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What does Esther mean?

Esther Pronunciation of Esther [es-ther] as a girls' name is pronounced ESS-ter. It is of Persian origin, and the meaning of Esther is "myrtle, bride; star". Biblical: a young beautiful Hebrew woman who became the wife of the Persian king Ahasuerus, and risked herself to save her people. Jews celebrate the festival of Purim in memory of her. Her Hebrew name was Hadassah meaning both "myrtle" and "bride", and the form Esther is a Persian translation of it. It could also derive from Persian stara meaning "star", or be a Hebrew form of the name of the Persian goddess of love and fertility Ishtar. Esther has traditionally been given to girls born during the period of Purim, the feast that celebrates Esther's biblical achievements. The name was later taken up by the Puritans in the 17th century. Though not related in origin, Esther has been used before as an English form of the Irish Gaelic name Aislinn. Swimming actress Esther Williams; cosmetics pioneer Estée Lauder.

Associated with: star, biblical, young, beautiful, king (queen), jews (israeli), goddess, puritans, 17th century.


Esther has 19 variants: Eistir, Eppie, Ess, Essie, Essy, Esta, Estee, Ester, Estera, Eszter, Ettey, Etti, Ettie, Etty, Hester, Hesther, Hetty, Hittie and Yesfir.

Related girl names: Easter, Estelle, Starla and Asta.

Creative forms:
(female) Efther, Elther, ..


Middle name pairings:
Esther Eryn (E.E.), ..

How popular is Esther?

Esther is a very prominent first name for females (#132 out of 4276, Top 3%) and also a very prominent last name for all people (#38263 out of 150436, Top 25%). (2000 U.S. Census)

Esther reached its peak rank of #33 in the U.S. in the 1900s, and is currently at #203. (2015 Birth Statistics)

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Esther name in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Esther outside U.S.

Which version is better?

with its variant forms and related girl names. Hadassah (#706 in 2015), Estelle (#823), Aislinn (#960), Ester (#1848), Hester, Hetty, Starla, Easter, Ettie, Essie, Eppie and Esta are the popular alternative forms of Esther (#203 in 2015) ranked in the Top 2000. These relations of Esther were favored as baby names 115 years ago (average #937) and have become much less popular since (#1580, 84% less usage), with forms like Ester becoming somewhat outmoded. Aislinn and Hadassah are two of the more contemporarily stylish names for newborns among these.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Esther, Aislinn, Easter, Eppie, Essie in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Esta, Estelle, Ester, Ettie, Hadassah in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Hester, Hetty, Starla in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Ester outside U.S.

Similar Names

Esther is alike in pronunciation to Wister. Other recommended names are Cher, Edithe, Edythe, Ehtel, Eimer, Eimhir, Eithne, Elethea, Elshe, Eltha, Elthea, Ember, Emer, Ertha, Erthel (see Eartha), Esmae, Esme, Esmee, Esmie, Estel, Estela, Estele, Estell, Estrid, Etel, Eth, Etha, Ethel, Ethna, Ethnea, Ethnee, Ethni, Ethyl, Heather, Hether and Sher. These names tend to be less frequently used than Esther.

See names
in meaning and etymology.