not included in this volume (the only reason for it not getting five stars), and a plethora of internet-based websites such as behind the name contain much more information and are easier to search.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW! THIS BOOK IS GREAT!!, 2 Feb 2011
This review is from: The Penguin Dictionary of First Names (Penguin Reference) (Paperback)
I am not a parent, and neither do I EVER intend to be one BUT this book is great!! A true gem. I brought it to use as a reference for writing stories, for choosing character names. I think it will be invaluable for that.
I have so far looked up my own name,my fella's name and my sisters - and I have to say I think my folks did an EXCELLENT job in naming us! We all seem to live up to our names ;) (although my middle name appears to mean 'heifer' which I'm not too happy about - my fella thought this highly amusing though!!)
For me this book is exactly what I wanted and I am sure it will help many parents to be choose the perfect name for their off-spring too.
An interesting, informative book ideal for anyone who needs names, or is just interested in names and the meanings.
Well worth the money.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not really relevant, 3 Dec 2012
By 
hells bells (north east england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Penguin Dictionary of First Names (Penguin Reference) (Paperback)
mainly indian and old fashioned names. not enough modern or unusal names, and not enough from other places apart from India. would not use again
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The Penguin Dictionary of First Names (Penguin Reference)
The Penguin Dictionary of First Names (Penguin Reference) by David Pickering (Paperback - 5 Aug 2004)
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