Ruth, with its air of calm and compassion, was the third most popular name in the 1890s, remaining in the Top 10 through the 1920s. It's still in use today as some parents tiring of Rachel and Rebecca are giving Ruth a second thought. Some see such Old Testament girls' names as Ruth and Esther rising on the heels of boy equivalents Abel and Moses.
The biblical Ruth was the loyal and devoted daughter-in-law of Naomi who, when electing to leave her people and stay with the older woman, speaks the famous lines, "Whither thou goest, I will go."
Ruth has had numerous notable namesakes, from Supreme Court justice Ginsburg to crime writer Rendell to sexologist Dr. Ruth Westheimer.