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).
- 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.