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Here is the ultimate first name handbook, a delightfully informative, comprehensive survey of over 4,500 European and American names (with two appendices covering the most common Arabic and Indian names) . The real charm and value of this reference lies in the wealth of fascinating additional information the authors provide. Under the entry for "Audrey," for example, we learn of the sixth century saint of that name--who died from a neck tumor, divine punishment for her youthful delight in fine necklaces--from whom the word "tawdry" derives: it referred originally to the cheap jewelry sold at fairs in her honor (St. Audrey eventually being compressed into "tawdry") . The authors reveal that the name "Colleen," a very popular name among Irish Americans, is in fact never given as a first name in Ireland; that the name "Wendy" didn't exist until J.



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