Meaning of the Name Jessica
Originally known as Iessica, Jessica is a popular feminine name of Old Hebrew origins. After researching its history, I’ve learned the meaning of the name Jessica, which you can access on this page.
Meaning of the name Jessica: With Old Hebrew origins, the meaning of the name Jessica is “rich,” “wealthy” or “God beholds.” This doesn’t refer to financial wealth. Rather, the name Jessica is associated with a wealth of knowledge about God.
Origins of the Name Jessica
The name Jessica originated out of the Old Hebrew language. Prior to its usage, variants such as lessica, Jesica, Jessika and Jessikah were used as given names for girls. It wasn’t until the 16th century, however, when the name Jessica was used for the first time.
During the 16th century, the famous English poet and actor William Shakespeare wrote a comedy play titled “The Merchant of Venice.” While the play had more than a dozen characters, one of them was named Jessica. The daughter of a moneylender, Jessica became a love interest of Lorenzo. And later in the story, Lorenzo married Jessica.
Historians agree that “The Merchant of Venice” was the first written usage of the given name Jessica. With that said, some historians debate regarding how Shakespeare came up with the name. The most plausible theory is that Shakespeare derived the name Jessica from an Old Hebrew variant. Regardless, Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” essentially created the name, Jessica, introducing it to millions of people throughout the world. After the play was released, Jessica began to appear in other mediums, including birth records.
The popularity of the Name Jessica
Jessica is a very popular given name for girls. In the 1980s, about 40% of all newborn girls in the United States were given this name, making it the most popular girls’ name in the country during this period. Even from 1993 to 1995, Jessica topped the charts as being the most popular girls’ name. In recent years, though, its popularity has declined slightly. In 2005, Jessica was the 27th most popular girls’ name. And in 2011, it was the 120th most popular girls’ name.
Hundreds of famous women have been named Jessica. Some of the most well-known actresses touting this name of Old Hebrew origins include Jessica Biel, Jessica Chastain, and Jessica Lange. Many famous singers have also been named Jessica, including Jessica Sutta, Jessica Wahls, Jessica Simpson, Jessica Flocker and Jessica Jung.