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Gender: Female Meaning of Isobel: "pledged to God" Origin of Isobel: Scottish variation of Isabel

The name Isobel is a girl's name of Scottish origin meaning "pledged to God". Isobel and is often added to lists like Classic Baby Names with a Twist and discussed in our forums with posts like "Baby a Day".

From the experts:

The Scottish spelling of Isabel has a definite character of her own, the 'o' giving her an extra infusion of strength but also an element of confusion. How do you pronounce that? Answer: Exactly like Isabel or Isabelle.

Isobels have appeared on several high-profile TV shows: Isobel Crawley is Matthew's mother on Downton Abbey, Isobel Fleming is a Vampire Diaries character, and Isobel Stevens was known as Izzie on Grey's Anatomy.

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

Famous People Named Isobel

Isobel Baillie, Scottish operatic soprano
Isobel Barnett (born Isobel Morag Marshall), Scottish radio and TV personality
Isobel Buchanan, Scottish operatic soprano
Isobel Campbell, Scottish singer-songwriter formerly of band Belle and Sebastian
Isobel Elsom, English actress
Isobel Dorothy "Bel" Powley, English actress
Isobel Gowdie, Scottish woman convicted of witchcraft in 1662
Isobel Hawking, mother of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking
Isobel of Huntingdon, great-grandmother of Robert the Bruce of Scotland
Isobel Joyce, Irish cricketer
Isobel Selina "Belle" Miller Kuhn, Canadian missionary to China
Isobel Lennart, American screenwriter
Isobel "Bel" Powley, British actress
Isobel Mary Redmond, Australian politician
Isobel Kelly O'Brien (b. 2013), daughter of actress Jessica St. Clair and playwright Dan O'Brien

Pop Culture References for the name Isobel

Isobel Flemming, character on TV's "The Vampire Diaries"
Dr. Isobel Katherine "Izzie" Stevens, character on TV's "Grey's Anatomy"
Isobel Lanley, main character in the Nevermore book series by Kelly Creagh
Isobel Crawley, character on TV's "Downton Abbey"
Isobel Kearney, character on New Zealand soap "Shortland Street"
Isobel Martin, character in "The Night Circus"
Isobel MacDougal, character in J.K. Rowling's "The Original Forty"
"Isobel," song by Bjork
"Isobel," song by Dido
Isobel Pickwell, character on TV's Bad Education


Ellaspivey Says:


I do

Laurel16 Says:


This is my middle name, and my family and I have always pronounced it with the OH sound, does anyone else say it this way?

Rosie2525 Says:


I've always loved Isabella, but it's become too popular for me to ever use. And I've been suggested Isobel before, but I guess after going through so many names, I've come to appreciate Isobel more. Plus it's Scottish, so that's a bonus! :D

briarblossom Says:


I love Isobel! It's my favorite version.

Izzie Says:


Uh... It's actually a very girly name. A very scottish name. It's pronounced the same, and is actually incredibly common. It's MY name, by the way, so thanks. I've met a girl with the exact same name (she also has the same middle name, 'Rose'). To prove my point of it's femininity, it was Isobel of Huntingdon's name (a scottish royal), plus was Izzie Steven's real name in Grey's anatomy, who by the way, was incredibly girly.

Izzie Says:


It's my name :) Most people don't like it, and would call me IsOOObel, just to annoy me when i was younger, making me wish it was spelled differently. I love it now

Izzie Says:


My name!

Alicia1 Says:


I love this name, its so cool that it's Scottish! I like the less frilly spelling, the meaning is beautiful.

paulapuddephatt Says:


I love this name, and currently prefer this spelling. I do love Isabella too, but it is so popular right now. I go back and forth, though. All are beautiful names.

beachbear Says:


"Isobel" reminds me of words like "isometric" and "isolate" and "isosceles." I don't hate it but I definitely prefer Isabel. Not a fan of Isabelle as it's too frilly.

DaiseHorse Says:


I love my name so much <3

Isobel Giordano Says:


I used to never appreciate my name, but now I know how wonderful it really is. I don't prefer Isabel, because it's boring, Isobel is unique and beautiful.

foreverharriet Says:


I love all the variations of this name, but this is my favourite. My dad's family a few generations back were Scottish, and we still have the surname, so this would be a great nod to that heritage.

kat_amanda Says:


Love this name and this spelling

SimoneKadele Says:


The only spelling I really love. :)

Theodora_Phoenix Says:


Sorry, but I must say that I vastly prefer Isabel.

Catastroffy Says:


Definitely my favourite in the Isabel family :)

adelinejane Says:


It isn't "dreadfully masculine", it's just a little "tougher" than Isabel or Isabella. Isobel is the same name, just different spelling.

Jagienka Says:


I was convinced it was misspelt. Looks awful. Isabel or Isabella are very feminine and beautiful, Isobel is dreadfully masculine.

adelinejane Says:


I love the O. Isobel is strong and cute at the same time. It's my sister's name and I used to say "Iss-obel) instead of the Z sound when I was younger.

Gigi97 Says:


This is the best variation of "Isabelle/Isabella", to me. I think its because of the O, which in general makes a name stronger and pleasanter to hear.

kiwipop Says:


Not a fan of the substituted o.

Olivia Lintern Says:


I'm due in July and we've finally (and trust me when I say 'finally'!) decided that Isobel Maeve will be our little girl's name - if the baby is indeed a girl (we've opted to wait until the birth to find out baby's sex).

scblovesnames Says:


Gorgeous. I think I like this even more the Isabel now. Isobel goes on the list.

AliciaDawn Says:


I love this version. I've always thought that Isabelle and Isabella were pretty if not a little fussy.Isabel was better but it still seemed to "sugar sweet". Isobel just hits it home. The "O" is not only unique but seems to help even out the sweetness of the overall name. It also reminds me a bit of Isolde from the Tristan and Isolde story which is kind of a cool factor. Also I've got strong Scottish roots so the fact that its Scottish variation is like a cherry on top!

Saffron_Rice Says:


I found the previous post (by Rose) interesting. My Welsh grandmother was christened Isabella and was always known as Belle. When she had to spell her name formally she used the Isobel version. Her daughter was also known as Isobel.

Rose Says:


This is my first name, I go by it. I didn't like it when I was little, and no one pronounced the 'oh' in it. Now I really love it and love the pronunciation, and try and get people to use it. I've only ever met one other Isobel, and we always laugh and how disappointed our Welsh parents were when we met.
It is often said to be Scottish or Swedish, but my mother got it from her Mother, who almost called HER Isobel, because SHE was almost called Isobel by her Welsh mother. It was common there.

RaquelLS Says:


I think it's lovely and strong. The "O" gives it an edge... I don't mind Isabel but Isabelle is a bit too frilly for me.

ldougie Says:


This looks like it should be a boy's name, even though it is pronounced like Isabelle

Guest Says:


Everybody has their preferences. :P
I like Isabel out of all of them

MaryKathryn Says:


NO! I don't like any of those other names, but I LOVE Isobel!

vintageluvs Says:


Is it so bad to love Isobel and not Isabel, Isabelle, and Isabella?

mabespark Says:


I much prefer Isabel. The 'o' just kind of throws me off, I guess. :)

LadyVanRaven Says:


Just like Isabelle/Isabel. The only differences between them are the spellings. Pronunciations are all the same. :)

scgogirl Says:


how is this pronounced: like Isabelle, or like ee so bell. (the same e as in eel)?