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Gender: Female Meaning of Bess: "pledged to God" Origin of Bess: Diminutive of Elizabeth

The name Bess is a girl's name meaning "pledged to God". Bess and is often added to lists like Middle Names for Girls and discussed in our forums with posts like "Name Association Game".

From the experts:

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.

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

Famous People Named Bess

Elizabeth Virginia "Bess" Truman, First Lady of the U.S. as wife of President Harry Truman
Bess Myerson, Miss America 1945
Elizabeth "Bess" Throckmorton, lady-in-waiting of Queen Elizabeth I; wife to Sir Walter Raleigh
Wilhelmina Beatrice "Bess" (Rahner) Houdini, wife of escape artist Harry Houdini
Elizabeth "Bess" of Hardwick, Countess of Shrewsbury, Elizabethan English noblewoman
Elizabeth Christiana "Bess" (Hervey) Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, early English woman novelist
Good Queen Bess, one of Queen Elizabeth I's many titles
Jamison Bess Belushi, daughter of actor Jim Belushi

Pop Culture References for the name Bess

Bess Marvin, character in the Nancy Drew series
Bess McNeill, character in film "Breaking the Waves"
Bess, character in opera "Porgy and Bess"
Bess, alternate personality of Jessica Buchanan on American soap "One Life to Live"
Bess, character in Erin Hunter's "Warriors" book series
Bess, character in the movie "Crush"
Bess Laurence, daughter 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

Bessa, Besse


paulapuddephatt Says:


I wouldn't use this as an independent name, but it's so cute as a nickname for Elizabeth.

eyestrainsam Says:


for some reason, I really like this.

Essa Says:


This is so cute. Jess and Tess are both quite popular, why not Bess?

Julie Says:


My mother wanted to name this however my grandmother threatened to disown her if she did.