Gender Feminine
Pronounced Pron. ZHEE-ZEHL(French) ji-ZEHL(English)  [key·IPA]

Meaning & History

Derived from the Old German element gisal meaning "hostage, pledge" (Proto-Germanic *gīslaz). This name may have originally been a descriptive nickname for a child given as a pledge to a foreign court. This was the name of both a sister and daughter of Charlemagne. It was also borne by a daughter of the French king Charles III who married the Norman leader Rollo in the 10th century. Another notable bearer was the 11th-century Gisela of Swabia, wife of the Holy Roman emperor Conrad II.

The name was popular in France during the Middle Ages (the more common French form is Gisèle). Though it became known in the English-speaking world due to Adolphe Adam's ballet Giselle (1841), it was not regularly used until the 20th century.

Related Names

VariantsGisèle(French) Gisselle(English)
Other Languages & CulturesGisela(Dutch) Gisela, Gisa(German) Gisila(Germanic) Gizella, Gizi(Hungarian) Gisella(Italian) Gisela, Gisele(Portuguese) Gisela(Spanish)


People think this name is

classic   formal   upper class   natural   wholesome   delicate   refined   strange   serious  


Entry updated December 7, 2022