Bess is a short form of the forename Elizabeth. There are two main types of such shortenings: they are convenient for writing, e.g. in lists; or they are essentially spoken pet-names, and thus informal. (See Conventional abbreviations for forenames.)
|Short form||Long form||Informal or written||Other short forms||Remarks|
|Bess||Elizabeth||Informal||Bessy; Betty; Eliza; Libby; Lisa; Liz; Liza; Tetty|| Elsie, Elspeth, Isobel and others began as alternative forms of Elizabeth, but are now often used as names in their own right.|
The spelling in many European languages is Elisabeth
The Brown Bess was the standard musket used in the British army for over a hundred years, from 1722 until 1838. It was a smooth bore flintlock.