Diminutive of Elizabeth
"pledged to God"

Bessie Origin and Meaning

The name Bessie is a girl's name of Hebrew origin meaning "pledged to God".

After a century of association with horses and cows, this name just could be ready for revival by a fearless baby namer -- after all, it did happen to Jessie and Becky.

Bessie has been in use since the seventeenth century and is found as characters in Jane Eyre and in Sean O'Casey's play The Plough and the Stars. More recently, she was an animated automotive character in the movie Cars.

On the popularity lists until 1975, Bessie was a Top 25 name from 1880 to 1906, reaching Number 9 in 1889. Notable namesakes include the great blues singer Bessie Smith, and Bessie Coleman, the first African-American female aviator.

And if you want to go more refined, you could simplify to Bess.

# in the US

Bessie Rank in US Top 1000

Bessie Popularity

Famous People Named Bessie

  • Bessie SmithAmerican jazz singer
  • (Bessie) Wallis Warfield SimpsonDuchess of Windsor, American socialite; wife of Britain's King Edward VIII
  • Bessie Love (born Juanita Horton)American silent film actress
  • Bessie Barriscale (born Elizabeth Barry Scale)American stage and silent film actress
  • Bessie ColemanAmerican aviatrix
  • Elizabeth Margaret "Bessie" BraddockEnglish MP for Liverpool
  • Bessie Amelia Emery HeadBotswanian writer
  • Bessie Potter VonnohAmerican sculptor
  • Bessie BanksAmerican soul singer
  • Bessie CarterEnglish actress
  • (Bessie) Lillian Gordy Cartermother of U.S. President Jimmy Carter

Bessie in Pop Culture

  • Bessiecharacter in The Faraway Tree series by Enid Blyton
  • Bessie Busybodycharacter from the TV show "Lazy Town"
  • BessieMrs. Forrester's cow in Cranford
  • Bessie Clavellcharacter in "The Sims 3" computer game