Diminutive of Elizabeth
"pledged to God"

Bess Origin and Meaning

The name Bess is a girl's name meaning "pledged to God".

Although she declared her independence as far back as the reign of Elizabeth I--Good Queen Bess, Bess now sounds less passé than Beth or Betsy.

# 1000 in the US

Bess Rank in US Top 1000

Bess Popularity

Famous People Named Bess

  • Elizabeth Virginia "Bess" TrumanFirst Lady of the U.S. as wife of President Harry Truman
  • Bess MyersonMiss America 1945
  • Elizabeth "Bess" Throckmortonlady,in,waiting of Queen Elizabeth I; wife to Sir Walter Raleigh
  • Wilhelmina Beatrice "Bess" (Rahner) Houdiniwife of escape artist Harry Houdini
  • Elizabeth "Bess" of HardwickCountess of Shrewsbury, Elizabethan English noblewoman
  • Elizabeth Christiana "Bess" (Hervey) CavendishDuchess of Devonshire, early English woman novelist
  • Good Queen Bessone of Queen Elizabeth I's many titles
  • Jamison Bess Belushidaughter of actor Jim Belushi

Bess in Pop Culture

  • Bess Marvincharacter in the Nancy Drew series
  • Bess McNeillcharacter in film "Breaking the Waves"
  • Besscharacter in opera "Porgy and Bess"
  • Bessalternate personality of Jessica Buchanan on American soap "One Life to Live"
  • Besscharacter in Erin Hunter's "Warriors" book series
  • Besscharacter in the movie "Crush"
  • Bess Laurencedaughter of Amy in "Little Men"
  • Bess"the landlord's black,eyed daughter," character in the poem "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes and song by Loreena McKennit