Isabella is a major superstar baby girl name, Number 3 on the charts after being the top name for two years running--due at least in some part to the 'Twilight effect' and lead character Isabella 'Bella' Swan.
Isabella has amazing cross-cultural appeal, feeling both modern and traditional, and is popular among parents ranging from Anglophile to Hispanic, and more feminine and romantic than Isabel. An amazing success story for a name that wasn't even in the Top 1000 in the 1980's.
Part of the reason Isabella is so successful is that it appeals in a wide variety of ways to a large number of parents. It's feminine but also classic, has a Latinate history yet is comfortable on the international stage. Some parents choose it to get to the short form Bella, while others prefer to use the irreverent Izzy or Issy, while still others insist on using it in its full four-syllable glory.
Isabella is familiar through various European queens, and was used by Shakespeare in "Measure for Measure."
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