Jessica (given name)

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For other uses, see Jessica (disambiguation).
Shylock e jessica.jpeg
Shylock and Jessica by Maurycy Gottlieb. The first use of the name Jessica is found in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.
Pronunciation /ˈɛsɪkə/
Gender Female
Word/name English derived from Hebrew
Meaning Foresighted, Wealthy, "He Sees"
Region of origin Hebrew
Popularity see popular names

Jessica (also Jesica, Jessicah or Jessika[1]) is a female given name.

The oldest written record of the name with its current spelling is found as the name of a character in Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice, where it belongs to the daughter of Shylock. The name may have been an Anglicisation of the Biblical Iskah (from the Hebrew: יִסְכָּה : yiskāh), the name of a daughter of Haran briefly mentioned in the Book of Genesis in the Bible. Iskah was rendered "Jeska" in English Bibles available in Shakespeare's day.[2]

The original Hebrew name Yiskāh (יִסְכָּה), means "foresight", or being able to see the potential in the future. The Hebrew root sakhah (ס.כ.ה) means "to see," so the name Yiskah, with the added future-tense yod, implies foresight or clairvoyance. Yiskah is the niece of Abraham.

"Jessica" was the most popular female baby name throughout the 1980s[3] and 1990s[4] in the United States, with popularity waning starting in 1998 through the early 2000s and falling out of the Top 20 by 2004.[5] It also rose to #1 in England and Wales in 2005,[6] dropping to #3 in 2006.[7] Common abbreviations of the name Jessica include "Jess" and "Jessie".

Name variations and nicknames[edit]

Jess, Jessa, Jessie, Jase, Jessika, Sica, Yes(s)ika. In many Asian countries Jessica is spelled Jassica.

Variants by culture:

  • Arabic: جيسيكا (Ǧysykā)
  • Albanian: Xhesika (Jesika)
  • Belarusian: Джэсіка (Džesika)
  • Bengali: জেসিকা (Jēsikā)
  • Catalan: Jèssica
  • Chinese (Mandarin): 潔西卡, 杰西卡 (Jiéxīkǎ)
  • Finnish: Jessika
  • French: Jessica
  • Frisian: Jesca
  • Gujarati: જેસિકા (Jēsikā)
  • Irish: Seasaidh, Seasaídh
  • Scottish Gaelic: Teasaidh, Teasag
  • Hindi: जेसिका (Jēsikā)
  • Hungarian: Dzsesszika[8] ("Dzsessz": Hungarian phoneticisation of "Jazz music"[9]).
  • Inuktitut: ᔨᔅᓯᑲ (Jissika)
  • Italian: Gessica
  • Japanese: Jeshika (Hiragana: じぇしか, Katakana: ジェシカ)
  • Kannada: ಜೆಸ್ಸಿಕಾ (Jes'sikā)
  • Korean: 제시카 (Jeshika)
  • Lithuania: Džesika
  • Mongolian: Жессика (Jyessika)
  • Nepali: जेसिका (Jēsikā)
  • Persian: جسیکا
  • Polish: Dżesika,[10] Jesica
  • Portuguese: Jéssica/Jessica
  • Punjabi: ਜੈਸਿਕਾ (Jaisikā)
  • Russian: Джессика (Džéssika, Dzhessika)
  • Serbian: Џесика (Džesika)
  • Spanish: Yésica, Jésica
  • Tamil: ஜெசிகா (Jecikā)
  • Telugu: జెస్సికా (Jes'sikā)
  • Thai: เจสสิก้า (Ces̄s̄ik̂ā)
  • Ukranian: Джессіка (Dzhessika)
  • Urdu: جیسکا
  • American: Jess

Jewish variants & transliterations:

  • Hebrew: יִסְכָּה (Iscah)
  • Hungarian Yiddish: יִסְכָּה (Jiszká)[8]
  • Yiddish: יִסְכָּה (Yiska), דזשעסיקאַ (Dzşʻsyqʼa)

Usage in Ireland and Scotland[edit]

It is important to note that in Celtic usage, Jessie is not related to Jessica. It is considered a pet form of the name Jane or Jean (feminisations of John). This is further expressed in Gaelic variants as the names Seana/Seóna (Shawna) or Sìne (Sheena). Related feminine names taken from John are Jane/Joan (Sìne), Janie (Sìneag), and Janet/Janice (Seònaid); all are considered equated, though spelling may change slightly dependent upon the form of Gaelic (Irish or Scottish).

An additional nickname for Jessie, heard in Scotland, is Jinty (or Jinny). This may or may not be the case in Ireland or Northern Ireland. It hints at the aforementioned connection there to Jean (female given name)/Jane/Jennie.

Also of note is that Jessie serves as an Anglicisation of the Gaelic root-word of "seas",[11][12] meaning "to stand". In Irish Gaelige this is Seasaidh/Seasaídh (pro. "Sheh-see", emphasis on first syllable), which uses the fut. aff. conjugation of "seas". If using "seasaidh" but not as a given name, it is pronounced "shay-cee".

The Scots Gàidhlig variant is Teasaidh/Teasag, (pro. "Cheh-say"), though Seasaidh is also recognised.


Middle names[edit]

Sarah Jessica Parker (born 1965), American actress, model, singer and producer.

Fictional characters[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Hanks, P. & Hodges, F. A Dictionary of First Names. (1990). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-211651-7.
  3. ^ Most Popular 1000 Names of the 1980s. Social Security Administration (SSA), United States. Retrieved February 22, 2007.
  4. ^ Most Popular 1000 Names of the 1990s. Social Security Administration (SSA), United States. Retrieved February 22, 2007.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Baby Names, England and Wales, 2005. Office for National Statistics (ONS), United Kingdom. Released: 28 July 2011.
  7. ^ Baby Names, England and Wales, 2006. Office for National Statistics (ONS), United Kingdom. Released: 28 July 2011.
  8. ^ a b hu:Dzsesszika
  9. ^ hu:Dzsessz
  10. ^ pl:Dżesika
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ [1]