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Word/nameSpanish, ultimately from Hebrew
Region of originEurope
Other names
Related namesElisheba (Hebrew), Elisabel (Medieval Latin), Isabel (Spanish and Portuguese), Isabella (Italian), Isabelle (French, Dutch, German), Izabela, Isobel, Ishbel (Scots), Iseabail (Scottish Gaelic), Ysabeau, Elizabeth (English).

Isabel or Isabelle is a feminine given name of Spanish origin. It originates as the medieval Spanish form of Elisabeth (ultimately Hebrew Elisheba), Arising in the 12th century, it became popular in England in the 13th century following the marriage of Isabella of Angoulême to the king of England.


This set of names is a Spanish variant of the Hebrew name Elisheba through Latin and Greek represented in English and other western languages as Elisabeth.[2][3] These names are derived from the Latin and Greek renderings of the Hebrew name based on both etymological and contextual evidence (the use of Isabel as a translation of the name of the mother of John the Baptist).[4] The variant form originated through the loss of the first syllable and the replacement of final /t/ with /l/ (as /t/ does not appear word-finally in standard Spanish).[5] Elisabeth was understood in Spain as a name with the masculine definite article el "the", that is to say *El Isabeth, from it, the short form *Isabeth where the final -el was substituted to -eth, both for esthetical reasons or feminization,[2] or the entire syllable -bel was substituted to -beth, by analogy with bella "pretty, beautiful".

Another possibility is that the name comes from the Hebrew אִיזֶבֶל‎ ʾĪzeḇel (see Jezebel).

Both forms of the name exist concurrently in various languages. Both names have been borrowed into multiple other languages, giving rise to various local forms.

Notable individuals[edit]

Individuals named Isabelle[edit]

Fictional characters[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Book of Mormon Pronunciation Guide" (retrieved 2012-02-25), IPA-ified from «ĭz´a-bĕl»
  2. ^ a b Albert Dauzat, Noms et prénoms de France, Librairie Larousse 1980, édition revue et commentée par Marie-Thérèse Morlet, p. 337a.
  3. ^ Chantal Tanet et Tristan Hordé, Dictionnaire des prénoms, Larousse, Paris, 2009, p. 38ISBN 978-2-03-583728-8
  4. ^ Guido Gómez de Silva, Breve diccionario etimológico de la lengua española, Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1985.
  5. ^ Hanks, Patrick und Flavia Hodges. Oxford Dictionary of First Names. Oxford University Press, 1996, p.166.