30

It’s noted in The Annotated Phantom Tollbooth (which I highly recommend to any fan- it's a really lovely book) published by Knopf/Random House in 2011; on page 106, annotation 10 reads: “I’m Alec Bings” According to the author, this character’s curious name has no special significance apart from the fact that it rhymes with the remark spoken ...


13

1) According to When We Were Very Young By A. A. Milne, Pooh was a swan that Christopher Robin named Pooh, so that if he didn't come Christopher could pretend he was just saying that he hadn't wanted the swan to come anyways (or something to that effect). This was before the establishment of Winnie the Pooh proper, so it may be considered invalid. 2) As ...


11

Warning: major spoilers follow. Coin ~ money There are a few ways in which the District 13 leader could be symbolised by the idea of money. Power. Money can be used to buy power, or as a representation of power, and one of the most important things about this character is that she seeks power. Lack of personality. Money has no use value; it's faceless (...


11

This analysis website claims that: In Latin, Atticus is an adjective meaning “belonging to Attica”, the region in which Athens is located, or more simply, “Athenian”. As a name, it had connotations of literary sophistication and culture. ... Atticus was a suave and charming wheeler-dealer who deliberately eschewed political office. He preferred ...


11

With regards to Calvin and Hobbes: Later, when Watterson was creating names for the characters in his comic strip, he decided upon Calvin (after the Protestant reformer John Calvin) and Hobbes (after the social philosopher Thomas Hobbes), allegedly as a "tip of the hat" to the political science department at Kenyon. In The Complete Calvin and Hobbes, ...


10

Firstly, why there are Greek names in Russia. Russia, being a Christian Orthodox country, had strong historical and cultural connections with Greece. So, many Russian names are of Greek origin. Most of them are archaic nowadays, but some are very common. Secondly, in the XIX century, there was a somewhat strong distinction between "noble" names and "plebs'" ...


9

Thanks to @rand-althor for finding the citation! This article, an interview with the author includes a brief explanation of the choices: Siegfried was taken from the heroic character of German legend who had inspired composer Richard Wagner. The strong personality traits of his associate had not been lost on Herriot. "After I decided on Siegfried for ...


9

I have not been able to source a quote from the author, but there is an interview which offers some circumstantial evidence that Crowley is indeed named after the famous Occultist. Actor Mark Sheppard played a character called Crowley in the TV series Supernatural. There is a common presumption among fans of that show that the character was inspired by ...


7

This is a community-wiki answer where we can compile a list of names and their meanings. Tai-kun, Japanese. This name has a double meaning: "Tai-kun," as written, is applying the "-kun" suffix for "boy" or "young man" to the name or nickname "Tai." This is consistent with the book's description: Like Sniper, Ando used the Japanese nickname 'Tai-kun,' an ...


7

"There is only one catch" refers to that particular situation. The previous lines describe a character Orr, who should be grounded (prevented from flying). Which he's entitled to be, on the grounds that it would be crazy to continue flying. All he has to do is ask... but that would imply that he was sane, and thus sane enough to fly. "Catch-22" is the name ...


6

In the original, it's B and K, not B and C. You can see this in the German Wikipedia page (emphasis mine): Bastian Balthasar Bux ist ein zehn oder elf Jahre alter, in sich gekehrter Junge. Sein Vater hat den Tod seiner Frau, Bastians Mutter, nie verkraftet, flüchtet sich in seine Arbeit und beachtet seinen Sohn kaum noch. In der Schule ist der Junge ein ...


6

This answer is primarily based on Ignace Feuerlicht, "Omissions and Contradictions in Kafka's Trial", The German Quarterly 1967, 40(3), pp. 339-350 - available here if you have Jstor access. All quotes below are from this article. Josef K.'s last name is not the only, though perhaps it is the most prominent, piece of information which is carefully not ...


5

The Three Witches appear multiple times in the Sandman series, often showing a penchant for trickery and subtle jokes. Here, they are giving Dream a hard time about their names, comparing several Triple Goddesses and throwing in some pop culture references for fun. This implies that they consider themselves to embody aspects of the Triple Goddess, across ...


5

I was doing a little research on the etymology of John recently. (I suspect that Riordan's "Jackson" is a reference to John, where "Jack" is a form of John, and Percy Jackson is likely meant to be "Perseus Son-of-the-Grace-of-God", which is a reflection both of his parentage and his deliverance as an infant cast out to sea.) The Online Etymological ...


5

There is a town named Vardaman in Mississippi, about 40 miles southeast of Oxford. Faulkner could have borrowed the name because he liked the sound of it. What's more likely, however, is that he used the name of James K. Vardaman (1861-1930), who was governor of Mississippi from 1904 to 1908. They called him "Great White Chief," because like other Southern ...


5

I tend to think of the word trinket as suggesting not only small size and low value, but a small-minded owner, one who obsesses over possessions and ascribes them more value than they really have: the sort of person to whom the phrase "little things please little minds" is ideally suited. The term trinket itself is slightly derogatory - it refers to a thing ...


5

I don't have much evidence to support this, but I think this might be a reference to Robert Jordan, the main character of Ernest Hemingway's celebrated For Whom the Bell Tolls. Both are soldiers, to start. (I don't know anything else about either though.) Also, there's this snippet from an interview with Crumley in The Austin Chronicle in 2001, about 40 ...


5

The (defunct) Val Biro Official Fan web page has a brief interview with Val Biro on this subject, adding to the wording found in Gumdrop Makes a Start. HOW GUMDROP GOT HIS NAME He set the levers on the steering wheel and pulled the choke out. Then he pressed his foot on the starter button. The car went "Guuuuum". The foreman pushed in the choke ...


4

As I mentioned elsewhere, Shakespeare's main sources for Romeo and Juliet were Arthur Brooke's narrative poem The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet (1562) and William Painter's prose version of the story in the second volume of The Palace of Pleasure (1567). There is no evidence that Shakespeare read any of the French or Italian sources for this story, ...


4

As well as its more literal meaning of a (direct or indirect) male descendant, the word "son" can also be used to mean "A man considered in relation to his native country or area" or "A man regarded as the product of a particular person, influence, or environment" (definitions 1.4 and 1.5 in the online Oxford Dictionary). Metaphorically, the word can be used ...


4

The Lilith Fund is a real thing helping people to get abortions. From the about page at LilithFund.org: What Does Lilith Fund Do? Lilith Fund assists Texans in exercising their fundamental right to abortion by removing barriers to access. Lilith provides direct financial assistance to empower people seeking to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, and ...


4

Camus loved the sea and nature generally. His unfinished early novel La Mort heureuse contains a scene in which Patrice Mersault goes swimming in the sea; the scene is described in very sensuous terms. (See Albert Camus, La Mort heureuse, Le bain de mer, in French.) So on a very literal level, Mersault can be read as mer (sea) and sault/saut (jump; the ...


3

On his autobiography, Clapton mentions his dog Jeep only once. Recalling the spring of 1976, when after a year of touring across the world he returned to his country estate Hurtwood, he writes: "When we had a copule of dogs living there - Jeep, a weimaraner, my first dog since childhood, and Sunshine, a golden retriever - we would let them crap in the ...


3

Interesting meanings Some interesting bits come up on wiktionary: lune is apparently one alternate spelling for lyon, which is one way the leash for a hawk was spelt, as in Sir Thomas Malory: And thenne was he ware of a Faucon came fleynge ouer his hede toward an hyghe elme / and longe lunys aboute her feet / and she flewe vnto the elme to take her ...


3

INTRODUCTION TO THE CHINESE NAME The American-Based StackExchange Network ranks below Quora in Alexa. Quora receives a lot of traffic, including traffic from native Chinese speakers with professional competency in at least written English and fluently bilingual heritage speakers. StackExchange, on the other hand, is kind of a niche website, so the ...


3

An easy might-be-true answer is in Wikipedia: from Burg Frankenstein, a castle in Germany, where your predecessors conjectured Shelly visited and possibly drew inspiration from the castle's legends. This story is not universally believed, however. See this essay by Michael Mueller for a forceful denial of every insinuation found in the Wikipedia article.


3

Blake's poems are cryptic and invite multiple interpretations. To my amazement, while researching this question I found that the 26 stanzas of these two poems inspired, among other things, an academic paper that runs to 154 pages! So, as you might expect, there are a lot of theories. Most of them relate in some way to Greek mythology, which is a continuing ...


3

What ‘Shawshank’ suggests to me, is a surname from the Scottish Borders. The name is made up of two elements that are common in English and Scots surnames and placenames: ‘shaw’ meaning ‘covert’ or ‘shelter’; and ‘shank’ meaning literally ‘leg’ but figuratively ‘a projecting point of a hill’. ‘Shaw’ is found in surnames deriving from placenames: A ‘shaw’ ...


2

Three of the most important reasons appear to be a) the fact that he was dead b) the fact that most of the bureaucrats evidently hadn't heard of him (based on the fact that CID men come looking for him) and c) the fact that he was a major literary figure. Point a) is important to the irony - if Major Major signs his name with the name of a living person, it ...


2

The essay Jesting in Earnest by Daniel Gabelman, included in the book Re-Embroidering the Robe: Faith, Myth and Literary Creation since 1850 seems to imply the pun in the name may be "Copy Kant". Here's the relevant passage. Kopy-Keck, perhaps a caricature of the Metaphysical Society and their misapplication of Kant and the idealists, believes the ...


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