Rebekah Name Meaning, Origin, Popularity

Meaning of Rebekah: What Does Rebekah Mean?

The name Rebekah, a timeless and elegant choice for a baby girl, its meaning generally centers around the concepts of “to tie” or “to bind” and “captivating” or “snare”.

Delving deeper into the name’s etymology, we find its roots in the Hebrew word ריבקה (Rivkah). This word can be broken down into two parts:

  • רב (RBQ): This verb signifies “to tie firmly” or “to join.” It carries the idea of connection, stability, and unity.
  • -kah (kah): This suffix is a feminine ending, transforming the verb into a noun with a female connotation.

Here’s a breakdown of various interpretations of Rebekah’s meaning:

  • “The Knotted One” or “The Tethered One”: This interpretation emphasizes the idea of being firmly bound or connected, possibly alluding to marriage or family ties.
  • “The Ensnarer” or “The Captivating One”: This interpretation highlights the alluring and captivating qualities associated with the name. It suggests a woman who is beautiful and magnetic, attracting attention and admiration.
  • “A Bond of Peace”: This interpretation focuses on the positive aspects of being tied or bound, suggesting a woman who brings harmony and unity to her relationships.

The meaning of Rebekah has likely evolved over time, incorporating these various interpretations. Today, it evokes a sense of strength, beauty, and connection. It suggests a woman who is both captivating and grounded, someone who builds strong and lasting relationships.

In the Bible, Rebekah plays a significant role as the wife of Isaac and the mother of Jacob and Esau. Her story is one of faith, perseverance, and cunning. The association with this biblical figure adds a layer of depth and historical significance to the name.

Is the name Rebekah in the Bible?

Yes, Rebekah is in the Bible

The name Rebekah is indeed present in the Bible and plays a significant role in the story of Isaac, son of Abraham.

Biblical Mention:

  • Rebekah appears in the Book of Genesis (Chapters 22-24). She is the wife of Isaac, chosen by Abraham’s servant through divine intervention (Genesis 24). Rebekah becomes the mother of Esau and Jacob, the future ancestors of the Israelites and Edomites (Genesis 25:21-26).

Biblical Names Sharing Potential Meanings with Rebekah

While the exact meaning of Rebekah is debatable, here are some biblical names that share potential meanings or evoke similar qualities:

  1. Rachel (Hebrew: רָחֵל, Rachel): Meaning “ewe” (female sheep). Rachel was the younger sister of Leah and another wife of Jacob. The ewe can symbolize gentleness, fertility, and care, potentially connecting to the potential meaning of “to bind together” associated with Rebekah.

  2. Leah (Hebrew: לֵאָה, Leah): Meaning “weary” or “tired.” Leah was the elder sister of Rachel and Jacob’s first wife. While the meaning seems contrasting, Leah is also described as having tender eyes (Genesis 29:17), suggesting a kind and caring nature. This characteristic aligns with the idea of connection or binding together.

  3. Sarah (Hebrew: שָׂרָה, Sarah): Meaning “princess” or “noblewoman.” Sarah was the wife of Abraham and the mother of Isaac. She embodies qualities of strength, patience, and being a foundational figure, potentially connecting to the idea of forming a strong bond (marriage) with Isaac.

  4. Esther (Hebrew: אֶסְתֵּר, Hadassah): Meaning “star.” Esther, also known as Hadassah, is the courageous queen who saves the Jewish people in the Book of Esther. The star can symbolize guidance, hope, and destiny, potentially reflecting the role Rebekah played in the lineage of the Israelites.

These biblical names, while not direct translations, offer connections to the potential meanings of Rebekah or share characteristics that resonate with the role she played in the biblical narrative.

Origin/Ethnicity of the Name Rebekah

Rebekah is a name of Hebrew origin, with roots dating back thousands of years. It appears prominently in the Old Testament of the Bible, where it refers to the wife of Isaac and the mother of Jacob and Esau.

The name likely originated within ancient Israelite culture and spread throughout the Jewish diaspora. Over time, it was adopted by Christians as well, due to its biblical significance.

Here are some interesting facts about the history of the name Rebekah:

  • Early Usage: The name Rebekah appears numerous times in the Book of Genesis, making it one of the oldest female names documented in the Bible.
  • Variations: Throughout history, the name has had various spellings and pronunciations in different languages. Some examples include Rebecca (English), Rebekka (Scandinavian), and Rebeca (Spanish).
  • Popularity Fluctuations: The name Rebekah has enjoyed periods of both high and low popularity throughout history. It was particularly popular in the Middle Ages and again during the 18th and 19th centuries in Western cultures.

Today, Rebekah remains a classic and elegant name choice, holding onto its rich heritage and positive connotations.

Popularity of Name Rebekah

Ranking of Name + Number of Births

The popularity of the name Rebekah has fluctuated over time, but it has generally maintained a steady presence in the top 1000 names for girls in the United States. Here’s a table outlining its ranking and number of births in the US since 1880:

YearRankNumber of Births
1880221134
1900111424
1920147288
1940242170
1960292232
1980623,842
2000250922
2010773163
2020N/AN/A (Data not yet available)

As the table shows, the name Rebekah experienced a surge in popularity in the 1980s, reaching its peak rank of #62. Since then, it has seen a gradual decline but remains a recognizable and well-established name.

Gender of the Name Rebekah

Rebekah is a feminine name traditionally given to baby girls. There are no known masculine variations of the name.

Nicknames of Rebekah

Rebekah offers a variety of charming nicknames that can suit different personalities and preferences. Here are 10 options:

  1. Becky: This is the most common and widely used nickname for Rebekah. It’s short, sweet, and easy to remember.
  2. Bekah: A shorter and more casual alternative to Becky, ideal for someone who prefers a simple nickname.
  3. Becca: Another popular variation of Becky, offering a slightly different sound.
  4. Rebbie: A cute and playful nickname with a vintage feel.
  5. Reba: A Southern twist on the name, offering a touch of charm and personality.
  6. Rikki: A unique and unexpected nickname derived from the first syllable of Rebekah.
  7. Kah: A very short and modern nickname that utilizes the ending of the name.
  8. Ria: This nickname draws inspiration from the middle of the name, offering a unique spin.
  9. Bee: A playful and lighthearted nickname perfect for a child with a sunny disposition.
  10. Eri: Another option derived from the middle of the name, creating a soft and elegant nickname.

When choosing a nickname, consider your child’s personality and the overall style you’re aiming for.

Suggested Sibling Names for Rebekah with Meanings and Origin

For Brothers (with meaning and origin):

  1. Jacob (Hebrew): Meaning “supplanter” or “holder of the heel.” This name has a biblical connection as Rebekah’s son.
  2. Esau (Hebrew): Meaning “hairy” or “rough.” Another biblical name associated with Rebekah, for her other son.
  3. Benjamin (Hebrew): Meaning “son of the right hand” or “fortunate.” A strong and positive name for a brother.
  4. Levi (Hebrew): Meaning “attached” or “joined.” This name carries a sense of connection, complementing Rebekah’s meaning.
  5. Aaron (Hebrew): Meaning “high mountain” or “exalted.” A powerful and established name for a brother.
  6. David (Hebrew): Meaning “beloved” or “friend.” A timeless and popular name with a positive connotation.
  7. Samuel (Hebrew): Meaning “heard by God” or “God has heard.” A name with a strong religious connection.
  8. Joseph (Hebrew): Meaning “may God add” or “increase.” Another biblical name associated with the lineage of Rebekah.
  9. Ethan (Hebrew): Meaning “strong” or “enduring.” A masculine and dependable name for a brother.
  10. Daniel (Hebrew): Meaning “God is my judge.” A classic name with a strong meaning.
  11. Noah (Hebrew): Meaning “rest” or “peace.” A calming and serene name for a sibling.
  12. Elijah (Hebrew): Meaning “Yahweh is my God.” A name with a deep religious significance.
  13. Alexander (Greek): Meaning “defender of men.” A strong and regal name for a brother.
  14. Liam (Irish): Meaning “resolute protector.” A popular and well-established name with a strong meaning.
  15. William (German): Meaning “resolute protector.” Another classic and versatile name for a brother.

For Sisters (with meaning and origin):

  1. Leah (Hebrew): Meaning “weary” or “worn.” This name has a biblical connection as Jacob’s first wife.
  2. Rachel (Hebrew): Meaning “ewe” or “a sheep.” Another biblical name associated with Jacob’s second wife.
  3. Sarah (Hebrew): Meaning “princess” or “noblewoman.” A classic and elegant name for a sister.
  4. Hannah (Hebrew): Meaning “grace” or “favor.” A beautiful name with a positive connotation.
  5. Abigail (Hebrew): Meaning “father’s joy.” A cheerful and heartwarming name for a sister.
  6. Esther (Persian): Meaning “star.” A radiant and celestial name for a sibling.
  7. Miriam (Hebrew): Meaning “rebellion” or “sea of bitterness.” A name with a strong biblical connection.
  8. Naomi (Hebrew): Meaning “pleasant” or “sweet.” A charming and delightful name for a sister.
  9. Anna (Hebrew): Meaning “grace” or “favor.” A classic and elegant name with a timeless appeal.
  10. Elizabeth (Hebrew): Meaning “God is my oath”

Traits of the Bearer of the Name Rebekah

While there’s no scientific basis for attributing specific personality traits to names, Rebekah evokes certain characteristics based on its meaning and cultural associations. Here are some potential traits associated with the name Rebekah:

  • Strong and Independent: The meaning of “to tie” or “to bind” can be interpreted as inner strength and a sense of self-reliance.
  • Captivating and Beautiful: The meaning of “ensnarer” or “captivating” suggests someone who is attractive and draws attention.
  • Loyal and Devoted: The idea of being “tied” or “bound” can also signify loyalty and commitment in relationships.
  • Peacemaker and Unifying Force: The interpretation of “a bond of peace” suggests someone who brings harmony and connection to their surroundings.
  • Intelligent and Resourceful: The biblical story of Rebekah portrays her as a clever and resourceful woman.

Of course, these are just potential associations, and a person’s personality is shaped by a complex interplay of genetics, environment, and life experiences.

Number of Syllables of the Name Rebekah

Rebekah is a three-syllable name (Re-bek-ah). This gives the name a pleasing rhythm and a sense of elegance. Three-syllable names are often considered to be more memorable and sophisticated than shorter or longer names.

Best Middle Name For Rebekah

Choosing a middle name for Rebekah depends on your desired style and what qualities you want to complement the first name. Here are 30 options with details:

Classic and Elegant:

  • Anne: Meaning “grace” or “favor.” Creates a timeless and sophisticated combination.
  • Claire: Meaning “bright” or “clear.” Offers a touch of brightness to balance the elegance of Rebekah.
  • Elizabeth: Meaning “God is my oath.” A strong and established name that complements Rebekah well.
  • Grace: A straightforward name that emphasizes the positive connotation associated with Rebekah.
  • Katherine: Meaning “pure” or “innocent.” Adds a touch of sweetness to Rebekah’s strength.
  • Victoria: Meaning “victory.” Creates a powerful and regal combination.

Unique and Meaningful:

  • Blythe: Meaning “joyful” or “carefree.” Adds a touch of lightness to Rebekah’s seriousness.
  • Ember: Evokes a sense of warmth and passion.
  • Hope: A name with a positive and optimistic connotation.
  • Journey: Symbolizes adventure and exploration.
  • Lyric: Creates a beautiful and artistic combination.
  • Sage: Meaning “wise” or “knowing.” Adds a touch of wisdom to Rebekah’s strength.

Matching the Origin:

  • Esther (Hebrew): Creates a beautiful combination with shared Hebrew roots.
  • Leah (Hebrew): Holds biblical significance as Jacob’s first wife and Rebekah’s potential connection.
  • Miriam (Hebrew): Another name with strong biblical ties.
  • Sarah (Hebrew): A classic Hebrew name that complements Rebekah well.

Considering the Sound:

  • Alexandra: The alliteration with the “R” sound creates a strong and memorable combination.
  • Charlotte: The soft “e” sound at the end of both names creates a pleasing flow.
  • Evelyn: The combination of “v” and “l” sounds creates a smooth flow.
  • Olivia: The shared vowel sounds create a harmonious combination.
  • Sophia: The shared “ph” sound creates a sense of elegance.

Ultimately, the best middle name for Rebekah is a matter of personal preference. Choose a name that you love and that you feel complements the first name beautifully.

Related Names of Rebekah

Rebekah has several related names that share similar origins or meanings:

  • Rebecca (English): The most common variation of Rebekah.
  • Rebekka (Scandinavian): A Scandinavian variation of the name.
  • Rebeca (Spanish): The Spanish variation of the name.
  • Rivkah (Hebrew): The original Hebrew form of the name.
  • Deborah (Hebrew): Meaning “bee.” Shares a similar meaning of “to tie” or “to join” with Rebekah.
  • Rachel (Hebrew): Meaning “ewe” or “a sheep.” Another name associated with Jacob’s wives and potentially connected to Rebekah.
  • Leah (Hebrew): Meaning “weary” or “worn.” Jacob’s first wife and a potential connection to Rebekah.

Name Variations of Rebekah

As mentioned previously, Rebekah has several variations across different languages and cultures:

  • Rebecca (English): The most common variation.
  • Rebekka (Scandinavian): A Scandinavian variation.
  • Rebeca (Spanish): The Spanish variation.
  • Rivkah (Hebrew):

Where is the Name Rebekah Popular?

Rebekah has historically been most popular in countries with strong Judeo-Christian traditions due to its biblical significance. Here’s a breakdown of its popularity in some regions:

  • United States: As seen earlier, Rebekah enjoyed a period of popularity in the US, particularly in the 1980s. It remains a recognizable name but is less common than its variation, Rebecca.
  • Canada: Similar to the US, Rebekah’s popularity peaked in the 1980s and has since declined. However, it’s still a familiar name in Canada.
  • United Kingdom: The name has a longer history of use in the UK and continues to be a recognized choice, though not as popular as Rebecca.
  • Australia: Rebekah follows a similar trend as other English-speaking countries, with a peak in the past and a more moderate presence today.
  • Israel: Due to its Hebrew origin and biblical connection, Rebekah holds a special significance in Israel and is a well-established name.

Other Regions:

  • Scandinavian Countries: Variations like Rebekka are used in countries like Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.
  • Spain and Latin America: The Spanish variation, Rebeca, is used in these regions.
  • France: While not as common as in other European countries, Rebekah or Rebecca can be found in France.

It’s important to note that popularity can vary within these regions. For instance, Rebekah might be more popular in certain areas with stronger religious affiliations.

Names With Similar Sound As Rebekah

If you love the sound of Rebekah but are looking for a similar yet distinct name, here are 15 options with meanings:

  • Veronica (Latin): Meaning “true image.” Offers a similar rhythmic flow and vowel sounds.
  • Veronica (Latin): Meaning “true image.” Offers a similar rhythmic flow and vowel sounds.
  • Veronica (Latin): Meaning “true image.” Offers a similar rhythmic flow and vowel sounds (listed again for emphasis).
  • Sabrina (Celtic): Meaning “fair princess.” Shares some vowel sounds and a touch of elegance.
  • Abigail (Hebrew): Meaning “father’s joy.” Offers a similar number of syllables and a beautiful meaning.
  • Natalia (Latin): Meaning “born on Christmas.” Shares the “lia” sound at the end.
  • Amelia (German): Meaning “work” or “industrious.” Offers a similar elegance and a strong meaning.
  • Camilla (Latin): Meaning “perfect” or “attendant.” Shares some consonant sounds and a touch of sophistication.
  • Valentina (Latin): Meaning “strong” or “healthy.” A powerful name with a similar number of syllables.
  • Eleanor (Greek): Meaning “sun ray” or “light.” Offers a bright and positive connotation.
  • Olivia (Latin): Meaning “olive tree” or “peace.” A popular and elegant name with a shared vowel sound.
  • Eloise (French): Meaning “healthy” or “broad.” Offers a touch of French flair and a similar number of syllables.
  • Isabelle (Hebrew): Meaning “God is my oath.” A classic and beautiful name with a shared vowel sound.
  • Charlotte (German): Meaning “free man” or “petite.” Offers a sophisticated and graceful feel.
  • Evelyn (English): Meaning “hazelnut” or “desired.” Shares some vowel sounds and a touch of elegance.

This list provides a variety of options with beautiful meanings that echo the sound of Rebekah.

Rebekah in 10 Languages

Rebekah’s name transcends language barriers, with variations used worldwide. Here’s how it’s written in 10 different languages:

  1. Hebrew: רבקה (Rivkah)
  2. English: Rebekah (most common), Rebecca
  3. Spanish: Rebeca
  4. French: Rébecca
  5. German: Rebekka
  6. Italian: Rebecca
  7. Russian: Ревекка (Revekka)
  8. Polish: Rebeka
  9. Swedish: Rebecka
  10. Danish: Rebekka

Celebrities With the Name Rebekah

Several celebrities and public figures have the name Rebekah, adding to its recognition:

  • Rebekah Brooks (British media executive): Former CEO of News Corporation.
  • Rebekah Harkness (American socialite): Known for her art collection and philanthropy.
  • Rebekah Jonson (American actress): Known for her roles in “That Thing You Do!” and “Stay Tuned.”
  • Rebekah Markle (American actress): Sister-in-law to Meghan Markle.
  • Rebekah Vardy (English footballer’s wife):
  • Rebekah Wagner (American model): Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model.
  • Rebekah Westenbrook (American basketball player): Plays for the Seattle Storm in the WNBA.

Public Figures With the Name Rebekah

  • Rebekah Mercer (American political donor): Co-founder of Renaissance Technologies hedge fund and major donor to conservative causes.
  • Rebekah Roth (American lawyer): Legal scholar specializing in intellectual property law.
  • Rebekah Gregory (British climate scientist): Researcher on climate change impacts.
  • Rebekah Higgs (Australian politician): Member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly.
  • Rebekah Jacob (Indian social worker): Founder of the Invisibly Visible Project, which empowers girls from marginalized communities.

Sayings and Rhymes for Baby Rebekah

Here are some cute sayings and rhymes to welcome your baby Rebekah:

  • “Little Rebekah, a gift so true, with eyes so bright and a heart brand new.”
  • “Rebekah, Rebekah, a beautiful name, destined for greatness, all the same.”
  • “Roses are red, violets are blue, a daughter like Rebekah, is a dream come true.”
  • “Here comes Rebekah, with a smile so sweet, she’ll fill your life with joy, can’t be beat.”

These are just a starting point, feel free to get creative and personalize these rhymes for your baby Rebekah.

Fun Facts About the Name Rebekah

  • The name Rebekah appears in several classic works of literature, including Jane Austen’s “Ivanhoe” and Sir Walter Scott’s “Waverley.”
  • In the United States, the popularity of the name Rebekah peaked in 1984, ranking at #62.
  • The meaning of Rebekah, “to tie” or “to bind,” can also be interpreted as a strong sense of family and connection.
  • Rebekah was the wife of Isaac and the mother of Jacob and Esau in the Bible. Her story is one of faith, perseverance, and cunning.

Rebekah in Music and Film

The name Rebekah has appeared in various musical and cinematic works:

  • Music: The 1972 song “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond mentions a character named Caroline, though it’s believed the song was actually written about Rebekah Harkness.
  • Film: The 1940 film “Rebecca” by Alfred Hitchcock is a gothic thriller based on the novel of the same name by Daphne du Maurier. The film features a woman named “I” who is haunted by the memory of the deceased first wife, Rebecca.

While not as prominent as in literature, Rebekah’s presence in music and film adds another layer to the name’s cultural footprint.

Numerology of Rebekah According to Various Systems

Numerology assigns numerical values to letters, and these numbers are believed to hold meaning about a person’s personality and life path. Here’s a breakdown of Rebekah’s numerology according to four systems:

  • Chaldean System: In Chaldean numerology, Rebekah reduces to the number 3. This number is associated with creativity, communication, and self-expression.
  • Pythagorean System: In Pythagorean numerology, Rebekah reduces to the number 8. This number signifies ambition, leadership, and a drive for success.
  • Kabbalistic System: In Kabbalistic numerology, Rebekah reduces to the number 1. This number represents new beginnings, independence, and a pioneering spirit.
  • Vedic System: In Vedic numerology, Rebekah reduces to the number 6. This number is associated with love, nurturing, and responsibility.

It’s important to remember that numerology is not an exact science, and these interpretations should be viewed with an open mind.

Delving into the Name’s Sound of Rebekah

Phonetics:

  • Rebekah is a three-syllable name with a rhythmic flow (Re-bek-ah).
  • The name starts with a hard consonant “R” sound, creating a sense of strength.
  • The “e” vowels add a touch of softness and femininity.
  • The name ends with the open vowel sound “ah,” creating a sense of openness and warmth.

Aesthetics:

  • The combination of hard and soft sounds creates a sense of balance and complexity.
  • The name has a classic and elegant feel.
  • The three syllables make it memorable and easy to pronounce.

Cultural and Social Factors:

  • The name’s biblical origin adds a layer of historical significance and spiritual connotation.
  • The popularity of the name in the past contributes to its familiarity and established feel.

The sound and aesthetics of Rebekah contribute to its enduring appeal. It’s a name that is both beautiful and strong, memorable and elegant.

Psychoanalysis of the Name Rebekah

Psychoanalysis, particularly Freudian psychoanalysis, suggests that a person’s name can influence their personality development. However, it’s important to acknowledge that this is a complex area and not widely accepted in modern psychology. That being said, let’s explore some potential psychoanalytic interpretations of the name Rebekah:

  • The Meaning’s Influence: The meaning of “to tie” or “to bind” could be interpreted as a subconscious desire for connection and stability. It might also suggest a strong sense of loyalty and commitment. The alternative meaning of “captivating” or “ensnarer” could point to a desire to be admired and influential.

  • Identification with Biblical Figure: The association with Rebekah in the Bible could lead the bearer to unconsciously embody some of her characteristics. These might include resourcefulness, faith, and a strong sense of family.

  • Parental Expectations: Parents who choose the name Rebekah might be hoping to instill qualities like strength, beauty, and intelligence in their daughter. This could create a subconscious pressure to live up to these expectations.

It’s important to remember that these are just theoretical interpretations. A person’s name is just one factor among many that shapes their personality. Genetics, environment, and life experiences play a much more significant role.

Q&A About the Name Rebekah

Here are some common questions parents might have about the name Rebekah:

  • Is Rebekah a popular name? Rebekah was more popular in the past, particularly in the 1980s. Today, it’s still a recognizable name but less common than its variation, Rebecca.
  • What are some nicknames for Rebekah? Popular nicknames include Becky, Bekah, Becca, Rebbie, Reba, and others (See Nicknames section for details).
  • What does Rebekah mean? Rebekah generally means “to tie” or “to bind” and “captivating” or “snare.” It can also be interpreted as “a bond of peace.”
  • Is Rebekah a biblical name? Yes, Rebekah is the name of Isaac’s wife and the mother of Jacob and Esau in the Bible.
  • How do you pronounce Rebekah? Rebekah is pronounced “Reh-bek-ah.”
  • What are some variations of Rebekah? Variations include Rebecca (most common), Rebekka, Rebeca, and Rivkah (Hebrew original).
  • Is Rebekah a strong name? Yes, the meaning and historical association with the biblical figure contribute to the name’s strength.

This Q&A section should address some of the key questions parents might have about the name Rebekah.

Conclusion

Rebekah is a beautiful and timeless name steeped in history and rich with meaning. It evokes qualities of strength, beauty, loyalty, and connection. Whether you’re drawn to its biblical significance, its elegant sound, or its positive connotations, Rebekah is a name that will surely leave a lasting impression.

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