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Gender: Female Meaning of Elspeth: "pledged to God" Origin of Elspeth: Scottish variation of Elizabeth

The name Elspeth is a girl's name of Scottish origin meaning "pledged to God". Elspeth and is often added to lists like Unique Girl Names: Unusual and Rare and discussed in our forums with posts like "Quick Question Thread?!".

From the experts:

Elspeth is one of those names that never quite made it out of the British Isles--particularly Scotland, but possesses a winningly childlike charm. Elspeth was used by Sir Walter Scott for several of his female characters.

Elspeth Huxley was a prolific Kenyan-born U.K. writer, best known for the autobiographical The Flame Trees of Thika--she was connected by marriage to the illustrous Huxley family.

A close cousin is Elsbeth, as in the recurring character Elsbeth Tascioni on The Good Wife. Embeth is a more distant relation.

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

Famous People Named Elspeth

Elspeth Joscelin Huxley, British novelist
Elspeth Ballantyne, Australian actress
Elspeth Thompson, British gardener and writer
Elspeth Howe, Baroness Howe of Idlicote, English life peer
Elspeth March (b. Jean Elspeth Mackenzie), English actress
Elspeth Hanson, English violist of the string quartet Bond
Elspeth Attwooll, Scottish MEP
Elspeth Denning, Australian Olympic field hockey player
Elspeth MacGregor Cameron, Canadian biographer and poet
Elspeth Gibson, English fashion designer
Elspeth Hallsmith, birth name of Emma Smith, British novelist

Pop Culture References for the name Elspeth

Elspeth Gordie, character in Obernewtyn Chronicles
Elspeth Tirel, from Magic: The Gathering
Elspeth Noblin, character in Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

Elspie, Elsepet, Elsbet, Elspet, Elsbeth


Dev80 Says:


Because I'm a geek, this name makes me think of "Andromeda" (it was a sci fi show from 2000-2005), there's a character called Elsbett Mossadim-Bolivar. Spelled differently, but still...

Mhill46 Says:


I have no idea why, but there is something about this name I really really hate.

paulapuddephatt Says:


I do like this name, but I prefer Elizabeth. Then again, Elsie is a wonderful nickname, and seems to arise more naturally from Elspeth, although it can certainly be a nickname for Elizabeth, and perhaps more so, Elisabeth, due to the "s" in the latter spelling. Of course, Elsie is also frequently used as an independent name, so there is no problem there.

-EagleEyes- Says:


I love this name! It's great if you want something similar to Elizabeth but more unusual. It's vintage but modern and bewitching all at the same time. Plus, the nickname options Elsie and Ellie are great as well!

EasterBunny Says:


I pronounce Elspeth & Elsbeth the same, and I have relatives with both spellings. I also prefer Elspeth :)

abertawe Says:


I think you can get away with soft 'p' (essentially a 'b' sound) while spelling it Elspeth.

georgiaO Says:


I love this as a middle name. It's so cute!

EW314 Says:


Such a beautiful, understated and underused name. It has a sweetly vintage feel which I love, and plenty of cute nickname options.

cabosanmucus Says:


Flora_kate said exactly what I was thinking. It sounds like spitting hair out of your mouth. So many prettier variations like Elise.

babymagic Says:


Elizabeth with a lisp

Zelliew Says:


It looks like a typo........Elsbeth is better

flora_kate Says:


Elspeth is one of those names I really *want* to like, I really do, but every time I say it aloud it sounds like I'm spitting hair out of my mouth or something.... :/

headintheclouds Says:


I really love this name. My dilemma though: I like the way Elspeth looks better than Elsbeth, but I prefer the pronunciation of Elsbeth :/ To me, Elspeth can sound rather harsh said aloud with the "p" sound, while Elsbeth spelled looks like it's missing the letters i and a and seems like a typo for Elisabeth...

Essa Says:


Definitely a great name if you're wanting to honour an Elizabeth but you want something a little less conventional and a little more interesting and unusual. Plus you still have the availability of some of Elizabeth's great nicknames such as Ellie, Elsie, Elsa and even Beth, Betty, Betsy at a stretch.

vintageluvs Says:


Thank you! That's what I originally thought, but I wasn't quite sure. :D

faithnamer Says:


I pronounce the beginning of "Els" like the beginning of Elsie and then the end, "peth", like Beth with a 'p'.

vintageluvs Says:


Is this pronounced like "Elle's pith" or "Als-pith" or more like "Elle's path"? Sorry. I just think this is a really cute but beautiful name worthy of revival, so I want to give it the attention it deserves. Thanks! :D

faithnamer Says:


I met someone with this name a few days ago. She was so sweet and gentle and her name fit her perfectly!