August 2, 2014 § 4 Comments
Diminutive of “Elizabeth“, meaning “oath of God”.
VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Bess, Bessie, Bessy, Bette, Beth, Betsy, Bette, Bettie, Bettina, Betty, Bettye, Buffy, Let, Lettie, Letty, Pet, Pettie, Tess, Tessie, Tessy, Tetty, etc.
REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Betty, Madame Duval’s housemaid at her residence in London, in Evelina, or, The History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World (1778), by Fanny Burney.
– Betty, Mrs. Jennings’ servant, in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (set between 1792-1797, published in 1811).
– Betty Flanagan, the Irish maid-of-all-work who finds employment with the Sedley’s post-fall, in Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray (published in 1847-48, but set in the 1810s-20s).
– Betty Martin, a housemaid who aids and abets Becky Sharp and Rawdon Crawley in their secret courtship in Vanity Fair.
– Betty Muxworthy, a bitter old serving woman who works on the Ridd’s farm, in Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackmore (written in 1869, set in the 1670s-1680s).
– Betty Friedan (1921-2006), American activist and writer.
– Betty Smith (1896-1972), American author.