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Erisabel

eris


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. I also came across Onabelle recently.

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 in kanji). Eris, meaning "strife," was a Greek goddess of discord, the equivalent of the Roman goddess Discordia. Eris 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. Unfortunately, the letters of Erisa are also an acronym for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, so adding -bel makes all the difference. While Eris may have been pronounced EE-riss in Greek, 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.

Since Eris has been around for ages, it's no surprise we're still seeing it today. It was last used in Sinbad, produced by DreamWorks Animation, where Eris is the goddess of discord working against the hero. It is also said the fairytale Sleeping Beauty was inspired by the efforts Eris made to bring chaos to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. She is most famous for presenting Zeus the Golden Apple of Discord, which was the first step in starting the Trojan War. Eris happens to be an anagram of 'rise,' which ironically may have been the original Pre-Greek meaning of her name.

While Erisa itself is a rare baby name, only given to six girls in 2014 before falling back into complete obscurity, 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. Eris, on the other hand, was given to 78 girls in 2016 - the highest it's been since 226 births in 1923.

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