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Jessica Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Jessica Overview

  • Meaning: Jessica means “to behold,” “God beholds,” or “to see before.”
  • Gender: Jessica is traditionally a female name.
  • Origin: Jessica originates from the name Iscah from the Hebrew Bible, meaning “vision” or “sight.”
  • Pronunciation: Jessica can be pronounced “JES-si-ka” (English), “YEH-see-ka” (German/Dutch), or “YEHS-si-ka” (Scandinavian).
  • Popularity: Jessica was the number one name from 1985 to 1990 and then again from 1993 to 1995. It remained in the top ten until 2000, when it gradually declined. As of 2020, it is ranked at 399.
  • Nicknames: Jeje, Jess, Jessa, Jessie, Jessy, Jez, and JJ.
  • Variations: Dzsesszika (Hungarian), Gessica (Italian), Jessika (German), Xhesika (Albanian), Yésica/Yéssica (Spanish), Yiska/Jeska (Hebrew).
  • Namesakes: Jessica Alba (actress), Jessie Biel (actress), Jessica Chastain (actress), Jessie J (singer), Jessica Lange (actress), and Jessica Simpson (singer).

The name Jesicca is a traditionally popular name for a girl. It has been used for centuries and has a surprising origin. Read on to find out what that is, and learn more about the name.

What Does Jessica Mean?

The name Jessica gets its meaning from the early Hebrew girl’s name, “Iscah,” meaning “vision” or “sight.” The name in its most modern form carries on its deep Hebrew roots and means “to behold,” “to see before,” or “God beholds.”

Another meaning of Jessica is “gift from God” if people view the name as deriving from its masculine form of Jesse, which equates to “gift.”

What Is the Origin of the Name Jessica?

The modern form of Jessica first appeared in William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice,” who left Shylock, her Jewish father, to marry a Christian man named Lorenzo (1).

However, the earliest version of Jessica came long before Shakespeare thought of the first words in the play.

As mentioned, Jessica traces its origin to “Iscah.” That name first appeared in the Hebrew Bible. Iscah is first seen in the Book of Genesis as the sister of Lot and niece of Abraham (2). Since then, many other Hebrew variants, like Jeska and Yiska, have emerged.

How Popular Is the Name Jessica?

Jessica has been a widely used name for many decades. Among the most common places for the name are English-speaking countries, such as Britain and the United States.

However, since the 2000s, it has steadily declined in its popularity. As of 2020, Jessica’s ranking in the United States has dropped to 399 and it is typically less common for newborns (3).

Before its drop, it held the number one spot in popularity from 1985 to 1990 and from 1993 to 1995. It never regained the top spot, but it did remain in the top ten most popular names from 1976 to 2000.

How Do I Pronounce Jessica?

The name Jessica is pronounced “JESS-i-ka” in its English form. For the Germans and Dutch, the name is typically pronounced “YEH-see-ka.” The Scandinavian language opts for “YEHS-si-ka.”

Is Jessica a Boy or Girl Name?

Jessica has traditionally been a girl name with instances of boys named Jessica being rare.

Variations of Jessica

Jessica is the English version of the name, but many cultures also favor the name and have tailored it to their language.

Here are some examples:

  • Dzsesszika (Hungarian)
  • Gessica (Italian)
  • Jessika (German)
  • Xhesika (Albanian)
  • Yésica/Yéssica (Spanish)
  • Yiska/Jeska (Hebrew)

Nicknames for Jessica

Nicknames tend to stick with someone for the rest of their life. So, if you plan to name your baby Jessica (or are named Jessica), you’ll have nicknames that are more pleasant and catchy.

Here are a few of them:

  • Jeje
  • Jess
  • Jessa
  • Jessie
  • Jessy
  • Jez
  • JJ

Similar Names to Jessica

There are plenty of other options that have the same “s” sound or beginning in case you are not completely set on Jessica.

Names with emphasis on the “s” sound or names that start with “j” include:

Middle Names for Jessica

Finding a middle name can be frustrating since there can be so many options (or none at all). But, luckily there are tons of names that go well with Jessica, including:

Sibling Names for Jessica

The name Jessica is widely universal and easy to pair with other names. So, if you need more ideas for a future brother or sister, then here are a few suggestions:

For a brother:

For a sister:

Famous People Named Jessica

The name Jessica shares its spotlight with actresses, film producers, songwriters, and singers. Here are a few of them:

  • Jessica Alba: American actress.
  • Jessica Biel: American actress.
  • Jessica Chastain: American actress and film producer.
  • Jessie J: British singer and songwriter.
  • Jessica Lange: American actress.
  • Jessica Simpson: American singer and songwriter.

Jessica in Popular Culture

Modern and past movies, video games, and TV shows have brought us many iconic fictional characters. Some of these happened to be named Jessica.

Here are just a few of them:

  • Jessica Day: Character from the TV series “New Girl.”
  • Jessica Hamby: Character from the TV Series“True Blood.”
  • Jessica Jones: Marvel movie character.
  • Jessica Rabbit: Animated character from “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”
  • Jessica Ushiromiya: Character from the anime series “Umineko.”

Jessica FAQs

Are you a little more curious about the name? If so, check out these frequently asked questions to satisfy your curiosity.

What Does Jessica Mean in French?

The name Jessica has a very special meaning to the French people. The name is said to mean “warrior,” “rich,” or “God’s grace.”

What Is the Spiritual Meaning of the Name Jessica?

Since Jessica gets its name from the Hebrew language, it does have some spiritual meaning. Jessica is often interpreted as meaning “God will behold” or “foresight,” meaning the name is associated with seeing into the future.

Is There a Male Version of the Name Jessica?

Jessica is traditionally a female name, but you could consider the name Jesse as the male version.

How Do You Say Jessica in Hawaiian?

The Hawaiian variant of Jessica is “Iekika” and is pronounced, “yeh-kee-kah.” It has a similar meaning as the English version.

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