Giselle is a feminine name of French origins. During my etymological studies, I’ve discovered the meaning of the name Giselle and what it represents.
Meaning of the name Giselle: Derived from French word gisil, the meaning of the name Giselle is “pledge” or “to owe.” In France, the word gisil was used to describe the act of pledging or owing something. Eventually, this word was converted into a feminine given name.
Origins of the Name Giselle
The name Giselle originated in France during the Middle Ages. During this period, there wasn’t a single government entity ruling all of France. Rather, there were multiple kingdoms, each of which had their own ruling party. It wasn’t uncommon for these kingdoms to offer gifts to rival kingdoms to prevent all-out war. When a kingdom pledged a gift to another kingdom, the word used to describe this act was gisil.
Etymologists believe that the name gisil was converted into the given feminine name Giselle. It’s unknown when this conversion happened, but at some point during France’s history, people here began using Giselle as a given name for girls. The name Giselle gradually spread throughout Europe before making its way to North America.
Giselle has slowly become one of the most popular girls’ names in North America as well as Europe. With just two syllables, it rolls off the tongue naturally and cleanly. More importantly, the name Giselle has a rich history with origins dating back to the Middle Ages.
The popularity of the Name Giselle
During its early years, the name Giselle was most commonly used in Europe. Over the past few decades, however, it’s become an increasingly popular feminine name in the United States. Birth records show that it was the 8,859th most popular girls’ name in the United States in 1973. Just one decade later, it ranked as the 4,536th most popular girls’ name in the country. By 1993, Giselle was the 1,744th most popular girls’ name in the United States. Giselle peaked in the year 2000 when it ranked as the 367th most popular girls’ name in the country.
Famous women bearing the name Giselle include Hungarian Queen Giselle Bavaria, Canadian celebrity Giselle Lazzararoto, Australian singer and songwriter Giselle Rosselli, American writer and author Giselle Fernandez, British actress Giselle Itie, American actress Giselle Loren and Puerto Rican TV host Giselle Blondet.
Popular variants of the name Giselle include Gisselle, Gisele, Gisela, and Gisèle.
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