Grace asked for an Elizabeth spotlight a while ago, which is so great, because when I think of doing spotlights, I tend to think of names that are a little unusual or offbeat or have issues (like, what nickname? how does this name come across? does this name have any saintly connection?), and since I don’t consider Elizabeth to fall in any of those categories, I probably wouldn’t have thought to spotlight it.
But Elizabeth — I mean, come on. Is there any more impeccable name than Elizabeth? I love so many things about it, like:
It’s the name of Our Lady’s beloved cousin and mother of John the Baptist, known as St. Elizabeth of the Visitation (I love that!). Her Mystery of the Rosary is a tremendous pro-life witness and the first announcement to those other than Jesus’ parents that the Messiah had come.
It’s the name of a sainted queen (St. Elizabeth of Hungary) and an Irish martyr (Bl. Elizabeth Kearney) and two wives of men who lived Godless lives and converted and became priests after their wives’ deaths (SOG Elisabeth Leseur and Bl. Elisabetta Canori Mora) and a whole bunch of other holy women. One of them, Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity, is set to be canonized this year, having had her second miracle recently approved.
It has about a thousand variations — not only Elizabeth, Elisabeth, and Elisabetta as mentioned above, but also:
So many cool options! Two really unusual ones (to me) that jumped out from this image are Zabel, which I’d actually suggested for this mom, and Elixabete, which Mary (skimac) had recently mentioned (I’ll leave it to her to tell us how to pronounce it!). In that same comment she also shared the diminutive Sabeth, which someone she knows gave to his daughter as a nod to Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity, as her childhood nickname was Sabeth. I’ve also seen Zbeth in real life! Then there’s Elsa, Isabella, Lisbet, Bethan … all legit variants of Elizabeth.
And the nicknames!! Abby recently did an awesome post on unexpected nicknames for Elizabeth, which included one of my favorites, Tess (as I say, if Betty and Tetty are both traditional nicknames for Elizabeth (they are), and Bess is also, then Tess should certainly be!). I’d also add Eily (said EYE-lee, like the Irish variant Eilis [EYE-lish or AY-lish]) and we’ve discussed the possibility of Zelie as an Elizabeth nickname as well (it totally works! Two saints in one!). I also did a tiny post about Elizabeth nicknames here. But if you want your girl to go by her full name, Elizabeth is feminine and sophisticated, smart and distinguished. An Elizabeth can be a Supreme Court Judge, or an artist, or an engineer, or an opera singer, or an Olympic athlete.
Which is your favorite Elizabeth variant? How about nicknames? Do you know anyone named Elizabeth who goes by one of the nicknames not mentioned or linked to here?