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Esther is beautiful and biblical first name. Elegant and earnest, this name has undergone a cultural revival in the 21st century. Esther Edelstein is a character on Suits, and Esther Tina Goldstein is a character in J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Keep reading to learn more about this name.

Meaning of the name Esther:

Persian: Star
Assyrian, Akkadian, Babylonian: Lady of heaven
Hebrew: Myrtle, hide, conceal

Origin of the name Esther:

Esther is a biblical name with several possible etymologies. According to the most popular theory of origin, Esther comes from the Old Persian words stāra or setāra (meaning “star”). Experts link these Persian words to the Proto-European root that produced the Latin names Estelle and Stella. Some scholars also link Esther to the Akkadian, Assyrian, and Babylonian goddess Ishtar. This name means “lady of heaven,” and it is a cognate of the similar-sounding Canaanite goddess Ashtoreth (or Astarte).

Esther also has two theological interpretations. Some biblical scholars believe that Esther is a Persian transliteration of the Hebrew name Hadassah (meaning “myrtle”). In the Hebrew Bible, Hadassah is a young Jewish exile who changes her name to Esther to protect her identity prior to marrying the king. Furthermore, the three-letter Hebrew root of Esther is s-t-r (meaning “hide” or “conceal”), and the passive infinitive means “to be hidden.” Therefore, many theologians believe that Esther is simply allegorical wordplay of Hadassah. During the Middle Ages, some English translations of the name Esther retained the “h” in Hadassah to produce the name Hester. This related name Hester (and the nickname “Hettie”) is still common in some cultures.

Symbolism of the name Esther:

Esther is the eponymous heroine of the Book of Esther in the Hebrew Bible. In the story, a Jewish exile named Hadassah changes her name to Esther before marrying King Xerxes. She eventually uses her influence to prevent a massacre of the Jewish people in Susa. This story is the traditional origin of the festival of Purim. Symbols for Esther include Purim pastries and the royal scepter integral in the story of saving Esther's people.

Style of the name Esther:

Biblical

Gender of the name Esther:

Esther is a girl's name.

Pronunciation of the name Esther:

EHS-tehr

Number of syllables in the name Esther:

Two

Emotion evoked from the name Esther:

The name Esther evokes feelings of elegance and amiability.

Alternative spellings for the name Esther:

Nicknames for the name Esther:

  • Essie
  • Essi
  • Essy
  • Ettie
  • Etty
  • Hettie

Popularity of the name Esther:

According to the Social Security Administration index, Esther was the 153rd most popular baby name for girls in 2020. Esther has ranked among the top 200 baby girl names since 2016.

Related names for the name Esther:

Great middle names for Esther and their meanings:

  • Antonia (priceless, praiseworthy, beautiful)
  • Corrine (girl, maiden)
  • Fiorella (flower)
  • Freya (lady)
  • Grace (charm, goodness, generosity)
  • Layla (night)
  • Mabel (lovable)
  • Magnolia (great flower)
  • Ophelia (helper)
  • Valentina (strong, vigorous, healthy)

Famous people with the name Esther:

  • Esther Saville Allen (poet)
  • Esther ‘Essie' Davis (actress)
  • Esther Grace Earl (social activist)
  • Esther Louise Forbes (novelist)
  • Esther Marjorie Hill (architect)
  • Esther Pauline “Eppie” Lederer (advice columnist)
  • Esther Maria Lewis (socialite)
  • Esther Rose McGregor (daughter of actor Ewan McGregor)
  • Esther Elizabeth Rolle (actress)
  • Esther Jane Williams (swimmer)

Esther in popular culture:

  • Esther Litt Edelstein (character on television's Suits)
  • Esther Tina Goldstein (character in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling)
  • Esther Greenwood (semi-autobiographical heroine of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Platt)
  • Esther Mikaelson (central character in The Vampire Diaries)
  • Esther Smith (protagonist of the classic film Meet Me in St. Louis)
  • Esther Summerson (narrative protagonist of Bleak House by Charles Dickens)