The name is a franconized form of the Occitanian word, estela, meaning, “star.”
The name was borne by a 3rd-century Christian saint and martyr, who sometimes appears in the records as Eustelle, little is known of her, but she was adopted by Occitanian poets as their patron and much was written of her.
Estelle and Estella seem to have appeared in the English-speaking world around the 19th-century, via the Charles Dickens’ novel, Great Expectations (1860), in which Estella is the name of a major character.
In 1911, Estelle was the 106th most popular female name in the United States. While Estella was the 106th most popular female name in 1883.
As of 2010, Estelle was the 185th most popular female name in France.
Other forms of the name include:
- Estella (English/Hungarian)
- Estelle (English/French/Swedish)
- Esztella (Hungarian)
- Estilla (Hungarian)
- Estela (Occitanian/Portuguese/Spanish)
The name is borne by British RnB singer, Estelle (b.1980). The crown princess Victoria of Sweden recently chose this name for her daughter in February of 2012.