Alissa

A portrait of my friend’s daughter


The entire congregation of Alissa-related names — from the classic Alice and Elise to newer forms like Alicia, Alyssa, and Elissa — have faded somewhat from their heyday in the late 20th century but maintain some appeal. Their major disadvantage is their similarity to each other and resulting confusion. These names are said to stem from different roots, with Alissa branching from Alicia which is related to the German Alice, while Elissa relates to Elisa and Elise which are short forms of the Hebrew Elizabeth. But today, instead of any of the myriad variations, the most fashionable forms go back to basics Alice, Eliza, and Elise.