Meaning
Usage
Pronunciation
Famous
Impression
Other
1
I was named Debra Kay in 1962, the result of my parents only picking out a boy name (I was supposed to be David Allen). I suppose Debbie Reynolds was the inspiration, which is okay by me, though now I am so pleased to be connected to Deborah, prophetess, military strategist, and judge of Israel. When I started school, I realized that my name was really popular, only most of the other girls spelled it Deborah. When I asked my mama why I was given the "alternate" spelling, she apologetically told me that she chose the more simple spelling in case I was more "simple" minded -- she didn't want me to have trouble spelling my own name! While that sounds like it could be wrong on so many levels, my mama was a precious woman who was always looking out for others -- so I got the easiest spelling of my name just in case. Everyone seems to pronounce it Deb-rah in my neck of the woods anyhow, so it's all good.

My timeline for name variations is:
DEBRA or DEBBIE or DEB. My parents called me all of these depending on the seriousness of the conversation. As I grew older, my mother most often called me Debra.
DEBBIE- birth to current by most relatives and random elders who knew me when I was little. One cousin always called me DEBBO, which I have realized is a legitimate variation (Australian, I think, but I doubt he knows that).
DEBRA- when I started first grade to separate me from another Debbie -- I came home from school a little miffed that she got special treatment since her mama was the principal's secretary and so her identity didn't have to change.
DEBBIE- junior high through high school, once there were too many of us to matter-- most of my grade-school friends still called me Debra and do to this day.
DEBRA- when I was 18 and working in my first "grown-up" job -- I no longer liked "Debbie" because it made me feel more diminutive than I already was (I'm only 4'10" tall!) I'm afraid I made a rather big-deal out of correcting folks who assumed they could just call me Debbie, but the point was made. If I am asked today I am more polite, but still emphasize that Debbie is my least favorite nickname. This has also made me more conscientious towards others so I try to never assume a nickname is okay. I met my future husband at 18, introduced myself as DEBRA, and so he has never called me DEBBIE -- unless he is trying to make me mad!
DEB- somewhere in my 30's, I found myself shortening to the most simple variation. I don't have a good explanation, but it just feels right, and has been used on all my name-badges since. Perhaps I was looking for something that sounded younger without sounding cute. Plenty of folks still call me Debra, which always gives me a warm feeling of relationship, since it usually means they've been in my life a long time. The only problem I have when introducing myself is that my last name begins with a "B", so to be understood, I have to say "DEB" pause "BAKER" -- otherwise it is almost undecipherable.

I said all that to say that I love my name and really don't care what you call me...as long as you call me for dinner. :)
debshepbake  10/2/2020
1
I love this name! So beautiful. I don't care if it's dated. Debbie is cute too, but Deb just sounds unlikable.
OnyxMoon  5/19/2020
1
I'm Deborah born 1998. Most of my friends call me Debbie. It's a name even mommy has adapted.
My personal impression on this name is that it stands out and I like very much ✨✨ lol.
― Anonymous User  3/20/2020
2
The Biblical namesake is cool. I prefer the 3 syllable pronunciation.
MSW  3/15/2020
1
I love that name, I was named Deborah in 1954.
Bless Lady  2/19/2020
1
My name is Deborah, pronounced Deb-o-rah, never Debra! At 21 years old today I've always felt slightly unsettled with my own name, insisting on my favored pronunciation has made me feel better about it.
Deborah May  2/8/2020
1
My name is Deborah- born in 1954- Somewhere along the course of my life I read that there were many girls born in the 1950's named Deborah because Debbie Reynolds was so popular at that time and that made me hate my name even more than I already did. I hated my name because it was extremely common and I ran into a good many Debbie's in my school life. At any rate, I finally asked my mother to tell me (when I was around 50) who she named me after and it turned out to be the 'original' Deborah from the Old Testament. Here, I had hated my name for what seemed like forever and when I found out who it actually was that I was named after, it was no small thing. After all, Deborah was regarded as a prophetess, a warrior, a leader of male warriors, and a priestess to boot! That's a whole lot for a female to carry in the Bible --women weren't generally regarded as very special back in those days, after all. NOW, I love my name and regard it as something very special and precious to have been given at my birth.
Deb2theC  1/25/2020
2
The Judge Deborah is a major figure in the Bible. The wife of a prophet, she was the Judge (leader) of Israel during its rebellion against Cisera. She commanded Barak to meet the enemy's army in battle, but due to Barak's hesitation, Deborah stated that God would give the glory of victory to a woman instead of him.
galasy4969  9/16/2019
1
Deborah has fallen out of use in the western world as it was popular enough with earlier generations that it came to be associated with being old. I would personally be surprised to meet a Deborah in America who is younger than twenty-five. The name's traditional spelling (Devorah) is still common in the Eastern Mediterranean, particularly among Christians due to it's association with the Bible character.
galasy4969  9/5/2019
1
In “Oceans 8”, Deborah is the full name of Debbie Ocean.
Whippppppppp  8/28/2019
-4
I don't like it... some here say it sounds "old fashioned" but to me it just sounds like a cheap escort.
Antonio_Meza  7/31/2019
0
Deborah is a cute name - I prefer Devorah, though.
futuremother99  1/3/2019
0
Deborah Kay "Debi" Pearl (née Smith), better known as Debi Pearl was an extremely controversial book and magazine author who has written the following works: "To Train Up a Child" (1994) (co-written with her husband, Michael Pearl), "No Greater Joy" magazine (co-written with her husband, Michael Pearl) and "Created to Be His Help Meet" (2004). She and her husband were known to encourage the treatment of women as a subservient species (particularly, in "Created to Be His Help Meet" which solely focuses on a woman's/wife's "role" in marriage and subservience towards her husband) and child abuse, which they referred to as "training" (this in particular, is the sole focus of "To Train Up a Child").
Lily Marie  12/30/2018
2
My name is Deborah and I have never felt it fit me. I was born in the early sixties when it was a somewhat popular choice, but for as long as I can remember, I have loathed it.
Perhaps it's really because I was told how my parents could not agree on a name for me. Being the youngest child, all the family 'handles' were taken; every name my mother suggested, my dad shot down. Finally, so the story goes, my aunt pulled out the bible and the rest is self explanatory. It came down to a choice between Deborah and Rebecca. I would have preferred the latter.

I think that story fueled my feeling of being 'mis-named'... it wasn't like my parents were enamored of it and that's how I came to be Deborah. It sounded more like a coin flip! I'm not a Debbie or a Deb, though many people think it's okay to truncate my name without asking. For the record, it's not!

Someone in the thread said Deborah sounded like a grouchy old lady... My sentiments exactly!

If I had been smart, I would have changed my name when I turned eighteen. Oh well, too late now... I'm stuck with it!
Nelle460  11/25/2018
2
In 2018, 56 is the most common age for an American (U.S.) Deborah who is registered female with the Social Security Administration. It is the 61st most common female first name for living U.S. citizens.
― Anonymous User  10/17/2018
-4
Don't like this name. Sounds harsh.
Luvbug86  9/30/2018
-3
The meaning is cute, but the name sounds so old-fashioned.
kayisforkeen  8/6/2018
3
My name is Deborah. I commonly go by Debbie and at work I was mostly Deb. I like them all. Of course I was born in the 50s, as was just about every other Deborah. I have always loved my name and as I have gotten older and embraced its meaning, I love it even more.

Deborah was a Hebrew prophetess who led an army that defeated their foes, the Canaanites. There is also a Deborah in the Bible who was a nurse.
Respected strong women; during a time when women were possessions.
The name in Hebrew means Bee. The bee symbolizes community, brightness, and personal power. The name Deborah may not be pretty, or how I like to say, “fluffy”, but it is a name worth living up to. ❤️.
The Bee  7/6/2018
-5
The name is gross; same category as Monica. Harsh and abrasive, no charm and no femininity. Horrible choice.
Prime Meridian  6/20/2018
1
My name is Deborah. It's usually pronounced DEB-ruh unless my family is teasing or taunting me, then it's de-BORE-uh. So that's not a pronunciation I like much. I also think the spelling Debra is an abomination, something teenage boys learn to do in the back seat of a car: "I can de-bra my girlfriend with no fumbling now!" Yes, of course I was born in the 50s. I was unhappy about my name in school because there were so many other girls with the same name or only slight variations. I also felt Debbie Reynolds spoiled it for the rest of us. The name held out expectations of someone short, pretty, perky, and blonde, and those of us who were taller, plainer, more sardonic, and not blonde were failing in our Debbie-ness. I have fallen into being a curt Deb over the last couple of decades, since that's what people tend to call me anyway, even my sister, my ex-husband, and people I've JUST INTRODUCED myself to with "Hi, I'm Debbie." "Nice to meet you, Deb," comes right back. I give up. --D.
DHGoldfish  9/19/2017
1
My name is Debra and yes, I was born in the late '50s. I went by Debbie until I turned 40 and started using Debra; I like using Debra more so than Debbie. I like being named after the biblical Deborah and I like that it means "the bee" so much that I have a bee tattoo on the inside of my ankle.
deba0529  7/17/2017
1
Deborah Priya Henry, also known as Priya Emmanuel, is a Malaysian TV Host of Indian and Irish descent and a former model and beauty pageant titleholder who was crowned Miss Universe Malaysia 2011 and Miss Malaysia World 2007. She was also placed in the Top 15 at Miss World 2007.
cutenose  6/27/2017
1
The name Deborah was given to 348 girls born in the US in 2016.
More than 99.9 percent of people with the first name Deborah are female.
― Anonymous User  6/7/2017
0
Deborah Ann "Debbie" Harry is an American singer-songwriter and actress best known as the lead singer of the new wave band Blondie. She recorded several worldwide number one singles with Blondie during the 1970s, 1980s and 2000. She is sometimes considered the first rapper to chart at number one in the United States owing to her work on "Rapture". She has also had success as a solo artist before reforming Blondie in the late 1990s. Her acting career spans over 60 film roles and numerous television appearances.
cutenose  5/23/2017
0
Pulp's "Disco 2000" refers to someone named Deborah.
Paula Puddephatt  5/22/2017
0
Novelist Deborah Moggach is a famous Deborah. Her works include "Stolen" and "Porky".
Paula Puddephatt  5/22/2017
1
Deborah Ann "Debbie" Gibson, singer/songwriter, most famous for her 80s hits, is a well-known bearer of this name.
Paula Puddephatt  5/22/2017
1
Deborah is so beautiful. Many people aren't fans of Debbie as a nickname, but you can just use Deborah, with Deb for short. One of the main characters in my novel is a Deborah, who never goes by Debbie. I have less of a problem with Debbie than the awful Debra variant.
Paula Puddephatt  5/22/2017
1
My parents gave me this name, which was at the peak of its popularity when I was born ('50's). As a child I always hated my name for the very fact that is WAS so common. There would always be at least two or three other girls named "Debbie" in my class, leading to constant confusion. It was only after surviving a stroke at age 37 that I came to appreciate my name's meaning "honeybee" (industrious) and that I shared the name with the most kick-ass powerful woman in the Old Testament. I prefer the Biblical spelling "Deborah" and the pronunciation DEH-buh-ruh. While I will answer to either Deb or Deborah, I cringe whenever anyone tries to call me "Debbie" or spell my name "Debra" (which rhymes with zebra). I don't hesitate to correct anyone who gets it wrong.
Gypsy-Deb from C-bus  4/29/2017
-2
Deborah is an awful name! Sounds like a grouchy old lady.
Katesnames15  4/20/2017
1
Deborah Borkman is an American model of Swedish and Japanese descent. She was Playboy magazine's Playmate of the Month for its July 1976 issue. Her centerfold was photographed by Phillip Dixon.
cutenose  2/11/2017
1
Deborah Harkness is the author of the "All Souls" trilogy.
― Anonymous User  4/30/2016
1
A famous bearer of this name is the "Shameless" character Deborah "Debbie" Gallagher.
― Anonymous User  4/30/2016
1
The actress Deborah Ann Woll from True Blood is a younger bearer of this name. It's a beautiful, classic name that was overused in the 1950s.
― Anonymous User  2/14/2016
2
The meaning of the name is actually a good one because bees produce honey and honey is sweet, medicinal and nourishing to humanity.
chalokwu debi  9/7/2015
2
To everyone who is ignorant/anti-semetic enough to make ugly remarks about the name, go read your "christian" bibles. The name is Hebrew and means "bee."
― Anonymous User  8/22/2015
2
Personally, I LOVE my name. I've always pronounced it as Deb-o-rah, but my Jewish friends always call me De-Vor-a. I like that very much. And I like bees and honey. Happy to share my name with such industrious little beings.
Astrogirl59  8/22/2015
1
I'm not sure how I feel about the name, although it is my second middle name. When I'm asked I always say Debbie. Not a name I would pick. Little Debbie cakes. I do know a few ladies that are named Debbie. It's a housewife's name, in my opinion. I'm also a housewife, so no disrespect to all the Debbies.
Cortammiller  7/10/2015
3
Deborah is such a beautiful, sweet, classic name. I love the meaning "bee"! =)
― Anonymous User  5/4/2015
1
I like this name a lot but only with the pronunciation "Debra". I might spell it that way if I ever used it because a lot of people would think it was "Deb-o-rah." So, this is a case where I prefer a more modern spelling. I don't like the "bore" sound in the middle of the 3 syllable way. But, Deborah is the way it is spelled in the Bible. A Debra/Deborah could get nicknamed Deb, Debbie, or Dee.
― Anonymous User  10/21/2014
1
Deborah Watling played Second Doctor companion Victoria Waterfield.
VoraLundar  6/17/2014
1
The song "Disco 2000" by Pulp is about a woman named Deborah.
moonbaby9307  5/30/2014
2
Deborah is a beautiful name. I can't understand people who consider it dated. It's a Biblical name, after all, and as classic as other biblical names of notable women such as Sarah, Rachel, Rebecca, Leah, and Miriam.
Just Jonquil  3/20/2014
1
This is my mum's name. She pronounces it "Deh-bruh," and is called either "Deb" or "Debbie/Debi." It's a good name in itself, but it's a little too retro 50's/60's for my own tastes.
― Anonymous User  4/7/2012
1
Some famous actresses with this name are Deborah Kerr (b. 1921), Debbie Reynolds (b.1932), Debra Winger (b. 1955), and Debra Messing (b. 1968). Famous musicians include Debbie Harry (b. 1945) and Debbie Gibson (b. 1970). Olympic gold medalist Debbie Armstrong (b. 1963) also bears the name, as does Mount Deborah, an Alaskan mountain famous for its difficult ascent.
Niere  1/14/2012
1
Dobriana in Ukrainian.
dtk  12/1/2011
2
My supervisor at work tends to pronounce her DEBORAH name as "Dee-BOR-uh" which usualy isn't found in the pronunciation grid.
Stephen1976  7/14/2011
1
A famous bearer of this name is Deborah Ryan, who is Bailey Picket on the Suite Life on Deck, Abby Jensen on 16 Wishes, and Kimberly Walker on What If. Deborah Ryan goes by Debby.
― Anonymous User  4/18/2011
1
Canadian R&B singer Deborah Cox.
― Anonymous User  4/10/2011
1
The first thing that comes to my head when I hear this name is: NURSE...
high_chronicles  1/17/2011
2
I like this name, but I don't like the nickname Debbie.
Chrila96  11/12/2010
2
I know that I'm pronouncing it wrong, but I usually say "da-BOR-ah".
Myth Writer Dreamer  9/7/2010
1
The name Deborah doesn't mean bee. Its meaning comes from world maybe a spoken world probably the name of the bee comes after this significance

וַיְהִי דְבַר-יְהוָה, אֵלַי לֵאמֹר
And the word of the LORD came unto me
Jeremiah Chapter 1-4
Eduardo  4/6/2010
1
It is my name, although close friends call me Deb or Deborah, but never will I allow Debbie, to me is ok for little kids. And the spelling of Debra, well leave my bra alone thanks. Nope De-bra will not do at all, and it annoys me when others use it, and they have been told in the past.
Debbs  1/15/2010
1
This is my favorite spelling of the name. I generally pronounce it "DEB-er-uh" or "DEB-ruh" (southerner, you know). I like the nickname Debbie, but I'm not so big into just Deb.
Aloicious  7/28/2009
1
Reminds me of debara, the Danish word for debate.
― Anonymous User  7/20/2009
1
Well Deborah is my name except I spell it as Debra. And personally. I love it! it represents a strong biblical women who did great things. I have this one friend who pronounces it like Dee-bra and I find it hilarious. I was also called D.D. by a teacher but I really don't care, I think Debra is a wonderful name!
debster35  2/6/2009
-1
The bad thing about this name is that it sounds like debris.
― Anonymous User  10/26/2008
1
I like this name, and it's very pretty. However, the fact that this is the name of Eminem's mother has made me not want to use it.
bananarama  9/14/2008
1
This name is ok, but sounds very similar to Barbara.
Hushpuppy  9/1/2008
1
I like this name but it seems to scream the '50's so I will not use it.
number1212  5/21/2008
-2
This full version of the name is not as awful as the nickname Debbie, but like Debbie, the name rather makes me picture some ditzy girl from some 80s movie with long, messy, curly hair, big earrings, and neon-colored clothes who chews pink bubble gum with her mouth open and has posters of hair metal bands on her walls. The name also makes me think of middle-aged women with hideous perms and ugly, loose-fitting clothes.
slight night shiver  5/20/2008
1
Deborah Reber is the author of the new book In Their Shoes which includes women who have many jobs and she includes many women in the book. Such as: Shonda Rhimes; Joanne B. Sgueglia; Leah Faresh Karp; Missy Park; Kamla Harris; Jessica Weiner; Jocelyn Warner; Alli Shearmur; Danielle Aust; Nancy Pearl; Maureen Shirreff; Anne Corbett; Lupe Valdez; Susan Schulz; Barbara Boxer; Linda Chen; Amanda Koster; Bo Kim; Michelle Grandy; Susannah Grant; Luaren Faust; Melissa Block; Mary Sue Milliken; Susan Feniger; Christine Tucker; Heather Johnson; Cindy Guagenti; Kelly McCarthy; June Ambrose; Holly McPeak; Joyce Roche; Jayne Morgan; Dr. Alice Wilder; Servern Cullis-Suzuki; Anke Langenbach; Leanne Lusk; Amy Friedman; Chiyo Ishikawa; and Dr. Nancy Knowlton.

She is also the co-author of The Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul's: The Real Deal.
Patricia Underwood  3/7/2008
1
This has been my name for years and I have always hated it. I have not forgiven my parents for sticking me with such a common name (at that time). My friends call me DeeDee.
― Anonymous User  10/2/2007
1
Debra is a good alternate spelling of the name, but it exists only as a Greco-Roman alteration. The ending -ah on Deborah is typical of feminine names in Hebrew as it often denotes a word's femininity. For example, Sarah, Hannah, Oholibamah, Hadassah, etc. Are all feminine names, and in some cases, feminine words.
Atarah Derek  7/12/2007
2
My mother's name is Deborah and I personally think that this name is very beautiful. When I think of the name Deborah I picture a woman with a strong spirit about her, someone who is independent yet compassionate. A lovely name in my opinion. The only thing I dislike about this name is the common nickname of Debbie. Bleck.
Cyneburga  6/17/2007
1
Deborah Drew is the designer on DIYSOS.
Luangi  4/7/2007
1
Deborah is sort of a middle-aged name now and this makes it less attractive. If it were used on a pretty young girl it might not be so bad, though. I don't like an variant spellings like Debra, but Deborah is a tolerable name.
― Anonymous User  4/1/2007
-2
This name reminds me of a fat person. It reminds me of a fat, obese person.
newguineafan  2/4/2007
2
Love this name since it is my aunt's name. It is very cute and makes me think of a sweet, happy person.
― Anonymous User  1/23/2007
2
Deborah Sampson Gannett was a woman from Massachusetts who disguised herself as a man named Robert Shurtleff during the Revolutionary War in order to fight for the United States. Her true gender was discovered by a doctor after she was shot twice in a battle and developed a fever. She was given an honorary discharge from the army and is the Massachusetts state heroine. She was born in 1760 and died in 1827.
Juls  8/28/2006
-1
This is the WORST spelling of the name. That "orah" is a visual affront. It always looks like it is supposed to be pronounced "dee-BORE-ah". Please use a different spelling of this name if you want to use it for your child (ie Debra, which has suited my mother just fine for the past fifty years).
― Anonymous User  6/28/2006
1
There's a character named Deborah or Debra on "Everybody Loves Raymond."
Tudor  6/14/2006
3
My mother's name is Deborah and it is pronounced de-bor-uh.
shyshayleigh  3/15/2006
1
Deborah (Debbie) Harry, front woman of Blondie, is a famous bearer.
― Anonymous User  12/29/2005
1
Actress Deborah Kerr was a famous bearer.
― Anonymous User  12/16/2005
2
Deborah was also a poet.
Deborah4675  9/11/2005
2
In opera, Deborah Voigt, a great dramatic soprano of our time, is among the carriers of this name.
gaelruadh19  7/28/2005
2
Deborah, in the Hebrew, means 'the bee', in the sense of orderly motion from its systematic instincts. The root word is dabar, which means, 'to arrange'; used figuratively of words, 'to speak'.
soterion  7/18/2005
3
I often pronounce it now as "deb-OR-ah".
gaelruadh19  4/28/2005

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