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

The name Bessie is a girl's name of Hebrew origin meaning "pledged to God". Bessie and is often added to lists like Nicknames for Elizabeth and discussed in our forums with posts like "A Lot Can Happen In Sixty Years - Part 3".

From the experts:

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.

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

Famous People Named Bessie

Bessie Smith, American jazz singer
(Bessie) Wallis Warfield Simpson, Duchess 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 Coleman, American aviatrix
Elizabeth Margaret "Bessie" Braddock, English MP for Liverpool
Bessie Amelia Emery Head, Botswanian writer
Bessie Potter Vonnoh, American sculptor
Bessie Banks, American soul singer
Bessie Carter, English actress
(Bessie) Lillian Gordy Carter, mother of U.S. President Jimmy Carter

Pop Culture References for the name Bessie

Bessie, character in The Faraway Tree series by Enid Blyton
Bessie Busybody, character from the TV show "Lazy Town"
Bessie, Mrs. Forrester's cow in Cranford
Bessie Clavell, character in "The Sims 3" computer game

Bessy, Bessi, Bessee, Bessie, Bessey


Daiseymae Says:


My great-aunt Bessie never liked her name, so she changed it to Betsy.

Bessie Says:


My name is Bessie. I have always been Bessie. I always will be Bessie. I get the cow thing literally every day, or I say my name and they hear it as Betsy, and I always have to say 'No, it's Besssssssie, like a cow.' I'm tired of this. When I was little I hated cows for this reason. But I'm proud of my name. I'm named for my grandmother, and she for hers. The first Bessie in my family was named for Queen Elizabeth. Are these not good people? Would you think cow if my name was Elizabeth instead?

I'm all for Bessie's return.

-EagleEyes- Says:


My first association too, unfortunately.

QuxxnAphrosephone Says:


I would love to see this come back into style.

indiefendi2 Says:


I can't get over that this is often used for cows. 😣

tori101 Says:


The name of my childhood dog who was really clever and my best bud : )