"bright, glorious"

Bertha Origin and Meaning

The name Bertha is a girl's name of German origin meaning "bright, glorious".

Ever since the enormous German cannon was dubbed by Allied soldiers "Big Bertha" in World War I, this name hasn't worked for a sweet little baby girl. But this was not always so. Hard as it might be to imagine now, Bertha was a Top 100 name until the 1930s, and in the 1880s was the seventh most popular name in the land--the equal of Joseph.

Bertha, aka Berchta, was a Teurtonic goddess borrowed from Norse mythology, regarded in her earliest incarnations as a beautiful and benevolent spirit. Bertha is an ancient Germanic name attached to the 6th century Saint Bertha of Kent, who was instrumental in the spread of Christianity, and it was the name of both the mother and daughter of Charlemagne.

In literature, Bertha Mason is the first wife of Rochester in Jane Eyre, and a character in Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth. The French version Berthe is represented by the French Impressionist painter Berthe Morisot. All in all, though, modern parents might do better to consider the Polish version, Berta.

# 958 in the US

Bertha Rank in US Top 1000

Bertha Popularity

Famous People Named Bertha

  • Saint Bertha of Val d'Orabbess of Avenay
  • Saint Bertha of KentAnglo,Saxon queen
  • Bertha Felicitas Sophie Freifrau von SuttnerAustrian novelist; first woman Nobel Peace Prize winner
  • Bertha of SavoyHoly Roman Empress; wife of Henry IV
  • Bertha of HollandQueen consort of Philip I of the Franks
  • Bertha of SulzbachEmpress consort of Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Comnenus
  • Bertha of SwabiaQueen consort of Rudolph II of Burgundy
  • Bertha Wrenham Wilsonfirst woman Puisne Justice of the Canadian Supreme Court
  • Bertha Benzwife of German automaker Karl Benz; first person to drive a car long distance
  • Bertha Krupp von Bohlen und AlbachGerman businesswoman
  • Bertha Southey BrammallAustralian novelist
  • Bertha BrainardAmerican TV executive
  • Bertha "Chippie" HillAmerican blues singer
  • Bertha Kalich (born Beylke Kalakh)Ukrainian,American Yiddish actress
  • Bertha Knight Landesfirst woman mayor of a major U.S. city (Seattle)
  • Bertha Amy LewisEnglish operatic contralto
  • Bertha MahonyAmerican founder of The Horn Book review
  • Bertha Matilde Honoré PalmerAmerican businesswoman and socialite
  • Bertha Pappenheim aka Anna O.Austrian feminist and Freud patient
  • Bertha Lee PateAmerican blues singer
  • Bertha RunkleAmerican novelist
  • Bertha Louise Townsend ToulminAmerican tennis player

Bertha in Pop Culture

  • Bertha Antoinetta MasonEdward Rochester's wife in "Jane Eyre"
  • Bertha Dorsetcharacter in Edith Wharton's "The House of Mirth"
  • Bertha Jorkinscharacter in the Harry Potter series
  • Berthacharacter in Fred: The Movie
  • Mal Berthamain character in the Disney TV movie "Descendants"
  • Bertha Weedoncharacter in Jenny Nimmo's "The Children of the Red King" series
  • Bertha Shirleymother of Anne in “Anne of Green Gables” by L. M. Montgomery
  • Berthaobese woman in the Garfield comic strip who dated Jon Arbuckle before losing 200 pounds