Cool Name of the Week: Elizabeth

After watching Queen Elizabeth II’s star turn at the Olympic opening ceremony (opposite the latest James Bond, the dashing Daniel Craig), who wouldn’t have fallen a little more in love with the British monarch? She’s had a pretty amazing year, between hosting the Olympics in her hometown and celebrating her Diamond Jubilee earlier this year. And besides, I’ve always kind of liked the name—it was the name I chose for my Confirmation a few decades ago.

Elizabeth is a name that comes with a pretty impressive pedigree. Elizabeth was Mary‘s cousin and the mom of John the Baptist in the Bible. And Elizabeth I, England’s Virgin Queen, ushered in a golden age for the country during her nearly 50-year reign. Perhaps the most famous Elizabeth in fiction is Jane Austen’s heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, in her masterpiece, Pride and Prejudice.

Elizabeth means “consecrated to God,” and has been extremely popular for decades. It currently ranks #11—but it’s been in the top 25 for a century. So odds are good that someone in your family tree—whether it’s your great-aunt or your great-great grandmother—had the name as well.

Elizabeth is one of those names that comes with a boatload of great nicknames—Beth, Bess, Betsy, Eliza, Liza, Liz and Lizzie, just to name a few. A daughter with this name will have plenty of options for what she’d like to be called, so you may not have to worry quite as much about the name’s enduring popularity. (In other words, if there’s two Elizabeths in the class, one can go by Eliza, and one by Beth. No “Elizabeth H.” required.)

As for middle names to pair it with, I’d go for something a little old-fashioned and simple. I like Elizabeth Rose, Elizabeth Grace, or even Elizabeth Claire.

What did you think of the Queen’s star turn at the opening ceremony? Would you name your daughter after a British royal?

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