Rarely heard today-- it fell off the list around 1980--Bernice is a biblical name of Greek origin. In the Bible, she is a sister of King Agrippa. Bernice was a Top 100 name in the US for more than three decades--from 1900 to 1936--hitting a high of Number 39 in 1921.
The original spelling of the name was Berenice, the name of the wife of Ptolemy I of Egypt, and it's also the name of a fourth century saint. Berenice Abbott was an important twentieth century photographer, and Bernice was the birth name of Bea Arthur. One of F. Scott Fitzgerald's best remembered short stories is "Bernice Bobs her Hair."
, Bernice has a plethora of nicknames--you can take your pick of Berry, Benny, Bernie, Binnie and Bunny.