How popular is the baby name Elisabeth in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Elisabeth.
The graph will take a few moments to load. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take 9 months!) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.
Sixteenth-century Dutch nobleman William of Orange (also known as William the Silent) was the primary leader of the Dutch Revolt (1566-1648).
William had a total of 16 children with five different women (four wives, one mistress). All 16 received traditional first names, but four of his daughters were given location-inspired middle names — symbols of the political alliances between William and “the lands for which he fought.”
Here are the names of all 16:
Maria (born in 1553)
Philip William, (b. 1554)
Maria (b. 1556)
Justinus (b. 1559)
Anna (b. 1562)
Anna (b. 1563)
Maurice August Philip (b. 1564)
Maurice (b. 1567)
Emilia (b. 1569)
Louise Juliana (b. 1576)
Elisabeth (b. 1577)
Catharina Belgica (b. 1578)
Charlotte Flandrina (b. 1579)
Charlotte Brabantina (b. 1580)
Emilia Antwerpiana (b. 1581)
Frederick Henry (b. 1584)
Each of the regions/locations honored with a name responded by “bestow[ing] pensions upon the children”:
Catharina Belgica was provided with an annuity of 3,000 florins by the States General of the Dutch Republic.
This inspired other parents with connections to the House of Orange-Nassau to adopt similar naming practices. For instance, Ernst Casimir I — the Stadtholder of Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe — named his daughter Elisabeth Friso (b. 1620). And Henri Charles de Le Trémoille — a direct descendant of William of Orange via Charlotte Brabantina — named his son Charles BelgiqueHollande (b. 1655).
Broomhall, Susan and Jacqueline Van Gent. Gender, Power and Identity in the Early Modern House of Orange-Nassau. London: Routledge, 2016.
Steen, Jasper van der. Memory Wars in the Low Countries, 1566-1700. Leiden: Brill, 2015.
While the name Nipsey didn’t debut in 2019, Nipsey Hussle’s legal first name, Ermias, was the fastest-rising boy name of 2019 (in terms of relative increase).
Dua, one of the rising names in last year’s game, stayed perfectly level this time around — exactly 72 baby girls in both ’18 and ’19. (In the UK, on the other hand, Dua’s usage increased quite a bit.)
What are your thoughts on the results this year? Did anything surprise you?
[The usual disclaimer: Some of the names above were already moving in the direction indicated. Others were influenced by more than a single pop culture person/event. In each case, I leave it up to you to judge the degree/nature of pop culture influence.]
“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world…she walks into mine.”
Who is “she”? Ilsa Lund, the ex-lover of Rick Blaine in the classic film Casablanca, which was released in late 1942 and won the Academy Award for Best Picture (plus two other Oscars) in early 1944.
1945: 5 baby girls named Ilsa
1944: 12 baby girls named Ilsa
1943: 6 baby girls named Ilsa [debut]
The baby name Ilsa (a variant of Ilse, which is a pet form of Elisabeth, the German form of Elizabeth) promptly debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1943.
The movie was based upon a never-produced play written in 1940. In the play, the female lead was an American named Lois Meredith, but in the screenplay the character evolved into a Norwegian woman named Ilsa Lund.
Ingrid Bergman (the mother of Pia) played Isla, while Humphrey Bogart played protagonist Rick — who likely kicked off the sharp rise in the usage of Rick that began in the early ’40s:
1945: 505 baby boys named Rick
1944: 431 baby boys named Rick
1943: 237 baby boys named Rick
1942: 96 baby boys named Rick
1941: 60 baby boys named Rick
What do you think of the name Ilsa? Do you prefer this spelling, or the original spelling (Ilse)?
Source: Rode, Alan K. Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2017.
Jazz pianist and singer Nat King Cole (1919-1965) was born Nathaniel Adams Coles. He dropped the “s” from his surname early on, and acquired the “King” after forming a trio called the King Cole Trio (originally the King Cole Swingsters), which was a reference to “Old King Cole” from the nursery rhyme.
Maria, his second wife, originally went by Marie. She changed the name to Maria after she married Cole because, as she said, “[i]t sounded more lyrical.”
The two of them raised five children together:
Carole, nicknamed “Cookie” (adopted)
Natalie, nicknamed “Sweetie”
Nat Kelly (adopted)
Nat, the only boy, was given the middle name Kelly in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, which was his father’s birthday.
Casey Eugenia and Timolin Elizabeth were identical twin girls born in September of 1961. (I mentioned them in the celebrity baby name debuts post.) Their middle names came from two of Maria’s sisters. Casey’s first name was inspired by Charles Dillon “Casey” Stengel, the manager of the New York Yankees throughout the ’50s. Timolin’s first name was inspired by the youngest daughter of lyricist Johnny Burke*, whose song “Swinging on a Star” won an Oscar in the ’40s.
[*Burke’s four children were Reagan, Rory, Kevin, and Timolin. Reagan and Rory were female twins born in 1941 — long before the names Reagan and Rory were regularly given to baby girls. And Timolin, born in 1954, was very likely named after the Irish village of Timolin.]
Grudens, Richard. The Music Men: The Guys who Sang with the Bands and Beyond. Stony Brook, NY: Celebrity Profiles Publishing, 1998.
The following baby names add up to 144, which reduces to nine (1+4+4=9).
“144” girl names: Yuritzy, Harleyquinn
“144” boy names: Constantino, Johnanthony, Oluwalonimi
9 via 153
The boy name Quintavius adds up to 153, which reduces to nine (1+5+3=9).
9 via 171
The following baby names add up to 171, which reduces to nine (1+7+1=9).
“171” girl names: Oluwatomisin
“171” boy names: Konstantinos, Oluwatimilehin
9 via 180
The unisex name Kamsiyochukwu adds up to 180, which reduces to nine (1+8+0=9).
What Does “9” Mean?
First, we’ll look at the significance assigned to “9” by two different numerological sources. Second, and more importantly, ask yourself if “9” or any of the intermediate numbers above have any special significance to you.
“9” (the ennead) according to the Pythagoreans:
“It is by no means possible for there to subsist any number beyond the nine elementary numbers. Hence they called it ‘Oceanus’ and ‘horizon,’ because it encompasses both of these locations and has them within itself.”
“Because it does not allow the harmony of number to be dissipated beyond itself, but brings numbers together and makes them play in concert, it is called ‘concord’ and ‘limitation,’ and also ‘sun,’ in the sense that it gathers things together.”
“They also called it ‘Hyperion,’ because it has gone beyond all the other numbers as regards magnitude”
“The ennead is the first square based on an odd number. It too is called ‘that which brings completion,’ and it completes nine-month children, moreover, it is called ‘perfect,’ because it arises out of 3, which is a perfect number.”
“It was called ‘assimilation,’ perhaps because it is the first odd square”
“They used to call it […] ‘banisher’ because it prevents the voluntary progress of number; and ‘finishing-post’ because it has been organized as the goal and, as it were, turning-point of advancement.”
“9” according to Edgar Cayce:
“Nine – the change” (reading 261-14).
“Nine indicates strength and power, with a change” (reading 261-15).
“Nine making for the completeness in numbers; […] making for that termination in the forces in natural order of things that come as a change imminent in the life” (reading 5751-1).
“As to numbers, or numerology: We find that the number nine becomes as the entity’s force or influence, which may be seen in that whatever the entity begins it desires to finish. Everything must be in order. It is manifested in those tendencies for the expressions of orderliness, neatness. To be sure, nine – in its completeness, then – is a portion” (reading 1035-1).
Does “9” — or do any of the other numbers above (e.g., 18, 63, 99, 144) — have any special significance to you?
Think about your own preferences and personal experiences: lucky numbers, birth dates, music, sports, and so on. For example, maybe your favorite sport is golf, which has 18 holes per game.
Also think about associations you may have picked up from your culture, your religion, or society in general.
If you have any interesting insights about the number 9, or any of the other numbers above, please leave a comment!
Source: Theologumena Arithmeticae, attributed to Iamblichus (c.250-c.330).