19. Elizabeth (Girl)
Meaning of Elizabeth: “pledged to God”
Origin of Elizabeth: Hebrew
Elizabeth, one of the premiere classic girls’ names. Yet Elizabeth has so much going for it—rich history, broad appeal, and timeless style—that no matter how many little girls there are named Lizzie, Eliza, and Beth out there, you can still make Elizabeth your own.
Elizabeth nicknames on the table today include Libby, Bess, Tibby, and even the so-antiquated-it’s-cool Betty. Also in play is the fashionable Eliza. There has been only one year since 1880 that Elizabeth slipped one place below the Top 25, and that was in 1945—when Betty was Number 11.
In the Bible, Elizabeth was the mother of John the Baptist, and two of England’s most notable queens have been Elizabeth I and II. Another memorable bearer was Elizabeth Taylor—who hated to be called Liz.
The Elisabeth spelling, found in several cultures, is represented by such notables as Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Elisabeth Shue, Elisabeth Moss, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Elisabeth is nicknamed Bethsy in Buddenbrooks, Bep in The Diary of Anne Frank, and Betsy in Wolverine.
19. Miles (Boy)
Meaning of Miles: “solider or merciful”
Origin of Miles: English form of Milo
Miles, which took on a permanent veneer of cool thanks to jazz great Miles Davis, is a confident and polished name that has been appreciated in particular by celebrity baby namers, including Elisabeth Shue, Mayim Bialik, Larenz Tate, Joan Cusack and Lionel Ritchie.
Miles was the name of the first translator of the Bible into English–the English monk Miles Coverdale, which is also the name of a character in Hawthorne’s The Blithedale Romance. Miles Hendon figures in Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper, and Miles was one of the young children in Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw. Miles–or Myles–Standish was the leader of the Pilgrim fathers.
Miles has also been a favorite movie and TV character name from the days of Murphy Brown to 24 and Avatar.