The name Esther ranked 305th in popularity for females of all ages in a sample of 2000-2003 Social Security Administration statistics and 132nd in popularity for females of all ages in a sample of the 1990 US Census.
This name is highly rated in the 1990 U.S. Census popularity survey of all ages, but after 1960 does not appear in the state data listing the most popular baby names.
The scriptural Book of Esther is set in ancient Persia. In it, a Jewish girl called Hadassah at birth is re-named Esther, possibly to hide her heritage. As she grows up, her beauty and winning ways attract the Persian king, who names her his queen. She learns of the minister Haman's intention to slaughter her people, and successfully intervenes on their behalf at great personal risk. Jews celebrate the festival of Purim in memory of her.
Some believe Esther derives from the Persian stara (star), or from the name of the Persian goddess of love, Ishtar. Others maintain that it was simply a translation of the scripturally related name Hadassah (myrtle).
The myrtle tree was sacred to Ishtar, and also to the Greek and Roman love goddesses.
Jewish woman who became queen of Persia. She saved her people from a plot aginst them, an event celebrated by the Jewish feast of Purim.