Bella is often used as a short form of Isabella, the Latinate and Italian form of Isabel, the medieval Occitan form of Elizabeth, the English form of Hebrew ‘Elisheva meaning “my God is an oath” or “my God is abundance”. Bella is also the Italian and Spanish word for “beautiful” which derives from Latin bellus meaning “beautiful, pretty, handsome” via PIE duenos/duonos (good), the diminutive of *dew- (to show favor, revere). However, Bella is also the feminine form of bellum meaning “war; battle, combat” from Latin duellum (war) derived from Proto-Indo-European *dew- (to injure, destroy, burn).

Bella is also an Italian surname, possibly derived from a habitational name from the Basilicata Bella in Potenza, perhaps derived from from Latin labellum meaning “little basin”.

Origin: Hebrew, Proto-Indo-European

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Variants:

  • Belle (French, English)

 

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