Esther Name Meaning & Origin

Esther

Pronunciation: EHS-tər (key)

Origin of the name Esther:

Popular name of debated origin and meaning. Some believe it to be the Persian translation of the Hebrew name Hadassah (myrtle); others think it is derived from the Persian stara (star). It has also been suggested that it derived from the Babylonian Ishtar, the name of a goddess of love and fertility. The name is borne in the Bible by the Jewish wife of the Persian king Ahasuerus.

From A World of Baby Names by Teresa Norman.

Related Names:

Essie, Estee, Ester, Etta, Hettie

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US Popularity of Esther Over Time

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Nicknames for Esther

Estee
Hettie
Etta
Essie
Es
Est/Esth
Ettie
Etsy
Tess
Est, Atah, Gus

Meanings and history of the name Esther

"morning star" (Persian)
"hidden" (Hebrew)
Possibly means "star" in Persian. Alternatively it could be a derivative of the name of the Near Eastern goddess ISHTAR. The Book of Esther in the Old Testament tells the story of Queen Esther, the Jewish wife of the king of Persia who saved the Jews of the realm from extermination. Her original Hebrew name was Hadassah (myrtle leaf).

This name has been used in the English-speaking world since the Protestant Reformation. In America it received a boost in popularity after the birth of Esther Cleveland (1893-1980), the daughter of president Grover Cleveland.

Famous real-life people named Esther

Queen Esther, Jewish second wife of Ahasuerus, who saved her people from annihilation as told in the biblical Book of Esther.
Esther Kaplan, sister of Avriel 'Avi' Kaplan, Grammy award winning artist, alongside other members of Pentatonix.
Esther Williams, American competitive swimmer and film actress
Esther Cañadas, Spanish actress and model
Esther Dyson, digital technology expert
Esther "Eppie" Pauline Lederer, advice columnist, better known as Ann Landers
Esther Rantzen, English journalist and television host
Esther Earl, author of "This Star Won't go Out" and honouree of John Green's book, "The Fault in our Stars"

Esther in song, story & screen

Esther Greenwood, the semi-authobiographical heroine of Sylvia Plath's novel The Bell Jar.
Esther Smith, heroine of the 1944 movie "Meet Me in St. Louis", played by Judy Garland.
Esther Summerson, herione of Charles Dickens's novel Bleak House.
Esther, main antagonist of 2009 horror film Orphan, 9-year-old murderous girl, portraied by Isabelle Furhman
Esther Mikaelson, the original witch from "The Vampire Diaries" and "The Originals"
Esther Blodgett-Main character in the film "A Star is Born" eventually renamed Vicki Lester.

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