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Proper nounEdit


  1. A diminutive of the female given name Elizabeth
    • 1595 William Shakespeare: Third Part of King Henry the Sixth: Act V, Scene VI:
      King Edward. Come hither, Bess, and let me kiss my boy.
    • 1981 William Wharton, Dad, Knopf, →ISBN, page 293:
      "Jack, couldn't you call me Bette again? You know how much I hate Bess. I don't know what's happened; you've been calling me Bette since we came to California and now, suddenly, you're calling me Bess."
      There's a long silence. Dad's still up on his knees; I'm driving along Sepulveda Boulevard toward Olympic.
      "Well, Bette, I married you as Bess and I've always liked that name. It's a name you don't hear very often; it's a strong name like you. Every time I call you Bette I'm afraid somebody else might answer."

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