Gender: Female
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning “ewe”
(RAY-chel); (RAH-huhl)

The name is derived from the Hebrew רחל meaning “ewe”, which idiomatically, references purity. In the Bible, it was the name of the second and most favored wife of Jacob. She was the daughter of Laban, the sister of Leah and the mother of Joseph. Jacob labored for Laban for seven years in exchange for the hand of Rachel. After the seven years were up, he was duped into marrying Leah. Rachel later married Jacob and is considered a Jewish matriarch. It is said in Jewish lore that the willows of the brook represent Rachel.

The name has been popular in Britain since the Reformation and is currently ranked in at # 38 of the US top 100 girls names.

Rachel is used in German and French speaking countries and in the Netherlands, in French, it is pronounced hrah-SHEL, and in German, RAH-hel).

Other forms include:
  • Rahel راحيل (Arabic)
  • Raquel (Catalan/Portuguese/Spanish: rah-KEL)
  • Ráchel (Czech: diminutive form is Ráchelka and Cheli)
  • Rakel (Danish/Estonian/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Rachael/Rachel (English)
  • Raili (Estonian: pronounced sort of like Riley)
  • Rakul (Faroese)
  • Raakel (Finnish)
  • Rahel (German)
  • Ráhel (Hungarian)
  • Rákhel/Rákis (Hungarian)
  • Ráichéal (Irish)
  • Rachele (Italian: rah-KAY-lay)
  • Rachelina (Italian, rah-kay-LEE-nah)
  • Rachelė (Lithuanian: rah-HEL-ay)
  • Rahel (Malayalam)
  • Rachela (Polish: rah-HEH-lah, very unusual in Poland and was once common among Polish Jews).
  • Rahela (Romanian)
  • Rahil/Rakhil/Rakhila (Russian: prevalent among Jewish communities in Russia)
  • Ruchel (Yiddish)

Rachelino is an Italian masculine form.

2 thoughts on “Rachel

  1. The Italian form of Rachel is Rachele (pr. rah-KEH-le).
    674 Rachele is also a minor planet orbiting the sun 😉

    Rahel (pr. RAH:-el) is form usually used in Germany. A famous bearer of this name was the German-Jewish writer Rahel Varnhagen (née Levin). She hosted one of the most prominent literary salons in Europe during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

    Rahela is the variant used in Romania.

    Ruchel is the Yiddish form of Rachel.

  2. Pingback: Ráichéal | the name | Raicheal

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