Lizzie Borden: What’s in a Name?
Much has been made of Lizzie’s name change to Lizbeth. Whether she just liked the sound of it, or whether she was heartily sick of that dreadful ditty about herself and the Forty Whacks, she might have chosen one of many other derivatives for Elizabeth and Lizzie:
Elisheba, Elisheva, Elizabeth, Elisabeth, Elzbietka, Alcippe, Alzbeta, Elisabet, Elisabeta, Elisabetta, Elizabeta, Elsabeth, Elspet, Elspeth, Elzbieta, Eliza, Elisa, Elise, Elsa, Elsie, Beth, Bethie, Bethy, Bet, Bette, Bettie, Betty, Bess, Bessie, Bessy, Betsy, Lisa, Liza, Liz, Lizza, Lizzie, Lizzi, Lizzy, Lisbeth, Lizbeth, Lilybet (nickname for the current Queen Elizabeth II)- are there any more?
Lizzie is a diminuative form of Elizabeth. From Ελισαβετ (Elisabet), the Greek form of the Hebrew name אֱלִישֶׁבַע (‘Elisheva’) meaning “my God is an oath” or perhaps “my God is abundance”. The Hebrew form appears in the Old Testament where Elisheba is the wife of Aaron, while the Greek form appears in the New Testament where Elizabeth is the mother of John the Baptist. Well, Lizzie would sure like the “abundance” part!
The Borden surname is not quite as charming. Ancestry.com has this to say :
English: habitational name from a place in Kent named Borden, perhaps from Old English bar ‘boar’ or bor ‘hill’ + denu ‘valley’ or denn ‘(swine) pasture’. Swine pasture would not please Lizzie one little bit.