Quick Facts on Elisabeth
- Dutch, French, German
- Number of syllables:
- Ranking popularity:
ay-lee-za-BET (French); e-LEE-zah-bet (German); e-LIZ-ə-bəth (English)
God is my oath; God's promise
Characteristics of Elisabeth
Etymology & Historical Origin - Elisabeth
Elisabeth is the French, German and Dutch form of the English Elizabeth. The name Elizabeth in its various linguistic forms has been around since the Middle Ages, mainly popularized by the French (using the spelling Élisabeth). Elizabeth with a “z” is the typical spelling in English; most other European languages use the “s.” Elizabeth is a name borne from the Bible (Luke 1:5-80) as the wife of Zachariah and the mother of John the Baptist. The name is essentially Greek (Elisabet) from the Hebrew (Elisheva) meaning “God is my oath.” In the Biblical story, we learn that God looks 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 is sent to Zachariah with a message that Elizabeth will have a son and “you shall call his name John.” Gabriel also says 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. Zachariah expressed disbelief since his wife was well past childbearing years. As punishment for his doubt, God struck Zachariah mute. Sure enough, Elizabeth became pregnant and gave birth to John, after which Zachariah’s voice is restored. Around the same time, Mary become 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 European countries 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; they have also spawned scores of variations and pet forms. Here is how Elisabeth is rendered in some other languages: Elisheba (Biblical Hebrew), Elizabeth (English), Élisabeth (French), Elisavet (Greek), Elikapeka (Hawaiian), Eilís (Irish-Gaelic), Elisabetta (Italian), Elżbieta, (Polish), Elizaveta (Russian), Elisabet (Scandinavian), Elspeth, (Scottish), Isabel (Spanish), Elsa (Swedish).
Popularity of the Name Elisabeth
Elisabeth has always maintained a position on the American female naming charts, but only at very moderate levels. Compared to the Elizabeth spelling (with a “z”), Elisabeth doesn’t even come close. In fact, Elisabeth with an “s” has been used so lightly that the highest position she’s ever achieved on the charts is at position #286 in 2001. Given the fact that Elizabeth has always been a perennial favorite among Americans, and given that there are so many variations and per forms of this name from which to choose, we’re not surprised that Elisabeth is barely on anyone’s radar. Most likely the “s” spelling is being selected by parents with French or German ancestry. It’s definitely the more “Euro” spelling, but since the name Elizabeth is just so damn common to native English speakers, the variation with an “s” just looks funny. Plus, any American with the “s” spelling will most definitely go through life saying “That’s Elisabeth. Elizabeth with an s.” We imagine that would become tiresome after awhile.
Popularity of the Girl Name Elisabeth
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Elisabeth
Literary Characters of the Baby Name Elisabeth
Elisabeth We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Elisabeth (see Elizabeth).
Popular Songs on Elisabeth
Elisabeth - a song by Billy Gilman
Goodnight Elisabeth - a song by the Counting Crows
Children's Books on the Baby Name Elisabeth
Elisabeth (Claire A. Nivola) - Forced to flee the Nazis, a young girl and her family eventually end up in the United States where, years later, with a young daughter of her own, she is improbably reunited with the beloved doll she left behind in Germany. Recommended for ages 4-8.
Elisabeth and the Water-Troll (Walter Wangerin) - A motherless girl rediscovers hope and love when a lonely, misunderstood water troll takes her down into his well. Recommended for ages 9-12.
Elisabeth Elliot: Joyful Surrender (Janet Benge) - Since she was young, Elisabeth Elliot had been intrigued by missionaries who gave up so much to tell others about God s love. With a passion to translate the Bible into new languages, she followed God's call to work among tribes in Ecuador, including the Waorani (Auca), who had killed her husband and four others. Elisabeth kept a detailed journal of her life and missionary service. She returned to the United States after many years in South America, becoming one of the most influential Christian women of our time. A prolific author, speaker, and radio host, she passes on a message of joyful surrender to the world. Recommended for ages 13+
Elisabeth: The Princess Bride, Austria-Hungary, 1853 (Barry Denenberg) - Author Barry Denenberg introduces us to a nineteenth-century Bavarian princess named Elisabeth who at age fifteen is engaged to the emperor of Austria and is swept into an unfamiliar world. A free and impetuous spirit, Elisabeth was chosen at the tender age of fifteen (over her older sister) to be the wife of Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria. From that moment on, she is thrown into an intimidating world of restrictions and tremendous responsibilities. Feeling lonely and alienated, Elisabeth is forced to rely upon her own personal strength, which is what eventually leads her down the aisle and into an uncertain future. Recommended for ages 9-12.
Famous People Named Elisabeth
Famous People Named Elisabeth - Elisabeth Shue (actress); Elisabeth Hasselbeck (TV personality); Elisabeth Brooks (actress); Elisabeth Bykova (former Women's World Chess Champion); Elisabeth Fritzl (victim of the notorious Austrian Fritzl case); Elisabeth of Hungary (saint)
Children of Famous People Named Elisabeth
Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Elisabeth - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Elisabeth.
Elisabeth - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures
St. Elisabeth of Hungary (13th Century) - St. Elisabeth was born into a privileged life in Hungary in 1207 – she was the daughter of the King! A very piteous young girl, she was betrothed to Louis of Thuringia – who fortunately was inclined to religion himself and held Elisabeth in high regard for her devotion. He encouraged her virtuous and exemplary life which made for a very happy marriage. Until tragedy struck and Louis was killed while battling the Crusaders. After his death, she renounced the world and became dedicated to tending to the sick. St. Elisabeth only lived to be 24. She is thus the patron saint of widows and young brides. Her Feast Day is November 19.