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Updated February 28, 2024

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Girl name origins & meanings

  • Persian : Star

What does Esther mean and stand for?

The name Esther is of Persian origin and means "star." It could potentially be a derivative of the name Ishtar, who was a goddess. This name has been in use since the Protestant Reformation.

Syllables: 2

How Popular Is The Name Esther

Family name origins & meanings

  • French and Jewish : metronymic from the female name Esther, from Hebrew Ester, the name borne in the Bible by a Jewish captive of the Persian King Ahasuerus. According to the Biblical story, she became his favorite concubine and by her wise persuasion managed to save the Jews of Persia from the machinations of the royal counselor Haman. Her name is probably a derivative of Persian esther ‘star’.
  • German : habitational name from any of various places in Bavaria named Ester.

Famous people who gave their babies this name


According to Social Security Administration data, Esther has been rising in popularity, breaking the top 200 in 2016. It reached a peak rank of 151 in 2018.

However, it is the 6th most popular name on

According to Google search data analysis, in the last five years Esther was at its peak popularity in July 2020.

Esther, who was originally named Hadassah in the Old Testament, was captured by the wife of the King of Persia. Her story is celebrated during the Jewish holiday of Purim. It remained in the top 50 for part of the 1900s. It became less popular in early-2000s, but it appears to be on the rise again with celebrities Ewan McGregor, Sylvie Testud, and Sophie B. Hawkins choosing it for their daughters. Some notable namesakes include Esther Jane Williams, Esther Elizabeth Rolle, Esther Freud, Esther Jones (Baby Esther), and Esther Ralston. It's also been a popular choice for fictional characters, appearing in Cheers, The Bell Jar, The Vampire Diaries, and Meet Me in St. Louis.

Where is it Popular?

Esther was searched for most often in the following states:

Nicknames for Esther

  • Essie
  • Esti
  • Star
  • Ther

Pairs well with these middle names


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