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Names Shakespeare didn't invent : Imogen, Olivia, and Viola revisited.

Uckelman, Sara L. (2019) 'Names Shakespeare didn't invent : Imogen, Olivia, and Viola revisited.', Names., 67 (3). pp. 153-159.

Abstract

Just as Shakespeare’s plays left their indelible stamp on the English language, so too did his names influence the naming pool in England at the beginning of the 17th century and beyond, and certain popular modern names are often described as inventions of Shakespeare. In this article, we revisit three names which are often listed as coinages of Shakespeare’s and show that this received wisdom, though oft-repeated, is in fact incorrect. The three names are Imogen, the heroine of Cymbeline; and Olivia and Viola, the heroines of Twelfth Night. All three of these names pre-date Shakespeare’s use. Further, we show in two of the three cases that it is plausible that Shakespeare was familiar with this earlier usage. We conclude by briefly discussing why these names are commonly mistakenly attributed to Shakespeare’s imagination, and the weaker, but not mistaken, claims which may underlie these attributions.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1080/00277738.2018.1490518
Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Names on 29 Oct 2018, available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/00277738.2018.1490518.
Date accepted:06 September 2016
Date deposited:08 September 2016
Date of first online publication:29 October 2018
Date first made open access:29 April 2020

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