Girl Baby Name

Lisa

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4.5 / 5
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Quick Facts on Lisa

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • English, German, Italian, Nordic
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 773
Pronunciation:
LEE-sә
Simple meaning:
God is my oath

Characteristics of Lisa

  • Freedom-loving
  • Adventurous
  • Adaptable
  • Intellectual
  • Easygoing
  • Progressive
  • Sensual

Etymology & Historical Origin - Lisa

Lisa developed as a short form for eLISAbeth primarily in Northern Europe (Scandinavia and Germany) as well as in Italy (think: da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa”). Eventually over time Lisa became very common as an independently given name in those above mentioned countries as well as among English speakers (in the same way that Elise, Eliza or Liesel were created from Elisabeth/Elizabeth). Elizabeth is one of those names that has spawned scores of variations and pet forms across every conceivable language in the Western World thanks to the rising importance and ultimate prevalence of Christianity from Late Antiquity onward. Names were widely adopted and bestowed upon children in medieval times based on two primary things: Biblical significance and/or cults of various saints. Elizabeth could claim both honors (which is why she, like Mary, is one of the most enduring and widespread names of all time). Biblically speaking, Elizabeth was the mother of John the Baptist – the name originated from the Hebrew Elisheva meaning “God is my oath”. In the Bible God looked favorably upon Elizabeth and her husband Zachariah because “they were both righteous before God…but they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.” (Luke 1:6). So God sent His angel Gabriel with a message saying 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. Around the same time, Mary was impregnated by the Holy Ghost with Jesus (Mary and Elizabeth are contemporaries; tradition holds they are cousins). John the Baptist’s role was important because he prepared 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. Lisa was eventually coined from Elisabeth (from the French Lise) and spread like wildfire in the mid 20th century. Today Lisa remains quite popular in Northern Europe, specifically in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Norway and Sweden. Lisa’s heyday among English speakers has pretty much come and gone.

Popularity of the Name Lisa

Lisa has had one of the most remarkable rides on the U.S. popularity charts that we’ve so far seen. The name was introduced to America in 1937 and took less than 20 years to soar up to a Top 100 position in 1954. But she didn’t stop there. Lisa hit the Top 10 in 1959. One of only a handful of female names that can claim victory as the #1 name in the country, Lisa held those honors for eight consecutive years between 1962 and 1969 (usurping Mary). Practically 50,000 baby girls were named Lisa on an annual basis back in the 1960s – this girl was crazy-popular. Eventually the frenzy died down and Lisa came back down to the planet earth. The name dropped off the Top 100 list in the mid 1990s and has been declining in popularity ever since. The 21st century has been especially unkind to poor aging Lisa; now forgotten and retreating down to her lowest levels ever since her initial discovery. Lisa is officially in retirement. Yet somehow Lisa doesn’t feel as outdated as some of the other mid-century ladies (Patricia, Donna, Linda); we would argue that Lisa's understated simplicity and quiet beauty makes her a solid name choice even today (not to mention she's still cool in Europe).
Popularity of the Girl Name Lisa
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Lisa

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Lisa

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Lisa

    Lisa Ilyich (The Death of Ivan Ilyich) Lisa Ilyich is the daughter of the title character in Leo Tolstoy’s 1886 novella, The Death of Ivan Ilyich. While Ivan lies dying and reviewing his life, turning over all his decisions and actions, his daughter, alas, is not of such a philosophical bent. In her defense, let it be said that Lisa has been raised to be a self-absorbed young woman, much like her mother, whose interests lie in her beautiful appearance, her social standing and her suitors. How is she different from any other twenty-year old girl? The illness her father sustains, which leads to his death, is rather annoying to Lisa, and she is less than sympathetic and helpful to the invalid. In fact, she seems to blame her father for selfishly disrupting all of their lives by this very inconvenient malady. And we have the hint, in the father’s ruminations, of the possible future that might affect the daughter as well. She is young and beautiful now – introspection on the nature of her father’s may come later, as life deals with her as it may.

  • Popular Songs on Lisa

    Popular Songs on Lisa

    Don't Let's Talk About Lisa - a song by Lonestar

    I'm Not Lisa - a song by Jessi Colter

    Life after Lisa - a song by Bowling for Soup

    Lisa - a song by UB40

    Lisa - a song by Good Riddance

    Lisa - a song by Roger McGuinn

    Lisa (Does It Hurt You?) - a song by Phantom Planet

    Lisa Likes Rock n' Roll - a song by Ian Hunter

    Lisa Listen - a song by Lisa Loeb

    Lisa Listen to Me - a song by Blood, Sweat & Tears

    Lisa Says - a song by The Velvet Underground

    Losing Lisa - a song by Ben Folds Five

    Mona Lisa - a song by Britney Spears

    Mona Lisa - a song by Elvis Presley

    Mona Lisa - a song by Conway Twitty

    Mona Lisa - a song by Wyclef Jean

    Mona Lisa - a song by Nat King Cole

    Mona Lisa Lost Her Smile - a song by David Allan Coe

    My Lisa - a song by the Bay City Rollers

    Sad Lisa - a song by Cat Stevens

    Sweet Little Lisa - a song by The Notorious Cherry Bombs

    Sweet Little Lisa - a song by Dave Edmunds

    The Mask of Mona Lisa - a song by Bad Examples

    You and The Mona Lisa - a song by Shawn Colvin

    You Could Be My Mona Lisa - a song by Asteria

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Lisa

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Lisa

    Lisa and the Lacemaker: An Asperger Adventure (Kathy Hoopmann) - When Lisa discovers a derelict hut in her friend Ben's backyard, she delights in exploring the remnants of an era long gone. Imagine her surprise when Great Aunt Hannah moves into a nursing home nearby, and reveals that once she was a servant in those very rooms. The old lady draws Lisa into the art of lace making and through the cross-crossing of threads; Lisa is helped to understand her own Asperger Syndrome. But Great Aunt Hannah also has a secret and now it is up to Lisa to confront the mysterious lacemaker and put the past to rest. Recommended for ages uncertain.

    Lisa in New York (Anne Gutman) - Lisa visits her favorite uncle in New York City and sees the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Central Park. When she gets lost in Times Square while shopping for souvenirs, she is saved by her own cleverness—and a Statue of Liberty night-light. Recommended for ages 3-7.

    Lisa's Airplane Trip (Anne Gutman) - Lisa's Airplane Trip is one of two titles launching the Misadventures of Gaspard and Lisa series. Lisa experiences for the first time in her life what it is like to travel on an airplane when she flies by herself to meet her uncle in the United States. The meal, movie, and other passengers provide endless amusement for Lisa--until an unfortunate accident with her orange juice. Fortunately, a very nice flight attendant makes everything better with a quick wash in the bathroom, followed by a special trip to the cockpit. Recommended for ages 3-7.

    Lisa, Bright and Dark: A Novel (John Neufeld) - A young girl’s journey toward the strange hypnotic world of madness, and about a group of her friends who unite to get her help. “Compassionate and tragic, an indictment of adults who refuse to get involved.”—The New York Times. “A surprise and a delight, despite its sobering theme.”—Austin American Statesman. “… skillfully constructed and more exciting than Neufeld’s previous, highly praised Edgar Allan.”—School Library Journal. New York Times Outstanding Books of the Year ’69. Hallmark Hall of Fame Production, NBC-TV. An International Best-Seller! Recommended got ages 10-14.

  • Famous People Named Lisa

    Famous People Named Lisa

    Famous People Named Lisa - Lisa del Giocondo (subject of da Vinci’s painting “Mona Lisa”); Lisa Loeb (singer/songwriter); Lisa Kudrow (actress); Lisa Bonet (actress); Lisa Lopes (rapper/singer-songwriter); Lisa Marie Presley (daughter of Elvis Presley, musician); Lisa Rinna (actress); Lisa Hartman Black (actress, wife of Clint Black); Lisa Lampanelli (comic); Lisa Ling (journalist); Lisa Niemi (actress, widow of Patrick Swayze)

  • Children of Famous People Named Lisa

    Children of Famous People Named Lisa

    Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Lisa - Elvis Presley (American icon); Priscilla Presley (actress, former wife of Elvis); James Coburn (actor); Jim Henson (puppeteer); Joyce Brothers (radio personality); Larry Flynt (Penthouse founder/owner); Mister T. (actor); Tom Landry (football coach)

  • Historic Figures

    Lisa - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Lisa del Giocondo (c. 1479-1542) - Lisa del Giocondo was the subject of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa”, arguably the most famous painting in the world (and considered by some to be the very best). Little is known about Lisa del Giocondo’s life except that she was born into a respectable Florentine family; one with an old aristocratic name of importance but one whose wealth had diminished to middle-class levels by the time Lisa arrived. She married at the tender age of fifteen to a much older man, probably for love because the dowry offered by her family was less than her successful merchant husband may have otherwise gotten. Characteristic of Florentine families during the Italian Renaissance, the del Giocondos were art appreciators and it was Lisa’s husband who commissioned the painting by da Vinci circa 1503. The “Mona Lisa” portrayed Lisa in the typical fashion of the 15th and 16th century female ideal: that is, a model of virtue (poised upright and reserved with her hands crossed). Yet Lisa’s mysterious smile provides some level of intimacy between the woman and her viewer. The techniques used by da Vinci created an iconic enigma where we onlookers are voyeurs attempting to understand the emotion behind this woman named “Mona Lisa” (the term “Mona” is a title of respect, as in “my lady, Madonna”). Ironically the del Giocondos never received the painting; da Vinci kept it and traveled with it until his death. Da Vinci’s heir sold it to King François I of France where it remained with the monarchy possessions until the French Revolution, after which it belonged to the French people at its home at the Louvre (where it remains today under bullet-proof glass).

Personality of the Girl Name Lisa

The number Five personality loves the excitement of life and can easily adapt to all situations. As natural adventurers, these personalities thrive on the new and unexpected and prefer to be in constant motion. It makes them feel alive. They'll stir up some action if there's not enough around, and as inherent risk-takers they enjoy pushing the envelope. Naturally rebellious, the Five personality has no fear and never resists change.  Traveling and new experiences feed their souls. Fives are very social and attract friends with ease. People love to be around the Five fun-loving and exciting energy.  This is also a lucky number in numerology (like the Threes), so fortune seems to shine on them, helped along by their own optimism and good-nature. Fives have a quick wit, a cerebral mind, and are generally very persuasive. 

Variations of the Baby Name - Lisa

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