Are you curious about Jessica name meaning? I bet that you’re thinking about this name for your next one. Or, in a less expected case, your little Jessica at home wondering about her name’s meaning (and she’s looking forward to a cool answer, too!).
Either way, this article will help you with all the need-to-know information about Jessica. So, you can pick a name for your baby with confidence or respond to your kid about the reasons behind this amazing choice!
An Overview Of The Name Jessica
Before jumping into the explanation of the name’s meaning, you might want to take a glance at this summary:
|Meaning||“God beholds”, “to behold”, and “He sees”.|
|Gender||Jessica is mainly a female name in modern times. Although it can be used for males, the cases are quite rare.|
|Popularity||Jessica is an extremely popular name from the late 70s to the 90s. The name took the top slot during 1985-1990 and again from 1993-1995. |
Over the past decade, its popularity has cooled down remarkably. The 2021’s ranking on the SSA’s chart is 481st.
|Variations||Yessica, Yiskah, Dzsesszika, Gessica, Jéssica, Jessika, Iekika, Xhesika, etc.|
|Nicknames||JJ, Jez, Jeje, Jess, Jessa, Jessy, Jessie, etc.|
|Similar Names||Delilah, Ericka, Jasmine, Jennifer, Jesse, Rebekah, Tessa, etc.|
|Sibling Names||For Boys: David, Joshua, Jameson, Matthew, Oliver, etc. |
For Girls: Amanda, Ashley, Brittany, Jade, Jillian, etc.
|Middle Names||Anne, Brooke, Camryn, Claire, Elliana, Lynn, Rose, etc.|
Brief History, Origin, And Meanings Behind Jessica
The earliest account of Jessica’s usage was in Shakespeare’s play “The Merchant of Venice”. For this reason, the general assumption is that the legendary playwright coined it for the antagonist, Shylock’s daughter.
However, Shakespeare didn’t create this name out of thin air. The Bard likely got it by anglicizing the Hebrew name “Iscah” (or יִסְכָּה: yisekāh in the Hebrew form).
Iscah appeared briefly and only once in the Bible. In the Book of Genesis, she was referred to as Haran’s daughter and Abraham’s niece.
Although the etymology of “Iscah” is quite disputed, the name has a widely-accepted root – Aramaic (according to Babylonian Talmud). It means “to see”. Therefore, Jessica can be interpreted as “God beholds”, “to behold”, or “He sees”.
Is It A Male Or Female Name?
Stepping out of the Shakespeare 16th-century play, Jessica is prominent as a female name. It was also given to males, especially from 1977 to 1991, when Jessica entered the SSA’s chart as one of the 1000 most popular boy names.
The Rise And Fall Of Jessica In The US
Jessica joined the Social Security Administration (SSA) chart at 770th in 1900. It had been on the radar of American parents over the next four decades, though there were years when not enough people chose the name to keep it on the list.
Jessica’s popularity showed noticeable and consistent improvement after the 1940s. It shot to the number 1 choice in 1985 and remained there for the following five years. After being pushed back by Ashley in 1991 and 1992, Jessica reclaimed its crown again in 1993, 1994, and 1995.
After that, the name usage declined gradually but was still in the top 100 most common names until 2010. Over the past decade, however, Jessica has cooled down greatly. In 2021, only 647 newborn girls named Jessica, which put the name on the edge of the top 500 (1).
As mentioned, parents once chose this name for baby boys in the past. Its highest ranking was recorded in 1985, at 580th. This is also the year Jessica first reigned the chart as the number 1 choice for girls.
Variations Of Jessica In Other Languages
While Jessica is commonly used in English-speaking countries, many spelling variants are available in other languages, too.
- Yessica (Spanish)
- Yiskah (Hebrew)
- Dzsesszika (Hungarian)
- Gessica (Italian)
- Jéssica (Portuguese)
- Jessika (German)
- Iekika (Hawaiian)
- Xhesika (Albanian)
Jessica: Ideal Nicknames And Other Similar Names
Not only does Jessica have various spellings, but the name also has a ton of pet names:
If you’re fascinated by the way “Jessica” sounds, below are also some extra options resembling the name for your reference:
|Eternal ruler, ever kingly, forever or alone||Scandinavian, Norse|
|Fragrant flower, Gift from God||Persian|
|White shadow, white wave, the fair one||Cornish, Welsh|
|The Lord exists, God exists, and God’s gift||Hebrew|
|To tie firmly, snare, captivating||Hebrew|
|Tessa||/tes-sa/||To reap, to gather, the fourth child||Greek|
Suggested Sibling Names For A Jessica
If you’ve got a baby named Jessica, you won’t have to feel lost about what to choose for the following kids. These monikers are perfect to put Jessica and her brother/sisters on the same team.
These names might not have the same theme or share the same roots. Yet, they surprisingly sound right when combined with Jessica.
Joshua: This classic boy’s name comes from the Hebrew word “Yehoshua” for “God is deliverance” or “Jehovah is salvation”.
Joshua is a significant biblical figure. He was the successor to Moses, who later became the leader of the Israelites and guided them to the Promised Land.
Jameson: This originates from England and means “son of James”. In the Bible, Saint James was one of Jesus Christ’s twelve disciples. Bonus fact: the name is also adopted by a popular Irish whiskey brand.
Matthew: If you like the idea of giving each child a spiritual name, then Matthew is a nice match. This male title means “gift of Yahweh (God)” and comes from Hebrew.
Matthew has a stronger tie to the Bible, though. The name was borne by one of Jesus’s apostles (and the one credited for writing the Gospel of Matthew, the first book of the New Testament).
Oliver: This nature name was the 3rd most popular boy’s name in 2021, per the SSA chart. French and Latin in origin, the name respectively translates to “olive tree” and “olive”. Also, when traced back to its Old Norse roots, it means “ancestor’s descendants”.
Welcoming another baby girl to your life? Then, Jessica and these feminine names will go together nicely.
Amanda: Amanda is a name with an 80s feel. This Latin name means “worthy of love” and “loveable”. Like Jessica, Amanda possibly has some Shakespearean connections.
Many people believe it was derived from Miranda. This is a principal character of The Tempest, a play written in 1610–1611 (3). However, there is evidence that this name had already appeared in a 13th-century birth record.
Ashley: Like Jessica, Ashley was another sensation during the 80s and 90s. The two monikers took turns for the number 1 spot from 1985 and 1995. Old English in origin, Ashley points to the “dweller near the ash tree meadow”.
Brittany: Translating to “from Brittany” or “Great Britain”, it’s not hard to pinpoint the name’s roots. This French/English name was carried to England by the Celtic Bretons of France and later became the Bretons of England.
Jade: Etymologically, “Jade” came from the “piedra de la ijada” – a Spanish phrase that means “stone of the bowels”. However, as a girl name, it is normally interpreted as “gemstone”.
Jillian: If you go for a “J” theme, Jillian, meaning “youthful” or “the child of God”, is a wonderful choice. The two names also have the same number of syllables, so they sound in sync together.
This baby name is a variant of the English “Gillian”. However, it’s currently more common than the original.
Do You Know These Middle Names To Match With Jessica?
While a middle name is not legally compulsory, it won’t hurt to pick a nice one to elevate “Jessica”:
Anne: Anne, alternatively spelled Anna, can come from French or Hebrew roots. In the Hebrew language, the name is supposedly a derivative of Anne or Hannah, with a beautiful meaning of “God has favored me”.
Of French origin, however, Anne was inspired by the name “Anna”, denoting “grace”.
Brooke: English names seem to take a lot of inspiration from nature, and Brooke is a good example. The name hails from the surname “bróc”, meaning “small stream” or “water”. American model and actress Brooke Shields is a famous bearer of this name.
Camryn: Derived from the Scottish name “Cameron”, Camryn also means “crooked nose”. The name’s rise in use can be partially credited to the fictional character Camryn in the Twitches and actress Camryn Manheim.
Claire: Jessica already has multiple syllables, so a short name like Claire could be a nice choice. Meaning “clear” and “bright”, the name can be an omen for the promising future ahead for your child.
Elliana: This girl’s name is a version of Eliana, a Hebrew word for “my God has answered”. A newcomer on the SSA’s chart since 2005, Elliana has steadily climbed from 926th in 2005 to 131st in 2021.
Plus, for those still sitting on the fence between Ellie and Ana, Elliana has the best of both worlds.
Lynn: This French name represents “living near a lake, waterfall, or pool” – a cool name to inspire the appreciation for nature in your kid. The name is preferred as a middle name rather than as a given name.
Rose: Rose is a name of romance and beauty with its straight meanings of “rose” and “flower”. While there is an abundance of monikers representing this sweet-smelling bloom, there are few that can sound as original as “Rose”.
Occurrences of Jessica In Pop Culture
Jessica also makes a strong presence in pop culture. The name appeared from the early times of Shakespeare to many contemporary TV series and sitcoms.
Amelia “Amy” Jessica Pond: a character on the TV series Doctor Who.
Jessica: a fictional character in William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.
Jessica Davis: the main character in Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why.
Jessica Day: a fictional character from the American TV sitcom New Girl.
Jessica Ellis: character on the TV series The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.
Jessica Jones: a superhero from Marvel Comics and TV series.
Jessica Hamby: a fictional character from the American drama series True Blood.
Jessica Rabbit: a character from the 1988 mystery film Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
Jessica Ushiromiya: heroin from the anime series Umineko.
Jessica Wakefield: a fictional character in the book series Sweet Valley High.
Famous Jessicas Throughout History
Many prominent women have shared the name Jessica over time. Since the golden area of the name is around the 80s and 90s, it’s no surprise that many famous Jessicas were born around this period.
Jessica Alba (born 1981): American actress and businesswoman.
Jessica Biel (born 1982): American model and actress.
Jessica Chastain (born 1977): American actress and filmmaker. She is the winner of an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award.
Jessica Ellen Cornish (born 1988): Also known by the stage name Jessie J, British singer.
Jessica Lange (born 1949): American actress. She has received many accolades, including three Primetime Emmy Awards, an Academy Award, and a Golden Globe Award.
Jessica Louise Nelson (born 1991): Known professionally as Jesy Nelson, a British singer and member of the girl group Little Mix.
Jessica Leigh Stroup (born 1986): American actress.
Jessica Sanchez (born 1995): American singer-songwriter.
Jessica Simpson (born 1980): American singer and actress.
If you think Jessica is just right for the next newborn, it’s also useful to know more about the name via the common questions below:
What Do You Think About Jessica?
Whether you know the name by chance, have a few acquaintances with this name, or simply love the J-starting name, Jessica is a beautiful name to consider.
It’s a name that exploded in popularity during 1985-1990 but is not very overused these days. This means that your little Jessica will be more likely to stand out.
Lastly, please hit the share button to introduce this post on your social media. Don’t hesitate to share with me your thoughts about Jessica, too!
- ssa.gov. 2022. The Popularity Of A Name.
- britannica.com. 2022. David, King of Israel.
- wikipedia.org. 2022. Miranda (The Tempest).