Most experts agree that the name came from the Ancient Germanic phrase "gris hild", meaning "dark battle". However, a few believe that the name came from the Ancient Germanic word "gries", meaning "gravel" or "stone".
The name came be also be spelled "Gricelda". Other forms of the name include "Grisel", "Grisleys", and "Criselda".
A person with this name is often referred to as "Zelda".
Griselda is also a figure from folklore (the patient Griselda) (anglicised to Grizzel and similar forms). She occurs in tales by Boccaccio, Petrarch and Chaucer. Griselda is a tale by Charles Perrault. The play Patient Grissel dates from 1599. There is an opera Griselda by Alessandro Scarlatti (1721). The Modern Griselda is a novel by Maria Edgeworth from 1804.