Where Do The Names Belle And Bella Come From?


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Will Martin answered
Originally the name Bella probably came from Isabel or Isabella, a Spanish version of Elizabeth. However, both Bella and its French equivalent, Belle, have long been associated with the meaning of "beauty." In French and Italian Belle and Bella mean beautiful, both deriving from the late Latin word bellus.

Neither name is very common today. The name "Belle" has fairy-tale connotations from the well-known French tale "La Belle et la Bete" (Beauty and the Beast) and in English is often used as a word rather than a name as in "the belle of the ball." It used to be used sometimes as a short form of Annabelle or Annabella, but this is now almost unknown.

The name Belinda is probably also a diminutive or pet form of Bella or Belle. It was popular in the 18th century when it was seen as a romantic name (as in Belinda from Alexander Pope's mock-epic poem, "The Rape of the Lock") but is less common today.

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