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GenderFeminine
PronouncedPron.JES-i-kə English
ZHE-SEE-KA French
YE-see-ka German
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Meaning & History

This name was first used in this form by Shakespeare in his play 'The Merchant of Venice' (1596), where it belongs to the daughter of Shylock. Shakespeare probably based it on the biblical name ISCAH, which would have been spelled Jescha in his time. It was not commonly used as a given name until the middle of the 20th century. Notable bearers include actresses Jessica Tandy (1909-1994) and Jessica Lange (1949-).
VariantsJessika English Jessika German Gessica Italian Yessica Spanish
DiminutivesJess, Jessa, Jessi, Jessie, Jessye, Jessalyn English
Other Languages & CulturesIscah, Jescha Biblical Yiskah Biblical Hebrew Iekika Hawaiian Jéssica Portuguese
Same SpellingJéssica

Images

Shylock and Jessica (1876) by Maurycy Gottlieb, an image from The Merchant of VeniceShylock and Jessica (1876) by Maurycy Gottlieb, an image from The Merchant of Venice

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Entry updated July 2, 2017   Contribute