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GenderFeminine
PronouncedPron.i-LIZ-ə-bəth English
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Meaning & History

From Ελισαβετ (Elisabet), the Greek form of the Hebrew name אֱלִישֶׁבַע ('Elisheva') meaning "my God is an oath", derived from the roots אֵל ('el) referring to the Hebrew God and שָׁבַע (shava') meaning "oath". The Hebrew form appears in the Old Testament where Elisheba is the wife of Aaron, while the Greek form appears in the New Testament where Elizabeth is the mother of John the Baptist.

Among Christians, this name was originally more common in Eastern Europe. It was borne in the 12th century by Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, a daughter of King Andrew II who used her wealth to help the poor. In medieval England it was occasionally used in honour of the saint, though the form Isabel (from Occitan and Spanish) was more common. It has been very popular in England since the reign of Queen Elizabeth I in the 16th century. It has also been borne (in various spellings) by many other European royals, including a ruling empress of Russia in the 18th century. Famous modern bearers include the British queen Elizabeth II (1926-) and actress Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011).
VariantsElisabeth, Elsabeth, Elyzabeth English Elisabeth Biblical
Other Languages & CulturesZabel Armenian Elixabete Basque Elisabet Biblical Greek Elisheva Biblical Hebrew Elisabeth Biblical Latin Elisaveta Bulgarian Elisabet Catalan Elizabeta Croatian Alžběta, Eliška Czech Elisabet, Elisabeth, Isabella, Eli, Elise, Ella, Else, Lilly, Lis, Lisa, Lisbet, Lise, Lissi Danish Elisabeth, Isabella, Isabelle, Betje, Elise, Elly, Els, Else, Elsje, Ilse, Isa, Lies, Liesbeth, Liese, Liesje, Lijsbeth, Lisa Dutch Eliisabet, Liis, Liisa, Liisi, Liisu Estonian Elisabet, Eliisa, Elisa, Ella, Elsa, Liisa, Liisi Finnish Élisabeth, Isabel, Isabelle, Babette, Élise, Lili, Liliane, Lilianne, Lise, Lisette French Bet, Lys Frisian Sabela Galician Elisabed, Eliso Georgian Elisabeth, Isabel, Isabelle, Bettina, Elisa, Elise, Elli, Elsa, Else, Ilsa, Ilse, Isa, Isabell, Isabella, Lies, Liesa, Liese, Liesel, Liesl, Lili, Lilli, Lisa, Lisbeth German Elisavet, Elli Greek Elikapeka Hawaiian Elisheva Hebrew Erzsébet, Izabella, Bözsi, Erzsi, Lili, Liliána, Zsóka Hungarian Elísabet, Elsa Icelandic Eilís, Eilish, Isibéal, Sibéal Irish Elisabetta, Isabella, Elisa, Elsa, Isa, Liana, Liliana, Lisa Italian Bet, Betje Limburgish Elžbieta, Elzė Lithuanian Elisaveta, Beti, Veta Macedonian Ealisaid Manx Ibb Medieval English Isabel Medieval Occitan Elisabet, Elisabeth, Isabella, Eli, Elise, Ella, Else, Lilly, Lis, Lisa, Lisbet, Lise, Liss Norwegian Isabèl Occitan Elżbieta, Izabela, Izabella, Ela, Eliza, Iza, Liliana Polish Isabel, Belinha, Elisa, Elisabete, Isabela, Liana, Liliana Portuguese Eliza, Izabel, Lílian Portuguese (Brazilian) Elisabeta, Isabela, Isabella, Liana, Liliana Romanian Elizaveta, Yelizaveta, Liza, Lizaveta Russian Ealasaid, Elspet, Elspeth, Iseabail, Ishbel, Isobel, Beileag, Lileas, Lilias, Lillias Scottish Jelisaveta, Jela, Jelica Serbian Alžbeta, Eliška Slovak Elizabeta, Špela Slovene Isabel, Ysabel, Eli, Elisa, Elisabet, Isa, Isabela, Liliana Spanish Elisabet, Elisabeth, Isabella, Elise, Ella, Elsa, Lilly, Lis, Lisa, Lisbet, Lise Swedish Yelyzaveta Ukrainian Bethan Welsh

Images

Queen Elizabeth I of EnglandQueen Elizabeth I of England
The Visitation by Daret (1435), with Saint Elizabeth in the centerThe Visitation by Daret (1435), with Saint Elizabeth in the center

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Entry updated July 11, 2018   Contribute