Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Bertha

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • English, German
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • N/A
BUR-tha (English); BER-tah (German)
Simple meaning:
The bright one

Characteristics of Bertha

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

Etymology & Historical Origin - Bertha

Bertha is an ancient Germanic female name, from the Old High German “beraht” meaning “bright, splendid, luminous, famous” (Olde English equivalent: “beorht”). Berchta (also called Perchta, literally “the bright one”) was the name of a Teutonic goddess borrowed from Norse mythology and worshiped among pre-Christianized Germans in the Alps region of southern Bavaria. Generally regarded as a beautiful and benevolent spirit in her earliest incarnations, Frau Berchta later became haggardly and demonized as the patroness of witches with the arrival of Christianity (which endeavored to discredit all pagan gods). Still, her folklore survived and she was especially connected to the Winter Solstice (her holy day). Hard-working and morally upstanding folk might find a shiny silver coin in their shoe or be rewarded with a prosperous year. Naughty or lazy children were scared into good behavior under the threat of Berchta’s favorite form of punishment: having their bellies sliced open and their innards replaced with straw and pebbles. Bertha is indeed an ancient female name used among the Germanic peoples as evidenced by the 6th century Frankish princess, Saint Bertha of Kent, who played an important role in bringing Christianity to the Anglo-Saxons through her arranged marriage to a powerful pagan King Æthelberht of Kent (England). Bertha was also the name of an 8th century Queen Consort of the Franks (the mother of Charles the Great, aka Charlemagne). Charlemagne in turn named one of his own daughters Bertha after his mother. We can safely speculate that Bertha was a favorite medieval name choice among girls; however, it pretty much vanished after the Middle Ages. The name was again revitalized in the 19th and early 20th centuries but has since become unfashionable. Bert, Berta and Bertie are nicknames for this “luminous” lady.

Popularity of the Name Bertha

Bertha is another turn-of-the-century favorite – ranked as the 16th most commonly used baby girl’s name in 1900. Fast forward to the 21st century, Bertha doesn’t even make the Top 1000 list! Less than 30 babies were named Bertha in 2012 which should give you an idea of how very little the name is used today. In her day, though, Bertha was a top choice. The beginning of the end for old Bertha came after World War I (1914-1918) when the term “Big Bertha” was coined by Allied soldiers as a nickname for the large cannons used by the German enemy, in reference to Bertha Krupp, the owner of the German steelworks company that manufactured them. Now the name “Big Bertha” is practically synonymous with almost anything considered fat; an unfortunate association that has become off-putting to most parents today. In fact, the name Bertha hasn’t held a position on America’s Top 1000 list since 1985. That’s a lot of years out of circulation. Bertha remains quaintly old-fashioned and downright lovely in our book of “bright” names – even if only a few parents out there would agree.
Popularity of the Girl Name Bertha
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Bertha

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Bertha

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Bertha

    Bertha Mason (Jane Eyre) Bertha Mason is the famed mad wife in the attic in Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece, Jane Eyre: An Autobiography, published in 1847. Poor Bertha is our candidate for one of the top ten victims of cruel fate and crueler companions in all literature! First, she is born half English and half Creole – in her time and place, this puts her right outside the box right away. Then apparently she inherits a strain of madness that runs in her family. Then she is married off to Mr. Rochester, who pretty promptly locks her up with only a careless, drunken servant to tend to her. And then, Mr. R. pulls the bigamy card. Wouldn’t you scream, yell, rip up wedding veils and burn down houses, too? Of course you would, and probably with great glee. Critics often point to Bertha Mason as an embodiment of the plight of the Victorian woman writer – if so, Ms. Brontë was one ticked-off woman about her status!

    Mrs. Bertha Dorset (The House of Mirth) Bertha Dorset is a character in Edith Wharton’s 1905 novel, The House of Mirth, which has also been adapted for stage and screen. Bertha Dorset is not a nice lady! So not-nice is she, that she aids and abets Lily Bart in her complete expulsion from society and indirectly, in her death. Bertha is obnoxious and manipulative, but - guess what? She’s popular! Go figure. Well, here you go – she is also obscenely wealthy. Bertha lives in a loveless marriage, but doesn’t let that stop her from playing the field. When her extracurricular activities promote suspicion, Bertha uses Lily as a smokescreen. Bertha goes on to spread untrue rumors about Lily, leading to the young woman’s ultimate undoing. And when all her mischief has played itself out, Bertha blithely goes on to her next escapade without a backward look. Only fabulously good looks or great wealth allows for such behavior, and our Bertha has one out of two.

  • Popular Songs on Bertha

    Popular Songs on Bertha

    Bertha - a song by the Grateful Dead

    Bertha - a song by Jean Leloup

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Bertha

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Bertha

    Bertha and the Frog Choir (Luc Foccroulle) - It's Bertha's day to try out for the prestigious frog choir, but when she sings...the other frogs cover their ears! Poor Bertha is sad when she doesn't make the choir, but she's not alone. Bertha's best friend Lucy is too little to try out. What will they do? The two of them cook up an idea that might make both of their dreams come true. Recommended for ages 3-7.

    Burping Bertha (Michael Rosen) - Bertha is an exceptional burper. Her burps can knock apples off trees, and send her teacher’s glasses flying. When she is asked to perform at the school concert, Bertha’s fame is assured. TV, recording, and film offers flood in. But burping can be a dangerous skill…Recommended for ages 5-8.

  • Famous People Named Bertha

    Famous People Named Bertha

    Famous People Named Bertha - Bertha of Kent (6th century Anglo-Saxon saint); Bertha of Savoy (11th century royalty); Bertha of Holland (11th century royalty); Bertha von Suttner (Austrian Nobel Peace Prize winner, novelist); Bertha Honoré Palmer (American socialite); Bertha Wilson (Canadian justice); Bertha Krupp (German heiress and businesswoman); Bertha Heyman (19th century American criminal)

  • Children of Famous People Named Bertha

    Children of Famous People Named Bertha

    Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Bertha - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Bertha.

  • Historic Figures

    Bertha - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Bertha - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Bertha.

Personality of the Girl Name Bertha

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 - Bertha

  • No Variations Found.
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