Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Elizabeth

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • English, Greek, Hebrew
  • Number of syllables:
  • 4
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 10
Simple meaning:
God is my oath

Characteristics of Elizabeth

  • Mystical
  • Wise
  • Eccentric
  • Intuitive
  • Imaginative
  • Philosophical
  • Solitary

Etymology & Historical Origin - 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 English spelling; 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 was restored. 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 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; names which have also spawned scores of variations and pet forms. Here is how Elizabeth is rendered in some other languages: Elisheba (Biblical Hebrew), 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 Elizabeth

Elizabeth has maintained top positions on the popularity charts in America since the colonies were founded, having been brought over from England. In fact, back then, the name was so prolific in England, many pet forms were fashioned in order to differentiate the many Elizabeth’s! You’d be hard-pressed to find a name with so many derivations, pet forms and nicknames. This is part of the name’s elasticity and charm – there are so many variations of the name to fit any personality making it an extremely flexible choice. Elizabeth has averaged in the Top 10 most popular names for girls’ for over a century – therefore making it a classical choice rather than a trendy one. It should be noted, however, that the Latinate or Spanish version of the name (Isabella) has become a favored girls’ name over Elizabeth in recent years.
Popularity of the Girl Name Elizabeth
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Elizabeth

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Elizabeth

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice) Elizabeth Bennet is the protagonist of Jane Austen’s 1813 classic, Pride and Prejudice, and one of literature’s most beloved heroines. Second of five girls in the Bennet family, Elizabeth is independent, witty and highly intelligent. She did not get this from her mother, the silly Mrs. Bennet, who spends all her time shrilly and shrewdly trying to find husbands for her daughters, as their estate will be entailed to a male relative. Enter the brooding Mr. Darcy – mix in all the social proprieties of the early 19th century, including a healthy dose of snobbishness and stubborness, and you have a sure-fire recipe for romantic mayhem. Elizabeth is up to the task, verbally fencing with Mr. Darcy, spiritedly defending her crew of sisters and squaring off against the redoubtable Lady de Bourg. Love triumphs over all in the end, and Elizabeth goes off with her handily won husband, leaving generations of girls to come inspired and encouraged.

    Elizabeth Elliot (Persuasion) Elizabeth Elliot is a character in Jane Austen’s 1817 novel, Persuasion. She is the snobbish and self-absorbed oldest of the three Elliot sisters, quite naturally the favorite of her equally snobbish widower father. He and she have already worked against Anne’s interests by persuading her not to marry for love alone. Elizabeth cares only for name and status, and she is determined to make a suitable match for herself. To that end, she sets her sights on her relative, Mr. Elliot, who will inherit her father’s property. Suitable he would be, however, Mr. Elliot is as vain and self-centered as Elizabeth is, and his main focus is on protecting that inheritance. Poor Elizabeth – at tale’s end she is staring spinsterhood in the face, there being no one to match her qualifications.

    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.

    Elizabeth Proctor (The Crucible) Elizabeth Proctor is a character in Arthur Miller’s 1953 play about the Salem witch trials (and the McCarthy Red Hunt), The Crucible. Long-suffering and God-fearing, Elizabeth has apparently drawn a bad hand. Married to John Proctor, she is the innocent victim of his spurned lover’s revenge and hatred, the despicable Abigail Williams. Elizabeth truly does love her husband; she is also rightfully righteous when she learns of the affair between him and Abigail. Elizabeth is virtuous, and struggles with her natural bent toward anger and revenge. Tainted by the vitriol that Abigail spews, poor, pregnant Elizabeth must spend time in jail, falsely accused, before being released. During this time, Elizabeth examines her own conscience and admits to the coldness in her own heart that may have driven her husband astray. Ultimately, she comes to her husband’s defense, and provides for him the greatest gift of all – forgiveness – and the ability to let him go to his death unburdened by guilt. Well, it was the greatest gift of all in Puritan times, anyway. We’re not sure Elizabeth’s latter-day sisters would be so kind!

  • Popular Songs on Elizabeth

    Popular Songs on Elizabeth

    Elizabeth My Dear - a song by The Stone Roses

    Elizabeth Reigns - a song by Ringo Starr

    Elizabeth, I love you - a song by Michael Jackson

    Elizabeth, You Were Born To Play That Part - a song by Ryan Adams

    In Memory of Elizabeth Reed - a song by The Allman Brothers

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Elizabeth

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Elizabeth

    Children of the Fire (Harriette Robinet) - Eleven-year-old Hallelujah is fascinated by the fires burning all over the city of Chicago. Little does she realize that her life will be changed forever by the flames that burn with such bright fascination for her. The year is 1871 and this event will later be called the Great Chicago Fire. Hallelujah and her newfound friend Elizabeth are as different as night and day; but their shared solace will bind them as friends forever, as a major American city starts to rebuild itself. Recommended for ages 8-12.

    Elizabeth I : Red Rose of the House of Tudor, England (Kathryn Lasky) - Daughter of a fallen queen, young Princess Elizabeth lives a complicated and dangerous life. Court intrigues swirl around her, the French are threatening an invasion, and Kat is clamoring for her to have another bath--that makes nearly six in three months! Through Elizabeth's diary, author Kathryn Lasky brings the Tudor world to life. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Jennifer, Hecate, MacBeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth (E.L. Konigsburg) - Elizabeth is an only child, new in town, and the shortest kid in her class. She's also pretty lonely, until she meets Jennifer. Jennifer is...well, different. She's read Macbeth. She never wears jeans or shorts. She never says "please" or "thank you." And she says she is a witch. It's not always easy being friends with a witch, but it's never boring. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Marvin the Tap-Dancing Horse (Betty Paraskevas) - Martin performs in a small time carnival with his friends - Diamonds the Elephant, Elizabeth the Emotional Pig, and Stripes the Tiger- but he dreams of making it big on Broadway. One day a talent agent named Swifty Calico whisks him away to stardom. Eventually he misses his friends and has to return home. Recommended for ages 4-6.

    Our Strange New Land: Elizabeth's Diary, Jamestown, Virginia, 1609 (Patricia Hermes) - Nine-year-old Lizzie Barker has finally arrived in Jamestown, Virginia. She is keeping a journal for her twin brother, who stayed behind in England because of his weak lungs. She describes her strange new land - the abundant forests, trading with and learning from the Indians and adventures with her best friend. The second book of this series is titled “The Starving Time: Elizabeth's Diary, Book Two, Jamestown, Virginia, 1609.” Recommended for ages 9-12.

    P.S. Longer Letter Later (Paula Danziger) - Elizabeth and Tara are best friends but when Tara's family moves out of state they have to continue their friendship through letters. The story is alternately told in each of the girls voices via their correspondence. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Paper Bag Princess (Robert Munsch) - A heroic tale that every little girl should read! Princess Elizabeth has had her castle burnt to the ground by a fire-breathing dragon and has only a paper bag left to wear. She tracks down the dragon, rescues the prince, and lives happily ever after. A wonderful twist on a classic storyline filled with humor and playful illustrations. Recommended for ages 4-8.

  • Famous People Named Elizabeth

    Famous People Named Elizabeth

    Famous People Named Elizabeth - Elizabeth Barrett Browning (poet); Elizabeth Taylor (actress); Elizabeth Banks (actress); Elizabeth Hurley (actress); Elizabeth Ford (First Lady); Elizabeth McGovern (actress); Elizabeth Montgomery (actress); Elizabeth Perkins (actress); Elizabeth Berkley (actress)

  • Children of Famous People Named Elizabeth

    Children of Famous People Named Elizabeth

    Famous People who Named their Daughter Elizabeth - Alan Alda (actor); Anne Boleyn (wife of Henry VIII); Benjamin Harrison (U.S. President); Elizabeth Taylor (actress); Florence Henderson (actress); Gene Hackman (actor); George Segal (actor); Irving Berlin (composer); James Cameron (director); Joe Montana (football player); John Tyler (U.S. President); Martin Luther (religious); Martin Scorcese (director); Mick Jagger (musician); Natalie Cole (musician); Peter Jennings (news anchor); Prince Edward (royalty); Richard Pryor (comic/actor); Robert Burns (poet); Robert Stack (actor); Sissy Spacek (actress); Tim Allen (comic/actor); Tom Hanks (actor); Tyne Daly (actress); Warren G. Harding (U.S. President); William Harrison (U.S. President)

  • Historic Figures

    Elizabeth - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Elizabeth Barret Browning (6 Mar 1806 - 29 Jun 1861) - Married to the poet Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett was a very accomplished poet in her own right. She wrote during the Victorian era and was extremely popular in both her native England and America. Having suffered a spinal injury at a young age, Elizabeth dedicated most of her time to writing poetry indoors. Robert Browning wrote to her in admiration of her work, and they soon struck up a friendship which resulted in a proposal. Since Elizabeth’s father disapproved, the two young lovers ran away to Italy where her health greatly improved. Much of her famous poetry was written about her growing love for Robert. She is most famous for the poem: “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…”

    Elizabeth from the Bible - In the New Testament and The Gospel According to Luke, Chapter 1, Elizabeth is introduced as the mother of John the Baptist. Not much information is known about Elizabeth, but she has the distinction of being one of the first to know about her cousin Mary's blessing as the Mother of God. Elizabeth was beyond child-bearing age, yet her husband Zachary was told by an angel in a vision that they would have a son and should name him John. When he doubted this, he was struck dumb. After John's birth, Zachary's speech was restored. Elizabeth’s Feast Day is November 5.

    Elizabeth I of England (7 Sep 1533 - 24 Mar 1603) - Everyone loved Queen Elizabeth I who reigned England from 1558 to her death in 1603. The daughter of Henry VIII, Elizabeth Tudor survived a perilous childhood which included the beheading of her mother Anne Boleyn. This obviously affected the young girl who stayed steadfast independent and would never marry herself. During her reign, England prospered. It was a time of peace (she ended the war with France and whipped the Spanish Armada). But most notably, it was the golden era of literature, drama and the arts (Shakespeare was writing prolifically during this time).

    Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom (21 Apr 1926 – current) - Elizabeth II began her reign in 1952, and is a couple years shy from serving the longest reign in British monarch history (Queen Victoria served for 64 years). As the eldest daughter of King George VI, she became Queen upon his death. It was quite by happenstance that young Elizabeth would eventually be Queen. Her father was actually the second in line, after his older brother, Edward, who would relinquish the throne in order to marry his great love, the American socialite and (gulp) divorcée, Wallace Simpson. While mainly a figurehead of the United Kingdom, the throne persists and Elizabeth still commands much love and respect of the British people despite the many ups and downs of her family in modern times.

    St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (28 Aug 1774 - 4 Jan 1821) - Elizabeth Seton has the distinction of being the first native-born American to be canonized a saint. She was born into a well-to-do family and married well and happy herself. Unfortunately, through a series of events, Elizabeth’s life was struck by one tragedy after another. She eventually made her way to Italy where she became enamored by the Catholic Church and promptly became a devout member. Coming back to America, she founded the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph to serve the poor children of Baltimore, Maryland.

    St. Elizabeth of Hungary (13th Century) - St. Elizabeth 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 Elizabeth 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. Elizabeth only lived to be 24. She is thus the patron saint of widows and young brides. Her Feast Day is November 19.

    St. Elizabeth of Portugal (1271-1336) - Also known as St. Elizabeth of Aragon, this Elizabeth was another popular saint of the Middle Ages. She was a Spanish princess who was betrothed to King Denis of Portugal at the ripe old age of twelve. A beautiful, kind and devoutly religious woman, the King tired of her soon enough and began to cause her great suffering. The story goes that the King was told an untrue rumor about one of his wife’s pages (a low-ranking servant in royal court) and so conspired to kill him. The page stopped for Mass on his way to his (unknown) death. As a result of this delay, the “bad” page (the one who started the rumor in the first place) was mistakenly put to death by furnace in the good page’s place. Are you following us? When the King got wind of this situation, he realized that God had saved the good page (for stopping at Mass) and saw the errors of his ways. This amazing event guided the King into a more pious life, and he and Elizabeth went on to live out their marriage happily. Her Feast Day is July 4.

Personality of the Girl Name Elizabeth

The number Seven personality is deeply mystical and highly in tune with their spirituality. They operate on a different wavelength than the average joe. Spending time alone comes easily to Sevens, as it gives them time to contemplate philosophical, religious and spiritual ideas in an effort to find "real truth".  Sevens are wise, but often exude mystery as if they are tapped into something the rest of us don't understand. They love the outdoors and are fed by nature. Sevens are constantly seeking to understand human nature, our place in the universe, and the mystery of life in general. This makes them quite artistic and poetic, but they are also keen observers with high intellect - so they are equally scientific-minded. Sevens are charitable and care deeply about the human condition.

Variations of the Baby Name - Elizabeth

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