Rebecca (given name)

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Bartolomé Esteban Perez Murillo 022.jpg
The Biblical Rebecca and Eliezer in a painting by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.
Pronunciation/rəˈbɛkə/ rə-BEK
Meaning"Moderator", To Tie, Noose, To Bind, Captivating, Strong Combatant, Hearty
Other names
Nickname(s)Becks, Bex, Becs, Reba, Riva, Rebby, Reb, Becka
Related namesBecca, Becky, Reba

Rebecca or Rebekah (Hebrew: רִבְקָה (Rivkah)) is a feminine given name originating from the Hebrew language. The name comes from the verb רבק (rbq), meaning "to tie firmly"; Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names and the NOBS Study Bible Name List suggest the name means captivating beauty, or "to tie", "to bind".[1] W. F. Albright held that it meant "soil, earth".[2]

The matriarch Rebecca was the wife of Isaac and the mother of Jacob and Esau in the Hebrew Bible.


The Latin Vulgate uses the spelling Rebecca exclusively[3] and it is followed by (ex. gr.) Wycliffe and the Bishops' Bible. In the Authorized Version of the 1600s, the spelling Rebekah is used in the Old Testament (Genesis) and the Latin "Rebecca" (representing Greek Bible Ῥεβέκκα) was retained in the New Testament (see Romans 9:10). So the earlier western spelling is "Rebecca", but both spellings (Rebecca and Rebekah) are used in the influential King James Version. Both are current in the English-speaking world now.


In the United Kingdom, a revival of Biblical names led to this name being ranked among the top 100 female names during the 1960s, the top 20 during the 1970s, and the top 10 during the 1980s; in 1995 it peaked as the 3rd most popular female name. A decline in popularity followed; it slid out of the top 10 in 2000 and by 2009 had fallen to 77th. In 2013, it was ranked 120th.

In the United States, the name was used beginning with the colonization of the Puritans in New England in the 17th century. The name Rebecca goes up and down in the popularity rankings, but has consistently ranked in the top 200 most popular names for girls since at least 1880 (the first year for which the Social Security Administration has documented baby name popularity). In the year 2011, the Social Security Administration ranked Rebecca at 148th in popularity. In 2013, it was ranked 178th.[4][5]

The name is also popular in other countries. In 2009, Rebeca was the 27th most popular name for baby girls in Romania.[6]

Nicknames and variations[edit]

  • Becxs (English)
  • LePeka (Hawaiian)
  • Becca (English)
  • Bekky (English)
  • Becci (English)
  • Becka (English)
  • Beckah (English)
  • Becki (English)
  • Beckie (English)
  • Beckii (English)
  • Becks (English)
  • Beck (English)
  • Becky (English)
  • Bec (English)
  • Becs (English)
  • Bek (English)
  • Beka (English)
  • Bekah (English)
  • Beckett (English)
  • Bekki (English)
  • Bex (English)
  • Bexy (English)
  • Beccie (English)
  • Beccy (English)
  • Beca (Spanish, Portuguese, Galician, Welsh, Romanian)
  • Rabqa (Arabic)
  • Refika (Turkish)
  • Rafqa (Arabic)
  • Rafqa (Aramaic)
  • Reb (American)
  • Reb (Nigerian)
  • Rea (American)
  • Rebeka (Yoruba)
  • Rebeca (Spanish, Portuguese, Galician, Welsh, Romanian)
  • Rebe (Spanish)
  • Rébecca, Rebeque (French)
  • Rebeccah (English)
  • Rebecka (English, Swedish)
  • Rebeckah (English)
  • Refika (Turkish)
  • Rebeka (Czech, Hungarian, Polish)
  • Rebekah (Hebrew)
  • Rebekka (Danish, German, Icelandic, Norwegian, Finnish)
  • Rebekkah (English)
  • Ρεβέκκα (Revecca or Revekka) (Greek)
  • Rebekke, Rebbi (German)
  • Rebby (Nigerian)
  • Reva (English)
  • Reveica (Romanian)
  • Revekka (Russian)
  • Revka (Hebrew)
  • Revkah (Hebrew)
  • Revy (English)
  • Ribka (Bahasa Indonesia)
  • Rifka, Rheba, Riva, Rivah, Rivalee, Rivi, Rivy (Yiddish)
  • Rifke (Yiddish)
  • Ryfka (Polish)
  • Riva (Hebrew)
  • Rive (Hebrew)
  • Rivka, Rivqah (Hebrew) (The original Biblical form of which all the others are ultimately derived)
  • رفقة، ريبيكا (Arabic)
  • Рэбека (Rebieka) (Belarusian)
  • রেবেকা (Rēbēkā) (Bengali)
  • Reveka (Bulgarian)
  • 丽贝卡 (Lì bèi kǎ) (Chinese Simplified)
  • 麗貝卡 (Lì bèi kǎ) (Chinese Traditional)
  • რებეკა (Rebeka) (Georgian)
  • Ρεβέκκα (Revékka) (Greek)
  • રેબેકા (Rēbēkā) (Gujarati)
  • רבקה (Hebrew)
  • रेबेका (Rēbēkā) (Hindi)
  • レベッカ (Rebekka) (Japanese)
  • ರೆಬೆಕ್ಕಾ (Rebekkā) (Kannada)
  • 레베카 (Lebeka) (Korean)
  • Ребека (Rebeka) (Macedonian)
  • Ребекка (Ryebyekka) (Mongolian)
  • रेबेका (Rēbēkā) (Nepali)
  • ربکا (Persian)
  • Ребекка (Rebekka) (Russian)
  • Ребека (Rebeka) (Serbian)
  • ரெபேக்கா (Repēkkā) (Tamil)
  • റെബേക്ക (Rebekka) (Malayalam)
  • రెబెక్కా (Rebekkā) (Telugu)
  • รีเบคก้า (Rī bekhk̂ā) (Thai)
  • Ребекка (Rebekka) (Ukrainian)
  • ربیکہ (Urdu)
  • ርብቃ (Tigrinya)


  1. ^ Arie Uittenbogaard (2011), Meaning and etymology of the name Rebekah (Rebecca), Abarim Publications
  2. ^ Albright, W. F. (14 December 2017). "The Name Rebecca". Journal of Biblical Literature. 39 (3–4): 165–166. doi:10.2307/3260210. JSTOR 3260210.
  3. ^ "Latin Vulgate Bible with Douay-Rheims and King James Version Side-by-Side+Complete Sayings of Jesus Christ". Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  4. ^ Campbell, Mike. "Meaning, origin and history of the name Rebecca". Behind the Name. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  5. ^ OACT. "Popular Baby Names". Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  6. ^ Campbell, Mike. "Popular Names in Romania 2009". Behind the Name. Retrieved 14 December 2017.