Gender: Female Meaning of Esther: "star" Origin of Esther: Persian Esther's Popularity in 2019: #167

Esther Origin and Meaning

The name Esther is a girl's name of Persian origin meaning "star".

Esther was derived from the Old Persian word stāra, meaning “star.” In the Old Testament, Esther, originally named Hadassah, was the captured Jewish wife of the King of Persia who risked her life to save her exiled people from annihilation. This story is celebrated by Jews on the holiday of Purim, so that it has traditionally been given to girls around that time.

One of the major female figures in the Bible, quiet, studious Esther was in the Top 50 a hundred years ago and stayed in the Top 100 until 1935. It is now on the ascent again, appealing to parents—Ewan McGregor is one—seeking an underused biblical name with a strong history and serious image.

Judy Garland played two memorable Esthers--in Meet Me in St. Louis and A Star is Born; Esther Summerson is a main character in Dickens' Bleak House and Esther Greenwood is the autobiographical character's name in Sylvia Plath's A Bell Jar. Someone who glamorized the name is champion swimmer-turned-movie-star Esther Williams.

Madonna adopted Esther as her Kaballah name.

16 names similar to Esther

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Esther. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Esther, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!

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


Rank in US: #167

- this week

Famous People Named Esther

Pop Culture References for the name Esther

Hesther, Essa, Hettie, Essy, Etti, Esti, Etty, Essey, Esta, Hittie, Ettie, Estee, Ettey, Essie, Esthur, Hetty

Esther's International Variations

Estée (French) Estzer, Ester, Eszter, Eszti (Slavic) Eistir (Irish)


Selkit Says:


My mother's name, so it's weird for me to see it getting popular for children! It is pretty, though.

Babies123456 Says:



fromtheocean12 Says:


Esther is pretty different from what I usually like, but is the only "old-lady" name that I truly love. It's just so pretty <3

Tora Says:


Love the meaning and the biblical story behind it. Don't love the sound, but its growing on me.

Ella Says:


I can picture this on a boy.I knew a male Esther.

headintheclouds Says:


I've always been torn on my opinion of Esther. The spelling and sound of it honestly is unappealing to me, with the pairing of the -s sound and lisping -th in the middle. And if you pronounce it as Ester, it just makes me think of chemical compounds and Easter.

But I love the feel of the name and associations that come with Esther-- its meaning of star is beautiful, the biblical story of the Queen Esther is empowering and inspiring, and I've always thought this seemed like an impactful name, where the bearer would be highly accomplished in a regal serene sort of way (I get the same vibe with Irene). Ultimately, it's not for me, but I'd always love to see real life Esther name sightings!

paulapuddephatt Says:


Not a fan, even though Sylvia Plath used it for the protagonist in her, heavily autobiographical, novel

TheSlothPrincess Says:


A pretty, soft sounding name. I've never met an Esther, but the name makes me think of a kind, gentle soul. A lovely choice for a daughter.

shelbynh Says:


Love this! Sophisticated, strong name...and nickname 'Essie' is so cute!

EW314 Says:


Esther is gorrrrrrgeous! Such an understated, elegant, classy choice.

EW314 Says:


Love the idea of Etta for Esther!

ashleyrams Says:


I used to love the name Esther because it was one of my favorite books in the bible...then the movie Orphan came along and had to ruin the name for me.

Impwood Says:


I like this name with the diminutives Essie, Essa, Ettie and Etta.

esmith0326 Says:


I used to hate my name when I was younger, I always went by nicknames. But now I LOVE my name, especially because of Meet Me In St. Louis because Judy Garland's character and I have the same first and last names. (How cool is that ?!)

NaomiNY Says:


There's a character named Esther in one of my favorite anime.

Esther Rogers Says:


I pronounce my name Es-star, I think it was meant to be pronounce Es-T-er but I like the star in my name therefore I introduce myself Es-star

Essi Anna Eliisa Paasikivi Says:


Here in Finland name Essi is abbreviation of name Esther.

indiefendi2 Says:


Esther is quite underrated. I rarely hear it. I love it. When I think of Esther I think of a Supreme Court Justice.

eveyalecia Says:


I know how it's pronounced, but it still feels lispy when I say it. I think it's the "st" sound... anyway, that's just why I personally wouldn't use it, but it's still a beautiful name that I'd love to see someone else use!

ashbee Says:


It's pronounced ES-ter. The "h" is silent. It was my great-grandmother's name. I also think it's pretty and has a rich history.

auntanne1122 Says:


This is one of my favorite vintage, biblical and classic girl's names.

idkjustbrowsing Says:


Like Esst-err

Zoey_Artemisia Says:


Oh ok thanks.

Analia Says:


The way I've heard it pronounced is Es-ter, the "h" is silent

Zoey_Artemisia Says:


Hows it pronounced?

idkjustbrowsing Says:


I really like the name Esther, it's pretty and has style.

eveyalecia Says:


I think this name is so pretty, and I love the biblical story of Esther. But it feels so lispy when I say it aloud :(