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Elizabeth Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Elizabeth including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Elizabeth Overview

  • Meaning: Elizabeth means “God is my oath” in Hebrew.
  • Gender: Elizabeth is traditionally a female’s name.
  • Origin: Elizabeth has a Hebrew origin which can be traced back to the Old Testament. She was the mother of John the Baptist and cousin of Mary. It was then in the form of Elisheva.
  • Pronunciation: Elizabeth is pronounced “uh-LIZ-uh-beth.”
  • Popularity: The name is extremely popular in the United States, as well as all over the world.
  • Nicknames: Alisa, Babette, Bess, Bettina, Bette, Betty, Betsey, Bessie, Betta, Eli, Ellie, Elsabet, Elsie, Elissa, Elise, Eliza, Elsa, Lib, Libby, Libbie, Lisa, Lisel, Lisbeth, Liz, Lizzie, Liza, Tetsy, And Tetty
  • Variations: Élisabeth, Elisabeta, Elisabete, Isabella, Isobel, Lesetta, Lisabette, Lisabetta, Lisbet, Lisbeth, Lisabette, and Lisabetta.
  • Namesakes: Queen Elizabeth and Elizabeth Taylor.

What Does the Name Elizabeth Mean?

The name Elizabeth is one of the most popular names today. It is traditionally given to women and means “God is my oath” in Hebrew. Here, the name is known as Elisheva (“El” meaning “God” and “Sheva” meaning “oath”).

The name then reappears in the New Testament but in a new Greek form called Elisabet. In this iteration, Elizabet is the mother of John the Baptist and cousin to Mary, mother of Jesus (1).

What Is the Origin of the Name Elizabeth?

The name Elizabeth has a Hebrew origin. It can trace back to the Old Testament, where the name was the name of Aaron’s wife, then in the form of Elisheva.

When it appeared in the New Testament under the form of Elisabet, it took a new significance. Mary called to Elisabet, then pregnant with John the Baptist, causing the baby to be born immediately to take on his significance.

How Popular Is the Name Elizabeth?

Elizabeth is a very popular name and is one of the top 25 names in the United States today. Before that, it was equally as popular due to its religious connotations.

In the earliest quarter of the 20th century, it was one of the 10 most popular names. Though it fluctuated in popularity, it wasn’t by much. The name Elizabeth only fell to the 26th most common name at its most unpopular time during World War ll.

It regained its spot in the top 10 as the 90s approached. In the last decade, it ranked in the top 20 names for women in the US. In 2020 alone, over 7k girls were named Elizabeth — that’s 1 in every 240 girls born.

How Do I Pronounce Elizabeth?

There are a few different pronunciations of Elizabeth in English, the most popular being “uh-LIZ-uh-beth.” The E at the beginning is soft, almost said as a U. The i is also soft.

The next most popular pronunciation is “el-LIZ-uh-beth,” with the main change being on the first syllable.

And the third popular way to pronounce the name is “ih-LIZ-uh-beth.”

Is Elizabeth a Boy or Girl Name?

Elizabeth is typically a name given to girls. Though, there are masculine variants for it, such as Eli.

Variations of Elizabeth

For such an old name, there are endless variations on Elizabeth. One of the most popular is Isabel, a Spanish take on it.

Other iterations include:

  • Elisabeta
  • Elisabete
  • Élisabeth
  • Isabella
  • Isobel
  • Lesetta
  • Lisabetta
  • Lisabette
  • Lisbet
  • Lisbeth

Though these names are recognizable, none are quite as popular as Elizabeth.

Nicknames for Elizabeth

Along with the variations are countless nicknames that a name with so many syllables like Elizabeth has.

Some of the many include (but certainly aren’t limited to):

  • Alisa
  • Babette
  • Bess
  • Bessie
  • Betsey
  • Betta
  • Bette
  • Bettina
  • Betty
  • Eli
  • Elise
  • Elissa
  • Eliza
  • Ellie
  • Elsa
  • Elsabet
  • Elsie
  • Lib
  • Libbie
  • Libby
  • Lisa
  • Lisbeth
  • Lisel
  • Liz
  • Liza
  • Lizzie
  • Tetsy
  • Tetty

Similar Names to Elizabeth

There are also a handful of names that sound similar to Elizabeth or play on the original while giving it a new spin.

Some of those similar names include:

Middle Names for Elizabeth

Elizabeth is often paired with a middle name when referring to someone and acting almost as one long first name. Some of the most common first/middle pairings with Elizabeth include:

You can pair the name with any from the sections prior as well. Elizabeth sounds good with most names.

Sibling Names for Elizabeth

Similar to middle names, many names go great alongside Elizabeth.

For a brother:

And for a sister:

Famous People Named Elizabeth

There are also many famous people named Elizabeth. Right away one thinks of the Royalty and the Queen of England. But there are more.

Some of the most famous Elizabeth’s include:

  • Elizabeth Taylor: Legendary actress and designer.
  • Elizabeth Warren: American politician (US Senator) and former law professor.
  • Elizabeth Olsen: Actress.
  • Elizabeth Woolridge Grant (Lana Del Rey): Singer and songwriter.

Elizabeth in Popular Culture

Today, many famous Elizabeths are on the scene as well.

You might recognize:

  • Elizabeth Bennett: Fictional character from Pride and Prejudice.
  • Elizabeth Swann: Protagonistin “Pirates of the Caribbean”.
  • Betty Rubble: Cartoon character from The Flintstones.
  • Elizabeth “Betty” Cooper: Comic book character from Archie comics.

Elizabeth FAQs

There might be some other questions in your mind about the name Elizabeth. Let’s look at some.

Why Is the Name Elizabeth So Popular?

The name is so popular mainly because of its religious background. Because of that it makes a traditional name continue to work and is often given by religious parents. This is also why many saints and queens have the name.

What Other Translations of Elizabeth Are There?

Elizabeth can also translate to “Consecrated to God” or “my God is bountiful.” These are not far interpretations of “Oath to God”.

Why Is Betsy a Nickname for Elizabeth?

The name translates to Hebrew as “Elisheba,” this was a boiled-down version of “Bethia” which is a (daughter or worshipper of God), and Bethany, which was a location in the Bible.

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