Given Name ESTHER

GENDER: Feminine
OTHER SCRIPTS: אֶסְתֵר (Hebrew), Εσθηρ (Ancient Greek)
PRONOUNCED: ES-tər (English, Dutch), ES-TER (French)   [details]

Meaning & History

Possibly means "star" in Persian. Alternatively it could be a derivative of the name of the Near Eastern goddess ISHTAR. The Book of Esther in the Old Testament tells the story of Queen Esther, the Jewish wife of the king of Persia. The king's advisor Haman persuaded the king to exterminate all the Jews in the realm. Warned of this plot by her cousin Mordecai, Esther revealed her Jewish ancestry and convinced the king to execute Haman instead. Her original Hebrew name was Hadassah.

This name has been used in the English-speaking world since the Protestant Reformation. In America it received a boost in popularity after the birth of Esther Cleveland (1893-1980), the daughter of President Grover Cleveland.

Categories

biblical, biblical women, books of the Bible, goddesses, history, queens, stars, uncertain etymology
VARIANTS: Ester (Spanish), Ester (Danish), Ester (Norwegian), Ester (Swedish), Hester (Biblical Latin)
DIMINUTIVES: Essie, Esta (English), Estee (Jewish)
OTHER LANGUAGES/CULTURES: 'Ester (Biblical Hebrew), Ester (Czech), Ester, Esteri, Essi (Finnish), Eszter, Eszti (Hungarian), Ester (Icelandic), Ester (Italian), Estera (Lithuanian), Estera (Polish), Ester (Portuguese), Yesfir, Esfir (Russian), Estera (Slovak)
  United States
2016
  Canada (BC)
not
ranked
2015
  Catalonia
not
ranked
2014
  Denmark
2015
  England and Wales
2015
  France
2015
  Netherlands
2016
  New Zealand
not
ranked
2015
  Spain
not
ranked
2015
  Switzerland
not
ranked
2013

Sources & References

  • Cleveland Kent Evans, The Great Big Book of Baby Names (2006)