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Jessica - Girl Name

Guest Author - Nancy Man

The name Jessica first appeared in Shakespeare's late 16th-century play "The Merchant of Venice." The character was the daughter of Jewish moneylender Skylock.

We don't know Shakespeare's source for certain, but it's assumed that he based the name Jessica on the Hebrew name Yiskah, which means "to behold" or "foresight." Yiskah, also spelled Iscah and Jesca, was a woman mentioned briefly in the Book of Genesis.

Jessica was very common as a baby name in the U.S. during the last half of the 20th century. It was one of the top 10 baby girl names from 1976 through 2000, and the #1 name for nine of those years. As of 2009, it's ranked 78th and looks as though it will soon be falling out of the top 100.

(I think it's interesting to compare the name Jessica with the name Jennifer. Jennifer not only sounds similar to Jessica, but also went from being rare during the first half of the 20th century to being extremely popular during the second half.)

Alternative spellings of Jessica include Jesica, Jessika, Jessicah, Jessicca, and Yessica. The most common nicknames are Jess and Jessie.

Because the name was rarely used before modern times, most of the famous Jessicas out there are modern people. Here are some examples:
  • Jessica Alba (b. 1981), American actress
  • Jessica Biel (b. 1982), American actress
  • Jessica Hynes (b. 1972), British actress and comedienne
  • Jessica Jung (b. 1989), U.S.-born Korean singer
  • Jessica Lange (b. 1949), American actress
  • Jessica Mitford (1917-1996), British-American writer
  • Jessica Origliasso (b. 1984), Australian musician
  • Jessica Simpson (b. 1980), American singer
  • Jessica Stam (b. 1986), Canadian model
  • Jessica Stroup (born 1986), American actress
  • Jessica Szohr (b. 1985), American actress
  • Jessica Tandy (1909-1994), British-American actress
  • Jessica Walter (b. 1941), American actress
Fictional Jessicas include Jessica Fletcher of Murder, She Wrote, Jessica Rabbit of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and Jessica Sanders of Heroes.


10,000 Most Popular Baby Girl Names 10,000 Most Popular Baby Girl Names

Want more than the top 100 or top 1,000 baby girl names? Here's a complete list of the 10,000 most popular baby girl names in the nation! Click to learn more.
This site needs an editor - click to learn more!

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Jennifer - Girl Name
Ashley - Girl Name
Samantha - Girl Name
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Content copyright © 2014 by Nancy Man. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Nancy Man. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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