Hey guys! Remember me? Your steadfast blogger has been ripping her hair out over the past week or so, so I had to take an absence.

So, two things have brought me to Marianne today. One is a thread an another board I visit, and the other is that I recently finished reading Pride and Prejudice. Of course, I compared it with Sense and Sensibility in my head, leading me to today’s name. By the way, I loved both, and I’m planning on reading Emma next. Any Austenites out there?

Anyway, I think Marianne is gently old-fashioned and altogether much different than Maryann or any other permutation of the compound name. It’s all about the pause in the middle: Mary(half-breath)Anne vs Maryann, pronunciation wise. Also, Marianne has roots as a diminutive of Marie, so it’s not simply a prettied up version of the compound name. And, from what I hear, the English pronounce both names completely differently. Mairy-Anne (which, for what it’s worth, is the way I pronounce Mary, Mairy) vs Marry-Anne. Of course, depending on where you live, you might not see the difference between Mary and Marry, even when it’s Mairy phonetically!

There are a few different associations with Marianne. For me, first and foremostly, it’s Dashwood, one of the protagonists of Jane Austen’s novel, Sense and Sensibility. She represents sensibility, or feeling, while her sister Elinor represents sense. While altogether I’m much more of an Elinor, I love Marianne’s character equally, and she’s the one who first made me love the name. Other folks’ first associations are the symbol of the French Revolution, which isn’t a bad one, I suppose.  It might depend on your politics, but I don’t see too much bad about it. Anyway, the third most popular association seems to be a Leonard Cohen song, but I haven’t heard it, so I’ll reserve comment.

All in all, Marianne is a name that recalls carriages and country houses, revolt and politics, and music. Varied enough for you? A Marianne can be pretty much any kind of girl, but it’s so tied to Dashwood in my mind that I only think of her. However, it’s not a bad association at all, unless you think having an excess of feeling is an awful thing. It’s also very uncommon; the last time it was in the top 1000 was 1992! It peaked around the same time Maryann and all of those did, in the 40s and 50s, but it never got too high, stopping at 183. I don’t think this spelling is dated though. Only the compound versions are dated.

What do you think of Marianne?