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Subject: That does happen.
Author: pistachio   (guest)
Date: March 30, 2012 at 8:32:41 PM
Reply to: Doris in early 19th century Germany by clevelandkentevans
Sometimes names that have a long history in a country may be regarded as English imports due to extensive English usage.

For example, while Pamela was indeed imported to Italy from English literature, it was first used in Italy in the late 1700s, this being due to an obscure comedy by Venetian playwright Carlo Goldoni which featured a character named Pamela. It's possible that Goldoni borrowed the name from the 1740 novel Pamela by Samuel Richardson. So it's not a recent English borrowing, despite what I've heard people say. I guess it's due to Pamela's popularity in America during the 1960s and England during the early 20th century. (I found Pamela's history as an Italian name on the Italian Wikipedia.)

I heard someone on here claim that Stella is not considered a traditional Italian name or even Italian, but I have found evidence to the contrary. I found records for many Italian-born Stellas, including a few born as far back as the late 1300s (one of the early Stellas I found was mistress to a Marquis of Ferrara). But I guess Stella has been so popular in English to the point where its English popularity surpassed its Italian popularity.

Leona is another one. Though Leona seems to be best known as an English name (and to a lesser extent a German one), it has an even longer history of other European usage. One earlier Leona I found was Leona Vicario, who participated in the Mexican independence movement. When I saw a website claiming that Leona was a 19th-century invention, I had plenty of evidence suggesting otherwise.

Some other names that are associated with English, such as Amanda and Melissa, have long histories of usage in other countries.

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