Trisha Shetty (Editor)

Esther (given name)

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Gender  Female
Meaning  "star"
Word/name  Persian
Esther (given name)

Esther is a feminine given name known from Esther eponymous heroine of the seventeenth book of the Old Testament. The name is usually derived from the Old Persian stāra (NPer. ستاره setāra, meaning "star") although some scholars identify Esther with the name of the Babylonian goddess of love Ištar an evidently Semitic name of uncertain meaning. (cf. Mordecai ↔ Marduk).


History of usage

Esther first occurs as a given name in Europe and the British Isles at the time of the Reformation prior to which the occurrence of Biblical names - unless borne by saints - was unusual. The modified form Hester has seemingly co-existed with the original Esther throughout the name's usage in the English-speaking world, where despite a theoretic slight pronunciative difference Esther and Hester were long largely - perhaps totally - interchangeable, with it being routine for a woman cited as Esther in one document to be elsewhere documented as Hester. One specific example of this is Esther Johnson, the "Stella" of Jonathan Swift, whose baptismal record identifies her as Hester but who always signed herself Esther. Similarly Swift wrote letters to his "Vanessa": Esther Vanhomrigh, in which Swift sometimes wrote her first name in the respective address as Esther and sometimes as Hester. The commonality usage of Esther and Hester had essentially been phased out by 1900 with Esther retaining a high usage profile especially in North America whereas the usage of Hester has shown a progressive decline.

The 9 September 1893 birth of Esther Cleveland, daughter of US president Grover Cleveland, was heavily publicized as the first birth of a presidential child in the White House with the press announcements of her name stating it meant "star". The 1891 birth of Cleveland's first daughter, also Biblically named being christened Ruth, had caused a media sensation and boosted Ruth into the Top Ten of American girl's names, and while the public endorsement of Esther as the choice of name for Cleveland's second daughter was more muted the name Esther did reach its all-time zenith of US popularity soon after Esther Cleveland's 1893 birth, Esther being ranked as the #27 most popular name for American girls for the year 1896.

The sixth most popular name bestowed on Caucasian baby girls born in New York City in 2006, Esther has remained a favored name in some Jewish communities.

International variants

Alternate forms of Esther are:

  • Eistir (Irish)
  • Eseza (Luganda language)
  • Esfir (Russian)
  • Essie (English)
  • Esta (English)
  • Estée (French)
  • Ester (Catalan), (Czech), (Finnish), (Italian), (Portuguese), (Scandinavian), (Spanish), (Persian)
  • Estera (Polish), (Slovakian), (Romanian)
  • Esteri (Finnish)
  • Eszter (Hungarian)
  • Eszti (Hungarian)
  • Ettie (English)
  • Etty (English)
  • Hester (English)
  • Hettie (English)
  • Yesfir (Russian)
  • Essi (Finnish)
  • Ester (אֶסְתֵּר) the Hebrew and Israeli version of the name. Also Esti and Eti.
  • Essy (Australia)
  • Јестира (Jestira) (Serbia)
  • Ashtaar (Persian)
  • Aphrodite (Latin)
  • Venus (Greek)
  • Inana (Sumerian)
  • Middle name

  • Alicia Mastandrea, born as Alicia Ester Mastandrea
  • Elba Esther Gordillo
  • Fylgia Zadig, born as Fylgia Ester Zadig
  • Thomas Brinkmann, born as Ester Brinkmann
  • Mabel Esther Allan
  • Maria Ester Audion Bueno
  • María Esther Herranz García
  • Marie-Louise Ekman, born as Marie-Louise Ester Maude Ekman
  • Marta Ester Rocafort-Altazarra
  • Mary Esther Harding
  • Queen Esther Marrow
  • María Ester Varela de Marín, spouse of Rubén Marín
  • Silvia Giusti, born as Silvia Ester Giusti
  • Silvia Gallego, born as Silvia Ester Gallego de Soto
  • Porpentina Esther Goldstein
  • Derivative name

  • Ester Andujar
  • Ester Aparecida dos Santos, known as Ester
  • Aster Aweke
  • Ester Balassini
  • Ester Blenda Nordström
  • Ester Böserup
  • Ester Cordet
  • Ester Drang
  • Ester Fanous
  • Ester Hernandez
  • Etty Hillesum
  • Elisa Colberg, known as Ester Colberg
  • Ester Mägi
  • Duo Vela born as Ester Vela
  • Ester Toivonen
  • Ester Wier
  • Ester Workel
  • Esterina Tartman
  • Esterio Segura Mora
  • Ettie Annie Rout
  • Ettie Mae Greene
  • Etty Darwin
  • Etty Lau Farrell
  • Aster Ganno
  • Aster Phoenix
  • Aster Yohannes
  • Essie Coffey
  • Essie Davis
  • Essie Garrett
  • Essie Jain
  • Essie Mae Washington
  • Essie Summers
  • Hester Adrian
  • Hester Chapone
  • Hester Santlow
  • Hester Shaw
  • Hester Site
  • Hester Thrale
  • Hester Booth
  • Esfir Shub
  • Eszter Balint
  • Eszter Hargittai
  • Eszter Mattioni
  • Estée Lauder (person)
  • Esta Spalding
  • Esta TerBlanche
  • Lovisa Augusti, born as Ester Salomon
  • Etti Ankri
  • Etti Jundiai
  • Etti Plesch
  • Maria Hester Park
  • Julia Ettie Crane
  • As a surname

  • Gulshan Esther
  • Maoz Ester
  • Pauline Ester
  • Sofia Ester
  • Swan Esther
  • William Etty
  • Frédéric Esther
  • Places

  • Esther Mountain
  • Mary Esther, Florida
  • Esther Township, Polk County, Minnesota
  • Esther Short Park
  • References

    Esther (given name) Wikipedia

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