[ 2 syll. jes-si-ca, je-ss-ica ] The baby girl name Jessica is also used as a boy name, though it is far more popular for girls. It is pronounced JH-S-ih-Kaa- †. Jessica has its origins in the Hebrew language. It is used largely in English and German. The meaning of Jessica is 'God beholds, foresight'. The name was first used by Shakespeare in naming the daughter of Shylock in his play The Merchant of Venice (1596). It appears that Shakespeare derived the name from Iscah (Hebrew) or the alternative form Jesca (Hebrew), which appeared in the book of Genesis of the Bible as the name of a daughter of Haran. These two biblical names are in turn derived from Yiskah (Hebrew), which is of the root word sakhah. The name has long been associated with Jews, and it appears that this was Shakespeare's intention as well. The name was used occasionally by English speakers from the 16th century, and it saw a revival in the late 19th century.
The name Jessica is used to a great extent; it has 68 forms that are used in English and foreign languages. English forms of the name include Jassica, Jennica, Jesenia, Jesimae, Jesirae, Jeslyn, Jessa, Jessah, Jessaka, Jessalin, Jessaline, Jessalyn, Jessalynn, Jessamae, Jessamyn, Jessana, Jessandra, Jessca, Jesscia, Jesse, Jesselyn, Jessey, Jessi, Jessia, Jessicah, Jessicia, Jessilyn, Jessina, Jessiya, and Jesslyn. Other English forms include the contracted forms Jess, Jessie (also used in German, and Hebrew), and Jessy (also used in German), the familiar form Jecca, and the spelling variants Jesaca, Jesica, Jesicca, Jesika, Jessaca, Jesseca, Jessicca, Jessicka, Jessika (also used in German), Jessiqua, Jessyca, Jessyka, and Jesyka.
See also the related form, the name Jessica-Lynn.
Jessica is popular as a baby girl name. The name increased in popularity from the 1930s up to the 1980s. At the peak of its usage in 1987, 2.990% of baby girls were named Jessica. It was #1 in rank then. The baby name has suffered a substantial decline in popularity since then. In 2012, it ranked at #138 with a usage of only 0.120%, but it was nevertheless the most popular out of all girl names in its family. Jessica was used 5 times more than the 2nd most popular name, Jessie, in 2012. Jessica has primarily been a baby girl name in the last century. In 1991, 375 times more baby girls than boys were given the name Jessica.
† Pronunciation for Jessica: JH as in "joy (JH.OY)" ; S as in "see (S.IY)" ; IH as in "it (IH.T)" ; K as in "key (K.IY)" ; AA as in "odd (AA.D)"
Details of famous persons named Jessica:
Actress Jessica Alba, born 28 April 1981, Pomona, California.
Actress Jessica Biel, born 3 March 1982, Ely, Minnesota.
Animated Character Jessica Rabbit, born 1988.
Singer Jessica Simpson, born 10 July 1980, Dallas, Texas.
Soldier Jessica Lynch, born 26 April 1983, Wirt County, West Virginia.