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. Act 2, Scene 3: (2.3.1) "Enter Iessica and the Clowne".
Pronunciation /ˈɛsɪkə/
Gender Female
Word/name English derived from Hebrew
Meaning Foresighted, Wealthy, "He Sees"
Region of origin Hebrew
Popularity see popular names

Jessica (originally Iessica, 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 Iscah (from the Hebrew: יִסְכָּה : yisekāh), the name of a daughter of Haran briefly mentioned in the Book of Genesis 11:29. Iscah was rendered "Iesca" (Jeska) in the Matthew Bible version available in Shakespeare's day.[2][3][4]

The original Hebrew name Yiskāh, 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. Iscah is the niece of Abraham.

"Jessica" was the most popular female baby name throughout the 1980s[5] and 1990s[6] in the United States, with popularity waning starting in 1998 through the early 2000s and falling out of the Top 20 by 2004.[7] It also rose to #1 in England and Wales in 2005,[8] dropping to #3 in 2006.[9] Common nicknames of the name Jessica include "Jess" and "Jessie".

Name variations and nicknames[edit]

Jess, Jessa, Jessie, Jessi, Jase, Jessika, Yes(s)ika. In many Asian countries Jessica is spelled Jassica. It is important to note that in Celtic usage, Jessie is not related to Jessica see Jessie (given name).

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)]
  • Cantonese: 謝茜嘉 (ze⁶sai¹ga¹)
  • Esperanto: Jiska
  • Finnish: Jessika
  • French: Jessica
  • Frisian: Jesca
  • Gujarati: જેસિકા (Jēsikā)
  • Irish: Seasaidh, Seasaídh
  • Scottish Gaelic: Teasaidh, Teasag
  • Hindi: जेसिका (Jēsikā)
  • Hungarian: Dzsesszika[10]).
  • Inuktitut: ᔨᔅᓯᑲ (Jissika)
  • Italian: Jessica
  • 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,[11] 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)
  • Tupí: Gessika
  • Ukrainian: Джессіка (Dzhessika)
  • Urdu: جیسکا

Jewish variants & transliterations:

  • Hebrew: יִסְכָּה (Iscah)
  • Hungarian Yiddish: יִסְכָּה (Jiszká)[10]
  • Yiddish: יִסְכָּה (Yiska), דזשעסיקאַ (Dzşʻsyqʼa)


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. ^ Genesis 11:29 in Matthew, Geneva and King James' versions
  4. ^ Karl Elze (1874), Essays on Shakespeare (PCMI collection), translated by L. Dora Schmitz, Macmillan and Company 
  5. ^ Most Popular 1000 Names of the 1980s. Social Security Administration (SSA), United States. Retrieved February 22, 2007.
  6. ^ Most Popular 1000 Names of the 1990s. Social Security Administration (SSA), United States. Retrieved February 22, 2007.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Baby Names, England and Wales, 2005. Office for National Statistics (ONS), United Kingdom. Released: 28 July 2011.
  9. ^ Baby Names, England and Wales, 2006. Office for National Statistics (ONS), United Kingdom. Released: 28 July 2011.
  10. ^ a b hu:Dzsesszika
  11. ^ pl:Dżesika
  12. ^ Jewish-Australian kayaker Jessica Fox