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Deborah Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Deborah including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Deborah Overview

  • Meaning: Deborah means “bee” or “queen bee.”
  • Gender: Deborah is commonly known as a feminine name
  • Origin: Deborah derives from Hebrew origin.
  • Pronunciation: “De-BOR-uh” or “Deb-ruh”
  • Popularity: Currently, Deborah is not a popular name. Though during the 1950s, Deborah was popular across Canada and the US.
  • Nicknames: Debbie, Debra, Debs, Debbie the Leader, Queen Bee, Prophetess
  • Variations: Deb, Debby, Devorah, Debee, Debra, Debrah, Dvorah, Debbo
  • Namesakes: Debra Bowen, Deborah Meaden, Deborah Rhode, Debbie Harry, Deborah Allen.

What Does Deborah Mean?

The name Deborah means “bee.” Bees are critical insects to the environment as they pollinate the planet and play a prominent role in tree, flower, and plant growth necessary for providing people with food and medicinal ingredients (1).

The Hebrew Bible – written in the 12th and 2nd centuries – states that Deborah means to be a leader of the Israelites to win victory over the Canaanite commander Sisera.

Deborah means to be a legend, a hero, a judge, a poet, and a teacher.

What is the Origin of the Name Deborah?

Deborah is of the Origin of Hebrew, American, and Irish.

All origins of the name Deborah mean the same thing, although, from an Irish standpoint, Deborah means “from a swarm of bees; Queen bee.” The name Deborah grew popular after Deborah’s reign of war over the Canaans in 1200 BCE.

Hebrew origin includes Judeans and Samaritans, and Israelites (2).

How Popular is the Name Deborah?

The popularity of the name Deborah scored top 100 from 1950 to 1962 across the globe, from Australia to France, New Zealand, and even Scotland. Deborah’s name sky-rocketed in popularity mainly throughout Canada and the United States in 1955.

There was another outburst in popularity for the name Deborah in the 1900s, but it since has decreased. Today, the name Deborah isn’t heard or talked about much, rating at the top 1000. Though it is still somewhat popular across the US and other parts of the world.

How Do I Pronounce Deborah?

Deborah is a simple name to pronounce. The following represents the phonetic spelling and pronunciation of the name Deborah:

  • Duh-BOR-uh
  • Deborah
  • Deh-bruh
  • Deb-ruh
  • Deb-o-rah

Is Deborah a Boy or a Girl Name?

Deborah is commonly known as a feminine name. Throughout history, the name Deborah has been represented by many females. Some girls were named Deborah as a middle name, though most often Deborah is referred to as a first name (3).

Variations of Deborah

Deborah has many variations and the following consists of different spellings and origins.

  • Deb (English)
  • Debbie (Australian English)
  • Debbie (English
  • Debbie (English)
  • Debra (English)
  • Debbra (English)
  • Debby (English)
  • Debey (English)
  • Deborah (Amharic)
  • Debora (Amharic)
  • Devorah (Hebrew)
  • Dvorah (Hebrew)

Nicknames for Deborah

Deborah is a fun and meaningful feminine name with tons of history backing that Deborah is a heroic name. Some common nicknames for Deborah include:

  • Bee
  • Deb
  • Debbie the Judge
  • Debbie the Leader
  • Debs
  • Debby
  • Honey Bee
  • Queen Bee
  • Queen D
  • Prophetess

Similar Names to Deborah

Similar names to Deborah include names of the same origin or those with similar meanings. These names are:

  • Barak
  • Barbara
  • Beckett
  • Behan
  • Bethany
  • Beowulf
  • Bina
  • Carrie
  • Carol
  • Charity
  • Debbie
  • Erla
  • Gerda
  • Linda
  • Melissa
  • Susan

Some of the above names are derived from Hebrew origin and were fairly popular during the 1950s.

Middle Names for Deborah

Middle names are important because they keep family ties together like last names. Though most last names don’t fit on a first name basis, some people have two first names – also known as the middle name. Some common middle names for Deborah are as follows:

Sibling Names for Deborah

Since Deborah is a Hebrew name, the following sibling names follow the same origin and would suit well with Deborah:

Famous People Named Deborah

Deborahs worldwide are known as intelligent, independent, and strong-willed individuals. Below is a list of famous people named Deborah who are not actresses or movie stars.

  • Debra Bowen: American attorney and politician
  • Debra Marshall: Professional wrestling valet
  • Debra Dickerson: American author, editor, and writer for Mother Jones magazine
  • Debra Ann Livingston: American judge and chief judge
  • Debra Doyle: American author in the science fiction genre
  • Deborah Rhode: Professor at Stanford Law School teaching the legal profession
  • Debbie Matenopoulos: American television hostess, journalist, and life expert
  • Deborah Meaden: Businesswoman who ran a family holiday business that made millions. Presently known as a sit-in on Dragons Den TV series.
  • Debbie Stabenow: American politician; Senior US Senator from Michigan.

Deborah in Popular Culture

Young and older stars alike are given the name Deborah. Below is a list of Debs that you may recognize.

  • Debra Messing: Character from Will and Grace; 1990-2020 TV show
  • Debra Winger: 2016 – 2020 TV Show The Ranch character
  • Debra Monk: Character from 2009 drama, The Other Woman
  • Debra Stephenson: Female character in Give Them Wings in 2021
  • Debra Morgan: Character in the TV series Dexter
  • Debra Byrne: Pop star singer, TV actress, and writer
  • Debbie Harry: American singer/songwriter, model, and actress. Known as the lead singer of Blondie.
  • Debbie Ryan: Young Disney actress is known for the TV series Wizards of Waverly Place
  • Deborah Allen: American country singer/songwriter. Also known as an author and actress

Deborah FAQ’s

Deborah means “bee” or “queen bee,” which derives from the 1200 BCE era and is mainly known for leading the Israelites to win a victory against the Canaanites. Other definitions for Deborah are stated in bibles and The Old Testament.

Here are some common FAQs:

What Is Deborah Known for in the Bible?

Deborah is known for leading the Israelites to mighty victory against the Canaanites. In the bible, Deborah is known for the “Song of Deborah.” Deborah is also named the “Mother of Israel,” Judge 5:7.

Why Did God Make Deborah a Judge?

God made Deborah a judge based on her faith, wisdom, fairness, and obedience. Deborah had much empathy for her people who suffered at the Canaanites’ hands.

Why Is Deborah So Important in the Bible?

A born leader, Deborah was charismatic, wise, and the only female judge called a prophet due to her performing a judicial function.

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