Bethany (given name)

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Pronunciation/ˈbɛθəni/ BETH-ən-ee
Meaninglit. "house of affliction" or "house of figs" (name of a Biblical village)
Other names
Nickname(s)Beth, Effie bethel
Related namesAnnie, Beth, Effie

Bethany (Greek: Βηθανία (Bethania), which is probably of Aramaic or Hebrew origin, meaning "house of affliction" or "house of figs") is a feminine given name derived from the Biblical place name, Bethany, a town near Jerusalem, at the foot of the Mount of Olives, where Lazarus lived in the New Testament, along with his sisters, Mary and Martha[1], and where Jesus stayed during Holy Week before his crucifixion.

The name has been well-used in English-speaking countries. It was the 59th most popular name for girls in England and Wales in 2010, having ranked as high as 11th most popular name in those countries in 1999. It was the 79th most popular name for girls in Scotland in 2010. It ranked in the 100 most popular names for girls in the United States during the 1980s, reaching its pinnacle of popularity in 1987, when it was the 87th most popular name for girls, but its use has declined, falling to 369th most popular name there in 2010. The name Bethany is the English transliteration of the Greek name Bethania.[2] It has been in use as a rare given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century, used primarily by Catholics in honour of Mary of Bethany.


Notable people with the name include:

Fictional characters[edit]


  1. ^ Campbell, Mike. "View Name: Bethany". Behind the Name. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
  2. ^ Campbell, Mike. "Popularity for Bethany". Behind the Name. Retrieved 21 May 2012.