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The Guinness Book of Names (6th Ed) by Leslie Alan Dunkling (1993)
You have a name and one thing after another happens to you, and you behave in various ways and do things, so that soon the name begins to have a meaning. Things have accumulated around your name. (Carson McCullers, The Member of the Wedding)
I always judge a young author by the names he bestows on his characters. If the names seem to me to be weak, or to be unsuitable to the people who bear them, I put the author down as a man of little talent, and am no longer greatly interested in his book. . . . It is one of the first rules of the novelist’s art. Bad authors choose bad names. (Emil Zola, Dr Pascal)
As anyone who has been here and paid attention will know, I like words, I like books and I like names. Therefore, I really really like books on names. I still have the first one I bought (it's 3x2 inches in size, the etymology's as wonky as the binding and the cherub on the cover makes me wince, but I wouldn't part with it for the world), plus a lowering number of baby name books of all kinds.
This, however, started my fascination with all the other ways and means and types of naming things. I originally bought the (I think) 2nd edition, and traded up at least twice in the eighties and nineties, and it covers a huge range of topics: of course, first names (etymology, history, changing fashions in, reasons for choices), and surnames (history, psychology of, common and rarer, changing them) but also ( deep breath... )