Jessica

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

First used by Shakespeare in Merchant of Venice, probably from Hebrew יִסְכָּה (Yiskah, "Iscah" in Genesis 11:29, "Jescha" in the Wycliffe version), a proper name meaning "one who looks forth" (but apparently not used as an ordinary word with that meaning).

  • By folk etymology seen as an elaborate form of Jessie, from Jane.

Pronunciation[edit]

Proper noun[edit]

Jessica

  1. A female given name; formerly rare, but since the 1970s popular in all English-speaking countries .
    • 1594 William Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice: Act V: Scene I:
      Lorenzo: In such a night / Did Jessica steal from the wealthy Jew, / And with an unthrift love did run from Venice, / As far as Belmont.
      Jessica: In such a night / Did young Lorenzo swear he lov'd her well, / Stealing her soul with many vows of faith, / And ne'er a true one.
      Lorenzo: In such a night / Did pretty Jessica, like a little shrew, / Slander her love, and he forgave it her.
    • 1996 Tad Williams, The Writer's Child, The Sandman Book of Dreams, HarperCollins, ISBN 0002246325, page 154:
      She will be beautiful, of course - how could our child not be beautiful? We will name her...Jessica. Yes, that's a good name, not one of those lighter-than-air names so popular among writers of romances and fairy tales. That's a name a real little girl might have.

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]


Danish[edit]

Proper noun[edit]

Jessica

  1. A female given name recently borrowed from English.

French[edit]

Proper noun[edit]

Jessica

  1. A female given name borrowed from English, popular in the end of the 20th century.

German[edit]

Proper noun[edit]

Jessica

  1. A female given name borrowed from English, popular in the end of the 20th century.

Swedish[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Proper noun[edit]

Jessica

  1. A female given name borrowed from English and popular in the end of the 20th century.