Names from The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

A while ago I planned on starting a series of posts of all the names of characters in the books I read (like here). It’s been a while since that post but I can assure you, I’ve been reading and keeping a list of the names, but I procrastinated on writing them up and now, unfortunately, it seems I’ve lost some of the papers with the names.

I figured I’d start with The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. I picked up this book over the summer because I’m a fan of mystery books and the premise sounded so interesting I wanted to see how it held up. I wasn’t disappointed. It was a bit confusing at times and I had to reread some parts of it, but that’s just due to the complexity of the plot rather than the writing. This was truly the best book I’ve read this year.

*The setting takes place in a mansion in England, sometime in the 1930s or 40s, which I mention since the names would be contemporary of their time. As for the title, in the U.K. it’s known as the The 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, in the U.S. as The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, to avoid confusion with another similarly titled book, The Seven Husbnds of Evelyn Hugo


It was written by Stuart TurtonStuart comes from an English surname, a variant spelling of Stewart, an occupational name for someone who was an administrative official of an estate or someone who was in charge of domestic affairs of a household. The names comes from Old English stiweard  meaning “house guardian”.

  • Peter Hardcastle- Peter is the English form of Greek Petros meaning “stone, rock”;
  • Helena Hardcastle- Helena is the Latinate form of Helen, the English form of Helene, an Ancient Greek name of uncertain etymology though it’s been linked to Greek helene meaning “torch” or “corposant”, though it might also be linked to selene meaning “moon”;
  • Evelyn Hardcastle- it comes from an English surname, derived from given name Aveline, the Norman French form of Germanic name Avelina, a diminutive of Avila from Germanic element avi of unknown meaning though possibly meaning “desired”;
  • Michael Hardcastle- a male name meaning “who is like God?”, a rhetorical question implying there is no one like God;
  • Edward Dance- comes from Old English elements ead (wealth, fortune, rich) and weard (guard, guardian) meaning “rich guardian”, “rich guard” or “wealthy guard/guardian”;
  • Rebecca Dance- comes from Hebrew Rivka which has been linked to Hebrew r-b-q meaning “to tie, to join, snare”, and has even been linked to an ensnaring or captivating beauty;
  • Christopher Pettigrew- the English form of Christophoros, a Late Greek name meaning “bearing Christ” from Greek pheros (to carry, to bear, to bring) and Greek given name Christos meaning “anointed”;
  • Philip Sutcliffe- an Ancient Greek name meaning “lover of horses” from Greek elements philos (friend, lover) and hippos (horse);
  • Grace Davies- comes from Latin gratia meaning “favor, kindness” and usually referring to qualities of elegance, pleasantness, charm, kindness, courteousness, and attractiveness. It derives from grātus (pleasing, acceptable, agreeable) via PIE *gʷerH- (to favor, approve; praise);
  • Donald Davies-comes from Old Irish Domnall via Celtic Dumnoualos meaning “ruler of the world”, “world ruler”, or “world ruler”;
  • Clifford Herrington- derived from an English surname meaning “ford by a cliff” originally used to refer to someone who lived near one;
  • Millicent Derby- the English form of Germanic Amalasuintha meaning “strong labor” or “strong work”;
  •  Jonathan Derby- the English form of Hebrew Yehonatan meaning “Yahweh has given”;
  • Daniel Coleridge- comes from Hebrew meaning “God is my judge”;
  • Cecil Ravencourt- the English form of Caecilius, an Ancient Roman family name which comes from Latin caecusmeaning “blind; hidden, invisible”;
  • Jim Rashton- Jim originated as a nickname for James meaning “holder of the heel” or “supplanter” from Hebrew;
  • RichardDickie” Acker- a male name made up of Germanic elements ric (power, rule) and hard (brave, hardy) essentially meaning “strong ruler” or “brave ruler”;
  • Sebastian Bell- comes from Latin Sebastianus meaning “from Sebaste”, Sebaste being a city in Asia Minor (in what is now modern day Turkey). The name is derived from Ancient Greek sebastos meaning “venerable, august, exalted” (a Greek translation of Latin Augustus) via Ancient Greek sebázomai (to feel awe, revere) and the adjectival suffix -tos, meaning “worthy of being revered”;
  • Ted Stanwin- Ted is a nickname, either for Edward or Theodore meaning “gift of God” or “God’s gift”;
  • Roger Collins- means “famous spear”, made up from Germanic elements hrod (famous, fame) and ger (spear);
  • Lucy Harper– Lucy is the English form of Lucia, the feminine form of Luciuswhich is an Ancient Roman praenomen (given name) meaning “light”;
  • Alf Miller– Alf is a nickname for Alfred meaning “elf counsel” and in this case it seems likely that Alf is a nickname for Alfred; Alf is also an Old Norse name meaning “elf”;
  • Gregory Gold– the English form of Latinized Greek form Gregorius deriving from Greek Gregorios meaning “watchful, vigilant, alert”;
  • Charles Cunningham- it comes from Germanic Karl meaning “man” via Proto-Germanic *karilaz (free man) derived from a PIE root word;
  • Madeline Aubert- Madeline comes from French Madeleine, itself the French form of Magdalene, originally a title meaning “of Magdala” in reference to someone who came from the town or village of Magdala, originally located at the Sea of GalileeMagdala comes from Hebrew migdal meaning “tower”;
  • Thomas Hardcastle- the Greek form of an Aramaic name, Ta’oma, meaning “twin”;
  • Charlie Carver- Charlie is a nickname for Charles meaning “man”;
  • Anna– the Latinate form of Hebrew Channah meaning “favor” or “grace”;
  • Annabelle Caulker- the character Anna’s full name, Annabelle is a variant spelling of Annabel which is a variant form of Amabel, the Medieval English feminine form of Amabilis, a Late Latin male name meaning “lovable, worthy of love”. It’s also possible that Annabelle could be a combination of given names Anna (meaning “favor” or “grace” from Hebrew) and Belle, a French name (and word) meaning “beautiful”;
  • Henrietta– the feminine form of Henry meaning “home ruler”;
  • Beth– a nickname for Elizabeth meaning “my God is an oath” or “my God is abundance”;
  • Heather Hardcastle- refers to a variety of small shrubs with pink or white flowers which commonly grow in rocky places. The name comes from Old English hather, hæddre, of uncertain origin and meaning, though it seems the spelling was changed to resemble heath which refers to a tract of uncultivated land or a wasteland overgrown with shrubs;
  • Aiden Bishop- a variant spelling of Aidan, which is the Anglicized form of Aodhán from Old Irish Áedán, a diminutive of Áed (or Aodh) with the diminutive suffix -an meaning “fire” or “fiery” so Aiden would mean “little fire” or “little fiery one”;
  • Felicity Maddox– Felicity is an English female given name derived from the word meaning “happiness” which comes from Latin felicitas;
  • Elspeth– the Scottish form of Elizabeth;
  • Oswald– is an Old English male name meaning “god power” or “god ruler”, made up from Old English elements ōs (god) and weald(power, ruler);
  • Keith Parker– comes from a Scottish surname of uncertain meaning though it may be derived from Proto-Brythonic word *koɨd meaning “wood, forest”, ultimately from a Proto-Celtic origin;
  • Margaret Rashton- an English female name which comes from Ancient Greek margarítēs meaning “pearl”;
  • Henry Rashton- means “home ruler”;
  • Audrey– an English female name, the Anglo-Norman form of Æðelþryð, an Old English name meaning “noble strength”;
  • Josephine– the feminine form of Joseph, derived from  Hebrew Yosef meaning “Yahweh will increase” or “Yahweh will add”;
  • Oliver– a male given name that has two possible origins. The first is that it could be from Germanic Alfhar from Old Norse Alvar meaning “elf warrior” or “elf army” from Old Norse elements alfr (elf) and arr (warrior, army); or it’s derived from another Old Norse name, Áleifr, meaning “ancestor’s descendant” from Old Norse anu (ancestor) and leifr (descendant);
  • Juliette Bishop- a French diminutive of Juliewhich comes from Julia, the feminine form of Julius, an Ancient Roman name of uncertain meaning though it’s been linked to Greek ioulos (downy-bearded) or it could be related to Jupiter, the name of the Roman god derived from Indo-European *Dyeu-Pater meaning “Zeus father”, Zeus meaning “shine” or “sky”.

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