Its source is Elisabeth, a French name meaning "God's promise."
This short form of Elisabeth was made famous by an 1810 Beethoven piano composition, ''Für Elise.'' This title is based on a handwritten dedication on the original manuscript of the piece; however, recent scholarship suggests the dedication may have been misread.
The object of the composer's interest may not have been an Elise, but rather Therese Malfatti, the niece of Beethoven's physician. There is evidence that she was one of the passionate loves of his passionate life; like all the rest, she refused his proposal of marriage.