Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Beth

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • English
  • Number of syllables:
  • 1
  • Ranking popularity:
  • N/A
Simple meaning:

Characteristics of Beth

  • Authoritative
  • Powerful
  • Tough
  • Tenacious
  • Wealthy
  • Problem-solver
  • Achiever

Etymology & Historical Origin - Beth

Beth is a short form of Elizabeth. The name is essentially Ancient Greek (Ελισαβετ) from the Hebrew (Elisheva) meaning “God is my oath” (Beth by itself means “oath”). While the Hebrew Elisheba shows up in the New Testament as the wife of Aaron (Moses’ brother), the Elizabeth we remember most is from the New Testament (Luke 1:5-80), wife of Zachariah and the mother of John the Baptist. Her story tells us that God looked favorably upon Zachariah and Elizabeth as “they were both righteous before God…but they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.” (Luke 1:6). The angel Gabriel was sent to Zachariah with a message that Elizabeth will soon have a son (“you shall call his name John”). Gabriel also tells them that John’s birth will be cause for much rejoicing and that the baby will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from Elizabeth’s womb. Around the same time, Mary became impregnated by the Holy Ghost with Jesus (Mary and Elizabeth are contemporaries; tradition holds they are cousins). John the Baptist’s role is important because it will later become his job to prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah, the knowledge of salvation and the forgiveness of sins “because of the tender mercy of our God” (Luke 1:78). And John the Baptist also has the honors of having baptized Jesus in the River Jordan. In other words, John was one important Biblical dude among Christians and Elizabeth was the Baby Mama. It’s no surprise that the Biblical Elizabeth became the inspiration behind the usage of her name, and why so many Christianized Europeans embraced it since the early Middle Ages (her Feast Day is November 5). The much admired Saints Elizabeth of Hungary and Elizabeth of Portugal also encouraged the usage of Elizabeth in later medieval times; further cementing the name’s lasting popularity. Elizabeth is up there with Mary, Margaret and Catherine as a long-enduring and enormously popular female name; names which have also spawned scores of variations and pet forms. In fact, Elizabeth wins the prize when it comes to pet forms: Beth, Bess, Bessie, Betsy, Bette, Betty, Buffy, Eliza, Ella, Ellie, Elsa, Elsie, Elyse, Libby, Liddy, Lilian, Lilibet, Lilibeth, Lillian, Lisa, Lise, Liz, Liza, Lizbeth, Lizette, Lizzie, Tetty…suffice it to say, the list is exhausting. Beth also happens to be a name paired with other female names like Bethann or Marybeth. It could also be considered a short form of Bethany.

Popularity of the Name Beth

While starting out as a pet or short form of Elizabeth, the name Beth became an independently given name in her own right in the late 19th century. In fact, several of Elizabeth’s nicknames are now given names (Liz, Libby, Lisa, Elise, Eliza, etc.). Beth was used infrequently at the turn of the 20th century but then she started to take off in the 1950s. The name even managed to achieve Top 100 status for 14 consecutive years (1958-1971) reaching a high-point at #65 on the charts in in the mid-1960s. The name also hit the Top 100 in 1977, the year following the release of KISS’s hit-song “Beth” (1976). Beth quickly went on the decline in the 1980s and lost a position on America’s Top 1000 list in 1998 – the 21st century has not endeared itself to the one-syllable, colloquial Beth (while Elizabeth continues to maintain strong, popular usage). To put this in perspective, only 47 baby girls born in the U.S. in 2012 were given the name Beth (out of nearly two million). On the flip side, Beth is still a name going strong in Northern Ireland and Scotland (a current Top 100 favorite) and the name does moderately well in England, too.
Popularity of the Girl Name Beth
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Beth

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Beth

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Beth

    Elizabeth March (Little Women) Elizabeth “Beth” March is one of the sisters in Louisa May Alcott’s beloved American novel, “Little Women” (1868). Beth is the third of four March sisters. She is angelic and shy, and very much concerned with keeping the family together. Saintly and innocent in her ways, Beth is the one sister who conflicts with the harshness of reality in the novel.

  • Popular Songs on Beth

    Popular Songs on Beth

    Beth - a song by KISS

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Beth

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Beth

    Beth's Job (Carole Roberts) - Everyone at school has a new job. Beth’s job is to water the plant--boring! But when the plant blossoms, so does Beth’s enthusiasm for her job. Recommended for ages 4-6.

    Boots for Beth (Alex Moran) - Beth's favorite boots are too small. Maybe her friends can help her find a new pair! Lisa Campbell Ernst's whimsical illustrations will entertain young readers while teaching them the importance of friendship and sharing. Recommended for ages 5-7.

  • Famous People Named Beth

    Famous People Named Beth

    Famous People Named Beth - Beth Behrs (actress)

  • Children of Famous People Named Beth

    Children of Famous People Named Beth

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

  • Historic Figures

    Beth - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

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

Personality of the Girl Name Beth

The number Eight personality has everything to do with power, wealth and abundance. Somehow, this personality has been blessed on the material plane, but their authoritative and problem-solving traits provide evidence that their good fortunes are not just the luck of the lottery. They are well earned. This is the personality of CEOs and high-ranking military personnel. Eights are intensely active, hard-driving individuals. Success is only meaningful to them after a job well-done.  They are remarkable in their ability to see the larger picture right down to the smallest details, and organize a strategy around success. They then have the ability to direct a group around them toward any goal, and realize individual potential to get the most out of their team.

Variations of the Baby Name - Beth

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