Beatrice, Beatrix

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Latin
Meaning: “blessed; traveller, voyager.”

The name is of somewhat debated meaning, some sources list it as a derivative of the Latin word beatus meaning “blessed” while other sources claim that it is a feminine form of the Latin name, Viator which means, “traveller” or “voyager.”

The famous Italian poet, Dante Aligheri, author of the Inferno, and other works, used Beatrice Portinari, (a local noblewoman whom the author was in love with), as a recurrent theme in his writings. The name has been consistently popular in Italy since the Middle Ages, she was especially popular in the rest of Europe during the Middle Ages as well, but has gone in and out of fashion since, depending on the country. It was particularly popular in England before the Reformation, where it experienced a revival in the 19th-century. Peter Rabbit author, Beatrix Potter, bore the name (1866-1943).T he name is also borne by several early Christian saints, and it is currently borne by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.

Beatrix has not ranked in the U.S. top 1000 since 1883! As of 2005, however, Beatrix was the 88th most popular female name in Hungary. Her counterpart of Beatrice faired much better in the U.S. statistics, though not anywhere near the top 100, Beatrice at least ranks in at # 833 (2008). In 2006, Beatriz was the 59th most popular female name in Spain.

Other forms of the name include:
  • Batirtze (Basque)
  • Beatriu (Catalan)
  • Beatrijs (Dutch)
  • Beatrix (Dutch/English/German)
  • Béatrice/Béatrix (French: bay-ah-TREES/bay-ah-TREEKS)
  • Beke/Beeke (Frisian: diminutive forms are Bekje. Pronounced BEH-ke)
  • Beatrisa (German)
  • Beatríke Βεατρίκη (Greek: Modern)
  • Beatricse/Beatrisz/Beatrix (Hungarian: a Hungarian diminutive is Trixi)
  • Beatrice (Italian/English/Romanian/Swedish: in Italian, pronounced, bay-ah-TREE-chay. Bice is a common diminutive form, though in recent years, it is considered dated, and the diminutive form of Bea has taken its place instead)
  • Bicetta/Cettina (Italian: originally diminutive forms, now used as independent given names, though, very obscure)
  • Beatrise (Latvian)
  • Beatričė (Lithuanian)
  • Beatriċi (Maltese: the pronunciation is somewhat similar to the Italian)
  • Beatrycze (Polish: beh-ah-TRIH-cheh)
  • Beatryks (Polish: beh-ah-TRIKS)
  • Beatris (Provencal)
  • Beatrisa Беатриса (Russian)
  • Beatrìci (Sardinian)
  • Beitris (Scottish)
  • Beatrica (Slovene: beh-ah-TREET-sah)
  • Beatriz (Spanish/Portuguese: Spanish Iberian: bey-ah-TREETH, Spanish Latin American: bey-ah-TREES; Portuguese Iberian: bee-ah-TREEZH)
  • Beatrixe (Swiss-German)
  • Betrys (Welsh)

The names, Beata and Viatrix, have also been linked with Beatrice.

Common English diminutives are Bea, Bee, Trixie and Trissie. A Portuguese short form is Bia.

Name-days are: January 17 (Lithuania), February 13 (France), July 29 (Lithuania/Poland), December 2 (Sweden).