Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I passed by a beauty salon with this name in the title, and it immediately struck me as a name I had to write about. However, when I looked for information, none was found. So like many -bel names, I assumed it was simply Erisa + bel. Truthfully, people can find a way to add -bel or -belle to just about anything, from Annabel to Corabelle.

Erisa is known as a Japanese name that I cannot find an accurate meaning for (most Japanese name meanings vary by how they're written). Eris, meaning "strife," was a Greek goddess of discord, which charted in 1923 and 1924, and is a recently named dwarf planet. If Eris is the main component, Erisabel would essentially mean "beautiful chaos." Erisa in English could come from Iris by way of Irisa, or even from Eliza. Unfortunately, the letters are also an acronym for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, so adding -bel makes all the difference. While Eris is commonly pronounced ee-riss, many insist on air-iss, and even though Erisa in Japanese would be ay-ree-sah, in the U.S. people would likely say air-ee-sah.

While Erisa itself is a rare baby name, only given to five girls in 2011, none were given the name Erisabel. Even so, pulling up ancestry records reveals many women named Erisa from all over the world, and a search on White Pages tells me Erisa has been used enough to be considered a "real" name, or an ancestral name.

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