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Quick Facts on Beatrice

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • English, French, Italian
  • Number of syllables:
  • 3
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 593
Simple meaning:
Traveler, voyager; or Blessed creature, happy

Characteristics of Beatrice

  • Multi-talented
  • Intuitive
  • Oneness
  • Idealistic
  • Philanthropy
  • Independent
  • Perfection

Etymology & Historical Origin - Beatrice

Beatrice is the Italian and French (Béatrice) form of Beatrix. Beatrix in turn is a Late Latinate personal name from the feminine “Viatrix” meaning “traveler, voyager” (as in to voyage through life). Beatrix was popularized in the Middle Ages in homage to an early 4th century saint, Beatrix, the sister of saints Simplicius and Faustinus, all three of whom were martyred in Rome for their Christian beliefs under the rule of Diocletian. After her brothers were tortured, killed and thrown into the Tiber River, Beatrix retrieved their bodies from the water and gave them a proper burial. She went on to assist other Christian victims until her neighbor Lucretius ratted on her to the Roman pagan authorities. Beatrix was strangled with a cord in prison for her deeds and her legend (and name usage) grew in medieval times (her Feast Day is July 29). In Italy, the name was modified from Beatrix to Beatrice in order to connect it with the Latin “beatus” which means “blessed creature, happy”. Beatrix was a popular name in England throughout the Middle Ages and eventually English-speakers adopted the French and Italian form of Beatrice. Beatrice Portinari was a 13th century woman who became poet Dante Alighieri’s lifelong muse after he instantly fell in love with the young girl when she was eight and he was nine. His chivalrous love for her is the subject of “La Vita Nuova” (1295), a text which helped establish the Tuscan dialect as the Italian standard. Later, Beatrice served as Dante’s guide through Paradise in his “Divina Commedia” (1321). The poet referred to Beatrice as “la gloriosa donna della mia mente” (the glorious lady of my mind). Dante’s intense and abiding love for Beatrice would remain unrequited and she died at the young age of 24. Still, she remained an inspiration for some of the most important Italian literary works ever written. William Shakespeare also used the lovely name Beatrice as his intelligent, quick-witted heroine in “Much Ado About Nothing” (1598). The name Beatrice has fallen off in popularity among English speakers, but it’s still going strong in Italy where it remains a Top 20 favorite girl’s name (pronounced be-ah-TREE-che in Italian).

Popularity of the Name Beatrice

For the most part, Beatrice is a female name that’s fallen off the radar and we can’t imagine why. It has a lot going for it: it’s old-school, regal, charming and literary. People appreciated this name between 1900 and 1920 when Beatrice was generally a Top 50 choice for girls in America. Her highest achievement on the charts was at position #36 (1910). By the mid-1930s, though, Beatrice was on a steady decline as she slowly fell from fashion. By the 1970s, this name was clearly passé as her drops on the charts became more significant and she fell to levels of low usage. The name did see a favorable increase in usage in 1988 when the Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson (“Fergie”) and her then husband Prince Andrew named their first daughter Princess Beatrice of York (currently the fifth in line to the English throne). You might remember her as the one who wore the funny hat to William & Kate’s royal wedding in 2012. In any case, the name Beatrice pretty much retreated into the shadows and fell off the American female naming charts altogether between the mid-1990s up through 2005. In 2002, Sir Paul McCartney and his then-wife Heather Mills named their daughter Beatrice but this did nothing to jump start the name back on the charts. Beatrice’s return to the charts came in 2006 but it’s unclear what prompted her reappearance. Most likely this was influenced by the renewed interest in elegant, old-fashioned, turn-of-the-century names. Stll, the name Beatrice ranks quite low today and is barely given to 300 baby girls per year in the United States. Even though Beatrice is a favorite choice in Italy, there’s something quite aristocratic and English about the name since it has been borne by a few British princesses since the 19th century. Beatrice is a classic gorgeous name and currently neglected in America (the Italians embrace this beautiful moniker where is stands tall against the test of time). It’s also one of those names that somehow sound darling on a little girl but ages nicely into adulthood. Nicknames include Bea, Bee, Trixie, Betsy, Bertie and the Old Italian diminutive Bice (BEE-cheh).
Popularity of the Girl Name Beatrice
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Beatrice

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Beatrice

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Beatrice

    Beatrice Carbone (A View from the Bridge) Beatice Carbone is the long-suffering wife of Eddie in Arthur Miller’s 1955 play, A View from the Bridge. She is a warm and loving woman, who has taken in her orphaned young niece to raise. Her love for her husband is sorely tried when he becomes amorously attracted to the young girl, Catherine. Beatrice is no fool; she sees exactly what is going on and tries to warn Eddie off. She is hardly thanked for her efforts; Eddie accuses her of nagging and denies any inappropriateness in his behavior. When Catherine decides to marry one of Beatrice’s illegal immigrant relatives, Rodolpho, Eddie forbids Beatrice from going to the wedding, and even goes so far as to turn them in to the authorities. Challenging one of them to a duel, Eddie ends up dying in the street, calling for Beatrice with his last breath. We may assume that it took death to made Eddie realize what he had all along, the devoted and clear-eyed love of a good woman.

    Beatrice (Much Ado About Nothing) Beatrice is one half of the two pairs of lovers in William Shakespeare’s comedy of 1598/99, “Much Ado About Nothing”. Beatrice and Benedick are very sophisticated young people who loudly proclaim their disdain for love, marriage and all the accoutrements. By contrast, the other starring couple, Claudio and Hero, are old fashioned lovers, gaga about each other. The lovely Beatrice is quite a feisty young lady, more than a match to Benedick’s verbal jousting. She does not wish to marry, realizing the possibility of having to submit her will to that of a man, and dreading the loss of liberty. Yet she is also vulnerable; once she believes that Bendick is in love with her, she allows herself to be open to the possibilities and risks of returning his love. Beatrice is also a loyal friend to her cousin, Hero, and is infuriated when Hero’s virtue is challenged. The mistreatment of Hero points out all too clearly the inequality of men and women in their society, and Beatrice rightly exclaims: “Oh, that I were a man…!” Strong Beatrice is even prepared to spurn Benedick if he will not fight for Hero’s rights. She and Benedick do declare their love for each other, of course, and all turns out well for everyone. We are left feeling that Beatrice will be an equal partner in all ways to Benedick, and that he will have to stay on his toes to keep up with her.

    Beatrice Baudelaire (A Series of Unfortunate Events) Beatrice is the mother of the orphaned Baudelaire children in Lemony Snicket’s (Daniel Handler) popular series, A Series of Unfortunate Events, starting in 1999. She is a member of the mysterious association that calls itself the “VFD”. One of her accomplishments is being a “baticeer”, one who trains bats, and she also was talented at lion taming. Beatrice was engaged to the narrator, Lemony Snicket, at one time, but married Bertrand Baudelaire instead. She is killed off, along with her husband, by a fire at the Baudelaire mansion at the beginning of the first book, The Bad Beginning. Lemony Snicket dedicates each of the books to her. Beatrice, therefore, is a character who only appears in the narratives by virtue of her children’s and others’ memories of her, but those memories are legion and legend. The loss of such a character in one’s life is indeed enough for Lemony Snicket to want to provide all those poignant “dead”-ications, such as this, in The Reptile Room: “For Beatrice – My love for you shall live forever. You, however, did not.”

    Beatrice Lacey (Wildacre) Beatrice Lacey is the central character in Philippa Gregory’s 1987 historical novel, “Wideacre”, her debut novel and the first in the Wideacre Trilogy. Beatrice is the daughter and favored pet of the Squire of Wideacre, in whom he instills a love for the land. Alas, he does a fine job of this, for it is her love of Wideacre that drives every aspect of Beatrice’s life, with dire consequences. Beatrice, much like her literary sister, Scarlett O’Hara, will do anything to save her land, and that includes deception, seduction, incest and murder – she means business! She is no paragon of virtue, but she is certainly never dull. As well as being responsible for her father’s death, maiming her fiancé, sleeping with her brother, deceiving her sister-in-law, marrying without love, and arranging her mother’s death, our fine young heroine also manages to bring two children into the world who she intends to inherit the entailed estate. Despite herself, Beatrice, although never achieving her ultimate goals, manages to find redemption at the hands of her spurned lover, who murders her, but probably sends her chastened soul to everlasting salvation. This was a Beatrice you wanted to be on the right side of!

  • Popular Songs on Beatrice

    Popular Songs on Beatrice

    Beatrice - a song by the Mediaeval Baebes

    Beatrice - a jazz instrumental by Sam Rivers

    May I Call You Beatrice - a song by Wild Strawberries

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Beatrice

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Beatrice

    A Clever Beatrice Christmas (Margaret Willey) - On Christmas Day I will bring you a bell from Père Noël's very own sleigh! That's the promise Beatrice makes when the children from the village ask whether Santa is real or not. Beatrice is, after all, the most clever girl in the whole north woods. But, while she herself is quite certain that Père Noël is real, can she outsmart him in order to prove it? Or will she finally find herself up against someone who is even more clever than she? Recommended for ages 3-6.

    Beatrice and Vanessa (John Yeoman) - An unlikely pair of heroines take on a pack of wolves in this hilarious story, illustrated by Quentin Blake. Beatrice, the ewe, and Vanessa, the nanny-goat, have spent their whole lives chomping and nattering in the same field. One dull day they decide to go on holiday, only taking with them some balloons and something more surprising, both of which turn out to be very handy. Recommended for ages 3-6.

    Beatrice Doesn't Want To (Laura Numeroff) - School Library Journal says: “Beatrice’s expressions are priceless...This charming tale emphasizes the importance of finding the right book for the right reader." Beatrice doesn’t like books, and she doesn’t like tagging along with her brother to the library. She doesn’t want to get books from the shelf. She doesn’t want to let Henry work. And she certainly doesn’t want to sit in a room full of kids during story hour. Is there anything that could possibly change her mind? Recommended for ages 3-6.

    Beatrice's Goat (Page McBrier) - More than anything, Beatrice longs to be a schoolgirl. But in her small African village, only children who can afford uniforms and books can go to school. Beatrice knows that with six children to care for, her family is much too poor. But then Beatrice receives a wonderful gift from some people far away -- a goat! Fat and sleek as a ripe mango, Mugisa (which means "luck") gives milk that Beatrice can sell. With Mugisa's help, it looks as if Beatrice's dream may come true after all. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Beezus and Ramona (Beverly Cleary) - A little sister goes a long way. Big sister Beatrice “Beezus” Quimby tries to be patient with her little sister, Ramona, but it isn't easy, not when Ramona powders her nose with marshmallows and invites her class to a party without telling her family. Sometimes Beezus doesn't like Ramona, but the girls are sisters and that means they will always love each other—just not every single minute. Recommended for ages 8-11.

    Clever Beatrice (Margaret Willey) - What happens when a very little girl makes a bet with a very LARGE giant? Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Clever Beatrice and the Best Little Pony (Margaret Willey) - Everyone knows that Beatrice of the north woods is clever. But did you know that she's also mighty brave? In this disarming companion to the award-winning Clever Beatrice, our heroine proves that she's a pint-sized force to be reckoned with when she discovers that someone has been sneaking into the barn at night to ride her beloved pony. But who? Recommended for ages 4-8.

    The Beatrice Letters: A Series of Unfortunate Events (Lemony Snicket) - Top secret—only for readers deeply interested in the Baudelaire case. How I pity these readers. With all due respect, Lemony Snicket. Recommended for ages 10-14.

  • Famous People Named Beatrice

    Famous People Named Beatrice

    Famous People Named Beatrice - Beatrice Elizabeth Mary (Princess of York); Princess Beatrice Mary Victoria (Queen Victoria's youngest child); Beatrice Arthur (actress); Beatrice Straight (actress); Beatrice Tinsley (astronomer); Beatrice Portinari (muse to Italian poet Dante); Beatrix Potter (children’s author, creator of Peter Rabbit); Beatrice d'Este (medieval Duchess of Milan); Beatrice of Savoy (medieval Countess of Provence); Beatrice of Provence (medieval Queen of Sicily); Beatrice of Silva (Portuguese saint); Beatrice of Portugal (several Portuguese princesses); Beatrice of Naples (15th century Queen consort of Hungary); Beatrix of the Netherlands (Queen of the Netherlands)

  • Children of Famous People Named Beatrice

    Children of Famous People Named Beatrice

    Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Beatrice - Paul McCartney (musician); Heather Mills (charity worker and former wife of Sir Paul); Bryce Dallas Howard (actress); Sarah Ferguson (former Duchess of York); Prince Andrew (Duke of York); Alan Alda (actor); Emma Samms (actress)

  • Historic Figures

    Beatrice - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Beatrice d'Este (29 Jun 1475 – 3 Jan 1497) - Beatrice was born into the prominent House of Este, a dynastic family of royal nobility, in the late 15th century. Like her older sister Isabella, Beatrice was a darling of the Italian Renaissance and a fashionista of her time. Like many young girls of her noble stature in the late Middle Ages, Beatrice was offered up in marriage to the Duke of Bari, Ludovico Sforza, in order to cement an already friendly political alliance between the two families. The great “Renaissance man” himself Leonardo da Vinci actually coordinated their wedding celebration! Beatrice was highly educated and carefully schooled in the rules of court. She lived in a time of great artists during a cultural rebirth as the Middle Ages moved toward the Modern Era. She demonstrated political acumen and savvy on her husband’s behalf as he usurped the rule of Milan making her Duchess of Milan in 1495. Beatrice died young in childbirth at the age of 21 (or as her husband wrote: “she gave her spirit back to God”), and yet accomplished much in her short years. A true “Renaissance woman” known for her intelligence and charm, as well as her impeccable taste and style, Beatrice was one of the most accomplished princesses of her time. A fresco with her portrait faces da Vinci's Last Supper in the refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan.

    Beatrice di Folco Portinari (1266 – 1290) - Beatrice di Folco Portinari is credited by many scholars with being the muse of the great Italian poet Dante Alighieri, appearing as a guide in the Divine Comedy, as well as being the inspiration for La Vita Nuova. Beatrice was the daughter of a wealthy Florentine banker, and she married a banker as well, dying at the tender age of 24. Dante met her only two times, nine years apart, but loved her all his life. Their first meeting took place when she was only eight years old, he nine. He was so taken with her that he thought of her often, albeit privately, composed poetry in her honor, and frequented her neighborhood in the hopes of seeing her again. This happened only once, so many years later, when she passed him on the street and gestured a salutation, an “ever so sweet greeting”. Struck by love’s arrow, he hurried home to dream of her, and to have a vision of her that led him to write La Vita Nuova. This standard of courtly love sustained him throughout his life, as he continued sanctifying her memory and the dream of their unrequited love well after he had married and fathered children himself. Dante set her upon a pedestal, and made her a rare paragon of virtue of such purity that it inspired in him the intention of doing only good. In La Vita Nuova, written in 1293, Beatrice appears as an agent of blessed salvation. In Divine Comedy, she takes over from the ancient poet Virgil as a guide to Paradise, leading Dante through his vision with serene and maternal care. Thus Dante was able to go to his own death with his deification of her complete and unsullied, calling her “the glorious lady of my mind”. Later poets of the pre-Raphaelites and the nineteenth centuries followed Dante’s lead, and Beatrice was also immortalized in the art of many painters of the period (Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Gustav Dore). It is an almost foreign concept to our time, but for Dante, his love for the beautiful Beatrice was a holy and sacred transport to the higher aspiration of fulfillment in the love of God.

    Beatrice of Provence (c. 1234 - 23 Sep 1267) - Beatrice of Provence was the youngest and one of four daughters born to the Count of Provence in the 13th century. She was so beautiful that she “set men's hearts thumping” and deprived them of reason when under her enchanting spell. Her eldest sister Margaret married the King of France (Louis IX), the next sister, Eleanor, married the King of England (Henry III), and the third sister, Sanchia, married the Earl of Cornwall (King Henry III of England’s brother). That left Beatrice, the final sister, and what do you suppose she got? Everything. That’s right. Her father left Beatrice Provence and the county of Forcalquier when he died making her the Countess of Provence in her own right (much to the chagrin of her sisters). Beatrice was now the most eligible heiress in all of Europe, and suitors she had in spades. So many that her mother was forced to hide the twelve year old girl and seek the protection of the Pope (Innocent IV). The Pope orchestrated a secret meeting and, after desired concessions were made, Beatrice was promised to Charles of Anjou (brother of the French king). James I of Aragon had hoped to marry the girl and unite Toulouse with Provence, but he was no match for Charles’ army of knights and was forced to retreat with dignity. Once he secured his position as “Mr. Beatrice”, Charles wasted no time in taking power throughout Provence, alienating the nobility and causing quite a stir with Beatrice’s mother (although Beatrice sided with her new husband). They finally placated the mother-in-law by giving her a percentage of the county’s revenues. Shortly thereafter Beatrice bravely accompanied her husband on the Seventh Crusade during which time she gave birth to two of her children (one in Cyprus and the other in Egypt). In the end, Charles was awarded the Kingdom of Sicily by the Pope but first he needed an army to defeat other contenders. The Kingdom of Sicily at the time constituted a massive portion of Italy covering not only the island of Sicily but the entire southern half of the boot. The equally ambitious Beatrice helped him raise the needed defense by promising gifts of money and jewels to her knights and other young men of France. After securing the Kingdom of Sicily, Beatrice became a Queen.

    Saint Beatrice of Silva (c. 1424 - 9 Aug 1492) - Saint Beatrice (Beatrix) is a Portuguese saint on the Roman Catholic Calendar of saints known mainly for founding the Order of the Immaculate Conception, a contemplative order of Catholic nuns (her Feast Day is September 1). Beatrice was born into nobility in the 15th century and became a lady-in-waiting to Isabella, Queen Consort of Spain. Beatrice’s great beauty stirred up enough jealousy in the Queen that she had the young girl locked up in a tiny prison cell. It was during this confinement that Beatrice had a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary and was divinely instructed to found a new order in Mary’s name. Beatrice escaped the Queen’s imprisonment and took refuge in a monastery of nuns in Toledo, Spain where she lived a pious and contemplative life for the next several decades. At the age of 60, Beatrice would eventually take possession of the monastery for the new order known as the Immaculate Conception of Mary (ironically with the Queen’s support).

Personality of the Girl Name Beatrice

The number Nine personality represents the completion or ending of the cycle, and a need for perfection. This is the personality that moves from "self" to a greater understanding and compassion for the human condition and the world order. They want to make the world a better place. Nines are capable of great spiritual and humanitarian achievements. They are courageous and fearless, able to fight great battles on behalf of worthy causes. These personalities will not tolerate injustice. They are compassionate people with a strong sensitivity to others. They are able to both educate and inspire. Friendships and relationships are the lifeblood to the Nine, and they place a high value on love and affection. Nines are often exceptionally gifted artistically, and they have a keen imagination and enterprising mind.

Variations of the Baby Name - Beatrice

  • No Variations Found.
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