She’s a lovely smoosh of a name, boosted by a fictional heroine.
Thanks to Claire for suggesting Annabeth as our Baby Name of the Day.
There’s no mystery behind Annabeth. Plenty of girls have answered to Anna Elizabeth or Ann Elisabeth or some other combination of those regal, saintly, evergreen names. Annabeth has never charted in the US Top 1000, but women have worn the name over the years.
The best known is almost certainly actress Annabeth Gish, born Anne Elizabeth. Gish’s big break was a small role in 1988’s Mystic Pizza. She’s not quite a household name, but she’s acted steadily. She had a recurring role on The West Wing – the political drama also included a character named Annabeth, played by Kristin Chenoweth.
Annabeth feels like she could be very current today, but in recent years, -bel has eclipsed -beth. Isabella is slightly more popular than Elizabeth, and, at #111 in 2011, Annabelle is at her most popular ever.
All of this might consign Annabeth to obscurity, except for two things:
- First, Ann- names are having a good run, from Anneliese to Lilliana. If Beth is slightly dated, Anna remains quite current.
- Then there’s this little series about a half-mortal, half-god called Percy Jackson, and his group of faithful friends.
In the Percy Jackson series, Annabeth is another resident of Camp Half-Blood. Her mom is Athena, goddess of wisdom. Dad is a regular ol’ university professor. Like all of the demigods, this makes for a complicated existence. Annabeth, Percy, and their fellow demigod classmates have many adventures. Annabeth is something of a Hermione character, and a love interest for Percy. She’s blonde in the books, but brunette in the movie … and speaking of movies, the first adaptation came in 2010, and a sequel is anticipated for the summer of 2013.
Of course, Harry Potter hasn’t done anything for Hermione, so there are no guarantees that a less world-dominating franchise can boost the name of its brainy heroine.
Throw in a few artists and other women, and Annabeth takes on an interesting vibe. There’s something homespun about the name, but also something sophisticated. It’s the kind of split personality that makes the name well-suited for demigod. She’s not as dated as Annemarie, but neither is she as current as Annalee. Still, Annabeth manages to be smart, down-to-earth, and unexpected all at once. She’s free of the spelling challenges of Anneliese – or Annabelle, even – and with a heroine namesake, it is easy to imagine a little Annabeth loving her name.