The origins of this name are uncertain, though some Celtic roots have been suggested. It is possible that the name is ultimately Germanic
, perhaps from a hypothetic name like Ishild
, composed of the elements is
"ice, iron" and hild
In Arthurian legend she was an Irish princess betrothed to King Mark of Cornwall. She became the lover of his knight Tristan
, which led to their tragic deaths. The story was popular during the Middle Ages and the name became relatively common in England at that time. It was rare by the 19th century, though some interest was generated by Richard Wagner's opera 'Tristan und Isolde' (1865).