The Penguin Classic Baby Name Book: Paperback – 1 Apr 2004
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Its truly fascinating, if you have any love for classic literature, and I find myself reading it almost like a novel itself, just straight through. It is not for everyone, and certainly not your average baby name book, but I can truly recommend it for those who love names, love literature, or are equally as eccentric as I am.
Most of the names are simply impractical and unweildy for a child now.
I found it least helpful of all the books I purchased.
Wallace defines Timothy as "fearing God," but "honoring God" is a better meaning. The Latin verb "timere" does mean "to fear". But this Timothy has the Greek root 'theos'-"god", it follows that the 'timo' root comes from the Greek verb 'timao'-"to honor". And she says that the meaning of Telemachus is unknown. But the root 'tele' means "far off" (like telephone), and 'machus' means "battle" (like the words dimachaerus and naumachia).
Wallace makes a point of explaining her decision to list Germanic roots literally, even if the meaning sounds awkward. So Albert and Hubert are, respectively, "noble bright" and "intelligence bright". Wallace wants the reader to see the connection of 'bert' and "bright". But then Theodore is listed as "gift of God", and Theophilus is "loving God". Following the pattern of Albert and Hubert, the definitions should be more like "God's gift" and "God-loving".
Wallace clearly worked very hard to find the literary history of the names. But the meanings and etymology are unsatisfying.
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