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Names from the Knobs,

McMinn, Monroe, and Polk Counties, TN

~ an ongoing compilation ~

by Sandra Ratledge

Newcomers may find this list of unusual names from the Knobs in McMinn, Monroe, and Polk Counties helpful. Kinfolks researching local families sometimes have difficulty pronouncing and spelling these strange names and nicknames. Our East Tennessee dialect through generations is a contributory factor, no doubt. Youngsters do not know origins for curious names. Neophytes do not even understand that quotation marks indicate a nickname and that nicknames are not legal names but merely "pet" names used commonly by family and friends. Over decades of research, I found such nicknames, naming patterns, learned local pronunciations, and sought origins. The following chart may help researchers, but better still, bring a smile to the rest of us senior citizens. Thanks to Cousins Mildred Maupin and Denise Keltch for their help and additions to this list! I appreciate their encouragement and the laughter we share.

ArkieArthena / also Arkadelphia see Athenainventive spelling of Athena
ArtieArtemisiaLatinaromatic shrub like wormwood
Clercie / ClercyClarissaEnglish, Italian, & Spanishclear or brilliant
CreasieLuretiaRomana noble woman who committed suicide
Eckie / EckEchinaceaherb derived from coneflower and used to improve immune systemfrom Latin meaning prickly
Deelie / DealCordelia??
Feenie / JosieJosephineBiblicalfeminine version of Joseph
FeenSophinaEnglish from Greek SophiaGreek for "wisdom"
Fronie / FroneSophroniaGreek"of sound mind / heart"
LeevieOleviaKnobs version of feminine for OliverLatin "man of peace"*
LiceEliasBiblicalHebrew for "prominence"*
IggyIgnatiusSt. Ignatius, Bishop of Antiochsaint martyred at Rome
MealieAmelia / PermeliaLatin"industrious or golden-tongued flatterer"*
MerkyAmericageographicalbestowed for patriotism
NervieMinervaRoman mythgoddess of wisdom
Neal / NeelyCornelius / Cornelia / Cornelfrom Greek, "cornel tree""Cornel-cherry" is the dogwood tree bearing cherry-red seeds in fall.
NicieEuniceBiblicalwoman of assured faith
ParkieParthenavariant spelling of Athenaversion of mythology
RainieLourena / Lorena form of Lorrainederived from King Lothar
RoeMonroeScottish, Englishfrom the mouth of the River Roe in Ireland
SineeSinaiBiblical geographyMountain of Moses
SlynieSelenaEnglish from the Greek"moon" in Greek
Teen / TeenieChristineBiblicalJesus Christ
Thenie / ThenerAthenaGreek mythgoddess of wisdom
ThursieThursaNorse mythologyNorse god Thor's day is Thursday.
UlieUlyssesRoman mythologyfrom Odysseus
UnieEuniceGreek "happy victory"*in Bible, the woman of assured faith
Zeddie / ZettieArzadaunknown to meWho knows?

*Some meanings above come from What's in a Name? by Favius Friedman, Scholastic Book Services, Scholastice Magazines, Inc., New York, NY, Jan 1975.

©1999-2015 Sandra N. Ratledge. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any reproduction or inclusion of this website's contents in publication whether online or in print is prohibited. Do NOT copy photographs and upload on Find a Grave or any other internet websites, blogs, attach to family trees, or print in publications. Do NOT copy stories, articles, documents, sketches, anecdotes, letters, obituaries, content data, etc. and attach to family trees or upload on other websites of any kind.

Sandra Ratledge

All you kinfolks, put some mail in that old box!

This site is dedicated to the memory of my mother,
Beulah Cline Nipper, a beautiful product of the Knobs.