Isabella is an Italian and Spanish variation of Elizabeth, which comes from the Hebrew name Elisheba, meaning "devoted to God" or "God is my oath."
With its regal and elaborate feel, Isabella is a popular choice among parents searching for a classic, elegant name. In fact, many countries around the world, including England, France, Portugal, and Hungary have all had royals named Isabella. Isabella has also been a popular name in literature, movies, and plays, and makes an appearance in the Shakespeare play Measure by Measure.
Isabella is pronounced "is-ah-bell-ah" and has plenty of adorable nicknames to choose from, including Bella, Izzy, Izzie, Iz, Isa, and Belle. In fact, some parents choose the name Isabella intending to call their child primarily by a nickname.
Spellings don't stray too far from the classic Isabella, though you may see the name spelled with a z on occasion as Izabella. Similar versions of this beloved name include Isabelle, Isabel, Isobel, and Ysabell. It's most commonly used as a girl's name, though variations of Isabella like Ishmael or Isa can be boy or unisex names.
The name Isabella has been popular in the United States and around the world for many years, though its ranking dipped in the U.S. in the 1940s. For the next 50 years, the name was fairly rare, but began to climb the charts again in the 1990s and became one of the top 100 girl names on the Social Security Administration's list in 1998.
Isabella has become even more popular since, soaring to the top 10 names for girls in the United States in 2004 and claiming the number-one spot in 2009. Isabella's re-emergence coincided with the release of the wildly popular Twilight series books and movies, featuring a main character named Bella Swan.
Isabella is a name that feels both modern and traditional and spans cultures and languages. Its elegant nature and spunky nickname choices are sure to keep Isabella among the top baby names for years to come.
Isabella Rossellini : Italian-American actress
Isabella I : Queen of Castile from 1474 to 1504, financed Christopher Columbus' 1492 voyage to the Americas
Isabella II : Queen of Spain from 1833 to 1868
Isabella of France : Queen of England as the wife of King Edward II from 1327 to 1330
Isabella, Countess of Bedford : Daughter of King Edward III of England
Isabella Acres : American actress known for her role as Rose in the TV show Better off Ted
Isabella Boylston : Principal ballet dancer with the American Ballet Theatre
Isabella Tobias : American-born Israeli ice dancer
Isabella "Bella" Khair Hadid : American model
Isabella Stewart Gardner : American art collector
Isabella Mary Beeton : British journalist, editor, and writer
Isabella Alden : writer
Isabella Bird : published author
Isabella Campbell : artist
Isabella Gregory : published author
Isabella Horry : writer
Isabella Kaiser : writer
Isabella Trotter : published author