[ 4 syll. e-li-za-bet(h), el-izabe-th ] The baby girl name Elizabeth is also used as a boy name, though it is far more popular for girls. It is pronounced ih-LIHZ-ah-Bah-TH (English) †. Elizabeth has its origins in the Hebrew language. It is used largely in English, Greek, and Hebrew. The meaning of Elizabeth is 'God is perfection, God is my oath'. It is a biblical name from el which means 'God, powerful' ; sheba 'oath, seven'. The name is derived via Elisabet (Old Greek) and Elisabetha (Latin) from Elisheba (Hebrew). The element sheba (meaning 'oath, seven') alludes to perfection, and the number seven is a biblical symbol of God's perfect work of creating the world in seven days. In the Old Testament of the Bible, Elisheba was the wife of Aaron, while in the New Testament, Elisabeth was the mother of John the Baptist and the first to realize that her cousin Mary was to bear Jesus Christ.
As a result of the biblical mention, the name was popular in medieval times. In Eastern Europe, it would sometimes be bestowed in honor of Saint Elisabeth of Hungary (1207-1231), the daughter of King Andrew II who gave her wealth to the poor and became a model of Christian charity. The name became popular in England only in the 16th century during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603), who was named after her grandmother Elizabeth of York, and had the nickname 'Good Queen Bess'. Due to the fame of the queen, the name Elizabeth became more popular than the older form Elisabeth. By the 17th century, one in four baby girls in England were given the name Elizabeth. In the 20th century, the name was again popularized by royal associations when Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (1900-2002) became the Queen Consort of King George VI, and more so when her daughter became Queen Elizabeth II (1926-).
The name Elizabeth is used to a great extent; it has 266 forms that are used in English and foreign languages. English forms of the name include Alizabeth, Alyzabeth, Bessi, Betsi, Bett, Betta (used in Italian too), Bettey, Bitsy, Eleisa, Eliabeth, Eliesse, Elisabith, Elisamarie, Elisheba, Elishia, Elizabel, Elizabet (used in Finnish too), Elizabetta, Elizabiff, Elizavet, Elizbeth, Ellisa, Ellisif, Ellissa, Ellizabeth, Ellota, Ellyse, Ellyssa, Ellyza, and Elsabeth. Other English forms include the shortenings Bess (used in Hebrew too), Bet (used in Welsh too), Beth, Elisa (used in Finnish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish too), Elise (used in Dutch, French, German, and Scandinavian too), Eliz (used in Armenian too), Eliza (used in Polish too), Elsa (used in Finnish, German, Scandinavian, and Scottish too), Else (used in Dutch, German, and Scandinavian too), Elspeth (used in Scottish too), Lis (used in Scandinavian too), Lisa (used in Albanian, Dutch, French, German, Italian, and Scandinavian too), Lisbet, Lisbeth (used in German too), Lise (used in French, German, and Scandinavian too), Liz, Liza (used in Hungarian, Polish, and Russian too), Lizabeth, Lizbeth, and Lizeth (used in French too), the familiar forms Babette (used in French too), Bessie, Bessy, Bethan (used in Welsh too), Bethie, Bethy, Betsey, Betsy, Bette (used in French too), Bettie, Bettina (used in German, Italian, and Spanish too), Betty, Bettye, Biff, Biffy, Bit, Buffy, Elissa (used in Greek too), Elize, Elle, Ellie, Elsie (used in Scottish too), Elsy, Elyse, Elyssa, Leasa, Leeza, Leisa, Leisel, Libbie, Libby (used in Hebrew too), Lilibet, Lilibeth, Lisbett, Lisel, Lisette (used in French, and German too), Lisl, Lissie, Lissy, Lizbet, Lizbett, Lizbiff, Lizette (used in French too), Lizy, Lizz, Lizzie, Lizzy, Lyssi, Tetty, and Veta (used in Slavic too), and the spelling variants Elisabeth (used in Dutch, French, German, Greek, and Scandinavian too), Elisabethe, Eliszabeth (used in German too), Elizabith, and Elizebeth.
Forms used in foreign languages include Alzbeta (Czech), Belicia (Spanish), Belita (Spanish), Bella (Spanish), Betka (Czech), Betsan (Welsh), Betti (Estonian, German, and Russian), Betuska (Czech), Boski (Hungarian), Bozsi (Hungarian), Bözsi (Hungarian), Chabica (Spanish), Chavelle (Spanish), Chela (Spanish), Ealasaid (Gaelic and Scottish), Ealisaid (Manx), Eilis (Gaelic and Irish), Eilish (Irish), Eilís (Irish), Eillish (Irish), Eliisabet (Estonian), Elikapeka (Hawaiian), Elis (German), Elisabet (Estonian, Finnish, German, and Scandinavian), Elisabeta (Romanian), Elisabete (Portuguese), Elisabetha (German), Elisabetta (Italian), Elisavet (Greek), and Elisaveta (Slavic). Specific foreign variants include the shortenings Ela (Polish), Elspet (Scottish), Élise (French), Ilse (Dutch and German), Liesa (German), Liesabet (German), Liese (Dutch and German), Liesl (German), and Lys (German and Scandinavian), and the familiar forms Beta (Czech), Betina (German and Italian), Bizzy (Hawaiian), Elisah (Dutch), Eliska (Czech), Elli (German), Ilsa (German), Leizel (German), Liesel (German), Liesje (Dutch), Lili (German), Lilli (German), Litzy (Scandinavian and Spanish), Lizina (Latvian), Lyse (Scandinavian), and Zizi (Hungarian).
See also the related form, the French Isaline.
Elizabeth is very popular as a baby girl name. At the peak of its usage in 1912, 1.454% of baby girls were named Elizabeth. It was #8 in rank then. The baby name has experienced a decline in frequency since then, and is currently used on a modest scale. In 2012, it ranked at #10 with a usage of 0.499%, but it was nevertheless the 2nd most popular after Isabella, out of all girl names in its family. It was 97% more regularly used than Elizabeth in 2012. Elizabeth has primarily been a baby girl name in the last century. In 1989, 154 times more baby girls than boys were given the name Elizabeth.
A baby name that sounds like Elizabeth is the Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, and Scandinavian Elisabeth.
† Pronunciation for Elizabeth: IH as in "it (IH.T)" ; L as in "lay (L.EY)" ; Z as in "zoo (Z.UW)" ; AH as in "mud (M.AH.D)" ; B as in "be (B.IY)" ; TH as in "theme (TH.IY.M)"
Details of famous persons named Elizabeth:
Actress Betty Grable, born Elizabeth Ruth Grable 18 December 1916 - 2 July 1973, St. Louis, Missouri.
Actress Elizabeth Hurley, born 10 June 1965, Hampshire, England.
Actress Betty Hutton, born Elizabeth Thornburg 26 February 1921 - 11 March 2007, Battle Creek, Michigan.
Actress Téa Leoni, born Elizabeth Téa Pantaleoni 25 February 1966, New York, New York.
Actress Elizabeth (Liz) Taylor, born 27 February 1932, London, England.
Journalist Nellie Bly, born Elizabeth Jane Cochran 5 May 1864 - 27 January 1922, Cochran's Mills, Pennsylvania.
Physician Elizabeth Blackwell, born 3 February 1821 - 31 May 1910, Bristol, England.
Poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, born Elizabeth Barrett 6 March 1806 - 29 June 1861, Durham, England.
Politician Elizabeth Dole, born 29 July 1936, Salisbury, North Carolina.
Revolutionary War Figure Betsy Ross, born Elizabeth Griscom 1 January 1752 - 30 January 1836, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.