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Gender: F Pronunciation: Gri-ZEL-da Meaning of Griselda: "grey battle" Origin of Griselda: German

Griselda is a famous folklore figure, noted for her patience and obedience. Her story has been told by Petrarch, Chaucer, Boccaccio and set to music by Scarlatti, Vivaldi and Massenet.

In the most famous telling of her story, Griselda's husband tests her fidelity and obedience three times. Once at the birth of her daughter, whom he asks Griselda to give up to be put to death. Griselda agrees. Her husband asks the same of their second child, a son. Again, Griselda agrees. Finally, her husband renounces her to marry another. Uncomplainingly, Griselda leaves. Eventually her husband reveals that he was testing her, and surprises her by showing her her alive and well children and taking her back in.

Griselda is Anglicized as Grisell or Grizell. Zelda makes an attractive nickname option.

Famous People Named Griselda

Griselda Blanco, Colombian drug lord
Griselda Gambaro, b. 1928, Argentina's most celebrated playwright
Griselda Siciliani, Argentinian actress
Griselda Greaves, wife of English novelist Alan Garner

Pop Culture References for the name Griselda

Griselda, perfect wife whose patience was sorely tried by her husband in "The Decameron" (1350). Chaucer retold her story, and the patience of a Griselda became proverbial in the Middle Ages. Philip Massinger makes a typical reference to the name in the 17th century: "shall you sit puling (crying), / Like a patient Grizzle, and be laughed at?" Survived in Scotland until the 18th century, but rare in all English-speaking countries since the beginning of the 19th century. By this time "to grizzle" had taken on the meaning of "whining, sulking."
"Griselda," opera by Alessandro Scarlatti based on The Decameron
Griselda Blackwood, character from TV's "The Worst Witch"
Griselda, character in "The Cuckoo Clock" (1877) by Mrs Molesworth
Griselda Grantly (later Lady Dumbello), character in Anthony Trollope's Chronicles of Barsetshire series
Barbara Griselda, the hideous Countess Gruffanuff (wife to Jenkins) in Thackeray's "The Rose and the Ring" (1855)
Griselda, minor character in the video game Odin Sphere
Griselda, minor character in Sword Art Online
"Auntie Griselda," song by The Monkees
"Griselda," song by Yo La Tengo