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Gender: Female Meaning of Bertha: "bright, glorious" Origin of Bertha: German

The name Bertha is a girl's name of German origin meaning "bright, glorious". Bertha and is often added to lists like Old People Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "A brother or sister for little Jack or Olivia".

From the experts:

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.

Find other names based on Bertha using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Bertha

Saint Bertha of Val d'Or, abbess of Avenay
Saint Bertha of Kent, Anglo-Saxon queen
Bertha Felicitas Sophie Freifrau von Suttner, Austrian novelist; first woman Nobel Peace Prize winner
Bertha of Savoy, Holy Roman Empress; wife of Henry IV
Bertha of Holland, Queen consort of Philip I of the Franks
Bertha of Sulzbach, Empress consort of Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Comnenus
Bertha of Swabia, Queen consort of Rudolph II of Burgundy
Bertha Wrenham Wilson, first woman Puisne Justice of the Canadian Supreme Court
Bertha Benz, wife of German automaker Karl Benz; first person to drive a car long distance
Bertha Krupp von Bohlen und Albach, German businesswoman
Bertha Southey Brammall, Australian novelist
Bertha Brainard, American TV executive
Bertha "Chippie" Hill, American blues singer
Bertha Kalich (born Beylke Kalakh), Ukrainian-American Yiddish actress
Bertha Knight Landes, first woman mayor of a major U.S. city (Seattle)
Bertha Amy Lewis, English operatic contralto
Bertha Mahony, American founder of The Horn Book review
Bertha Matilde Honoré Palmer, American businesswoman and socialite
Bertha Pappenheim aka Anna O., Austrian feminist and Freud patient
Bertha Lee Pate, American blues singer
Bertha Runkle, American novelist
Bertha Louise Townsend Toulmin, American tennis player

Pop Culture References for the name Bertha

Bertha Antoinetta Mason, Edward Rochester's wife in "Jane Eyre"
Bertha Dorset, character in Edith Wharton's "The House of Mirth"
Bertha Jorkins, character in the Harry Potter series
Bertha, character in Fred: The Movie
Mal Bertha, main character in the Disney TV movie "Descendants"
Bertha Weedon, character in Jenny Nimmo's "The Children of the Red King" series
Bertha Shirley, mother of Anne in “Anne of Green Gables” by L. M. Montgomery

Bertha's International Variations

Bertina, Berrty, Berrta, Berti, Berrti, Bertilde, Bettina (German) Berta (Polish) Berte (Norwegian) Berthe, Bertille (French) Birdie, Bertie, Berit, Bird, Birta (Swedish)


mrs_anton_yelchin1990 Says:


I dont particularly care for this name. Not because of the "Big Bertha" connotations, I just dont like the "birth" part.

Hero_Phoebus Says:


Never have been a fan of Bertha, when I was a young child, I thought it was a word that related to child-birth! Each to their own, of course.

zmakqp Says:


I prefer Mirtha, it sounds pretty, mysterious, and elegant.

paulapuddephatt Says:


I don't like this name, but I don't think it's the worst name out there. Was it the name of the insane first wife in "Jane Eyre"? I seem to remember that it was, but not entirely sure. Guess that would be a possible factor in people disliking the name in general. The sound isn't great, but it's not exactly Gertrude. Now, *that* is awful, in my opinion. As to the character in Charlotte Bronte's novel, she got a pretty bad deal, tbh. Jane was sweet, but didn't anyone feel sorry for the first Mrs. Rochester, being hidden in the attic for years and left to rot, basically because she had an illness?

Daiseymae Says:


Still hideous. We named our trash dumpster Big Bertha!!!!!!!

beachbear Says:


Wasn't Bertha one of the Butt Sisters?

EvaThyssen Says:


Bertha is way better than those weirdly spelled or invented names of today, like Lakynn or Khandalyce or Madisyn or Madalyn or Kaelyn or Rayleigh... at least Bertha is authentic and she has a lot of history and namesakes.

EvaThyssen Says:


That was like a century ago, get over it!

Liberty Bell Says:


This was my grandmother's name. I actually think it would sound quite spunky on a little girl.

ameliejane123 Says:


I'm glad I'm not the only one that thinks so!

ameliejane123 Says:


I would love to meet a young Bertha.

Theodora_Phoenix Says:


Come on now! Bertha isn't THAT bad.

Daiseymae Says:


The nickname of "Big Bertha" killed this name for many.

DearestJules Says:


Bertha was a character played by Jennette McCurdy in Fred: The Movie on Nickelodeon. I think she's part of the reason why I like this name so much. The Bertha in the movie wasn't fat and ugly like the name might connote; she was a bit off-beat from everyone else, but she was all right. I liked her. It just goes to show that Bertha could work (on a character, at least).

DearestJules Says:


Is it possible for a name to be so out that it's in? If so, then Bertha might just work! Consider the cute nickname Birdie (Bertie).

Catastroffy Says:


I actually think this name is quite pretty, but chacun son gout, I suppose.

Daiseymae Says:


The ugliest name ever known to mankind.