Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Hadassah

Hadassah is a name borne from the Hebrew Bible and Old Testament in the Book of Esther. In fact, Hadassah is mentioned only once in passing in Esther 2:7 as Esther’s Hebrew name (Esther is her Persian name). Hadassah means “myrtle (tree)” in Hebrew, a flowering plant native to the Mediterranean region. The myrtle is known for its leaves which release their fragrance only when they are crushed. This is fitting, you see, because Esther’s true heroism was released once her fellow Hebrew people were in grave danger. It all makes sense if you’re familiar with Hadassah/Esther’s story; one of the more colorful tales from the Bible. Hadassah was a Jewess living in the capital city of Susa in Persia (having been exiled from Jerusalem during the reign of the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II). It is in this exile that Hadassah goes by her Persian name Esther. She would eventually become the wife of Ahasuerus, the King of Persia, in the 5th century B.C. This is how it all went down: After Ahasuerus’ first wife disobeyed him, he decided to hold a regional “beauty pageant” to find a replacement wife. All the beautiful virgins from the provinces throughout the Persian Empire were gathered in Susa, they were given cosmetics and beauty treatments for a year, and tutored in court etiquette by one of the king’s eunuchs. Esther “had a beautiful figure and was lovely to look at” so she too was taken into custody where she quickly won the goodwill of the king’s eunuch. As it turned out, Esther ended up being the stand-out contestant and was crowned the new Persian Queen (after winning the King’s favors in the bedroom, that is). As Queen of the Persian Empire, Esther was forced to keep her Jewish heritage a secret. This became increasingly difficult as things began to go awry in the Persian Kingdom. You see, one of the King’s highest court officials (Haman) was hell-bent on exterminating the Jewish people throughout the kingdom. At the urging of her cousin Mordecai, Esther risked everything by appearing in the King’s chambers uninvited to thwart the efforts of the evil Haman. She used her feminine wiles, her sharp acuity and her powers of persuasion to save a large number of Jewish people throughout the Persian Empire from certain death. Her courageous acts are celebrated during the Jewish holiday known as Purim. Besides Ruth, Esther is the only Biblical Book named after a woman. Go ladies! Furthermore, it is a wonderful narrative filled with political satires, literary irony and plot twists. It’s no wonder that Esther has been a favorite name among Jews for centuries (and Gentiles alike). She was one beautiful, brilliant and brave ancient gal. Since Hadassah is the more obscure name for Esther, and the specific Hebrew form, it is more exclusively used by Jewish people. Incidentally, Hadassah is the name of the Women's Zionist Organization of America. Not surprisingly as Hadassah is a heroic figure among Jewish woman.

All About the Baby Name – Hadassah

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME HADASSAH

The number Seven personality is deeply mystical and highly in tune with their spirituality. They operate on a different wavelength than the average joe. Spending time alone comes easily to Sevens, as it gives them time to contemplate philosophical, religious and spiritual ideas in an effort to find "real truth".  Sevens are wise, but often exude mystery as if they are tapped into something the rest of us don't understand. They love the outdoors and are fed by nature. Sevens are constantly seeking to understand human nature, our place in the universe, and the mystery of life in general. This makes them quite artistic and poetic, but they are also keen observers with high intellect - so they are equally scientific-minded. Sevens are charitable and care deeply about the human condition.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME HADASSAH

Apparently Jewish parents have only recently rediscovered this hidden gem of a name. Hadassah has only existed on the American female naming charts since 2007. Because we are pretty certain that Hadassah is a female name used exclusively among Jewish people (Christians remember Esther but they don’t generally recall her original Hebrew name of Hadassah), then we’re not surprised by its limited growth. Jews make up about 2% of the population which isn’t enough to drive widespread popularity of a name, particularly an exotic one like Hadassah. However, the name is used with enough frequency within the Jewish-American community to have pushed her onto the charts. That’s pretty impressive. Hadassah is a celebratory name for Jews, and by definition a happy one. The myrtle tree from whence Hadassah gets her name was known for its powerful fragrance. A lovely meaning, a lovely name and a lovely story to accompany it. No wonder the name has come back into modern-day circulation. Haddie and Dasha are possible nicknames.

Quick Facts

ON HADASSAH

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

Hebrew

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

3

RANKING POPULARITY:

761

PRONUNCIATION:

ha-DAH-sah

SIMPLE MEANING:

Myrtle

Characteristics

OF HADASSAH

Mystical

Wise

Eccentric

Intuitive

Imaginative

Philosophical

Solitary

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Hadassah

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME HADASSAH

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Hadassah

Popular Songs

ON HADASSAH

We cannot find any popular or well-known songs with the name of Hadassah


Famous People

NAMED HADASSAH

Hadassah Lieberman (wife of politician Joseph Lieberman)

Children of Famous People

NAMED HADASSAH

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Hadassah

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME HADASSAH

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Hadassah