Friday, January 27, 2012

Usual Name, Unexpected Nickname--Elizabeth/Isabella

Elizabeth remains one of our enduring classics. Despite the fact that everyone is almost guaranteed to know at least one (probably more like 2 or 3), Elizabeth shows no sign of falling out of favor anytime soon. In fact, many of its spin-offs are also on the rise (Elsa, Elise, Eliza), and one has even overtaken the original--Isabella. Considering that girls' names tend to rise & fall with fashion, while boys' names tend to be stable and enduring, Elizabeth's permanence is pretty darned impressive.
I wonder which came first--the widespread use, or the wide variety of nicknames?

  • Bess (BES)--English
  • Bethan (BETH-an)--Welsh
  • Bettina (bet-TEEN-ah)--German
  • Buffy (BUF-fee)--English
  • Bizzy/Busy (BIZ-ee)--English
  • Els (ELS)--Dutch
  • Elsje (ELS-yeh)--Dutch
  • Erzsi (EHR-zhee)--Hungarian
  • Ibbie (IB-bee)--English
  • Ilsa (IL-sah)--German
  • Isa (EE-sah)--Scandinavian, Spanish
  • Libby (LIB-bee)--English
  • Liddy (LID-dee)--English
  • Lies (LEES)--Dutch, German
  • Liesel (LEE-zel)--German
  • Liisu (LEE-soo)--Estonian
  • Lili (LIL-ee)--French, German
  • Lisa (LEE-sah)--English
  • Lison (lee-ZOHN)--French
  • Špela (SHPEL-ah)--Slovene
  • Tetty (TET-tee)--English

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