Rebecca is the English form of the Biblical Hebrew רִבְקָה (Rivqah), which possibly means “snare” or “noose” possibly referring to captivation or beauty, but may also be of an unknown Aramaic source.
The name is borne in the Bible by the Aramean wife of Isaac and the mother of Jacob and Esau. She is considered a Jewish matriarch.
In the English speaking world, the name was seldom used until the Protestant Reformation, where it became an exceedingly popular name. Pocahantas even took this as her Christian name upon her baptism.
Currently, Rebekka is the 3rd most popular female name in Faroe Islands, (2010). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:
- # 20 (Rebecca, Italy, 2010)
- # 24 (Rebeka, Hungary, 2010)
- # 37 (Rebecca, Northern Ireland, 2010)
- # 38 (Rebecca, Scotland, 2010)
- # 48 (Rebecca, Ireland, 2010)
- # 75 (Rebeka, Slovenia, 2010)
- # 75 (Rebecca, Sweden, 2010)
- # 82 (Rebecca, England/Wales, 2010)
- # 137 (Rebecca, United States, 2010)
- # 290 (Rebecca, Netherlands, 2010)
- # 304 (Rebecca, France, 2009)
- # 404 (Rebekah, United States, 2010)
Other forms of the name include:
- Rafqa ﻪﻔﻴﻓﺍﺭ (Arabic/Syriac)
- Rebeka Ребека (Bosnian/Bulgarian/Czech/Hungarian/Lithuanian/Polish/Slovak/Slovene)
- Rebeca (Catalan/Ladino/Portuguese/Romanian/Spanish)
- Rebekka (Dutch/Ethiopian/Finnish/German/Scandinavian)
- Rebecca (English/Italian/Scandinavian)
- Becca (English)
- Reba (English)
- Rebekah (English)
- Rébecca (French)
- Rebèque (French)
- Rebekah (Greek: Biblical)
- Revekka Ρεβέκκα (Greek: Modern)
- Rifqa (Hebrew: Biblical)
- Riva/Rivka רִבְקָה, רבקה אמנו (Hebrew: Modern)
- Réba (Hungarian)
- Ribka (Indonesian)
- Ryfka (Polish-Yiddish)
- Rebecke (Plattdeutsch)
- Revekka Реве́кка (Russian)
- Reveka (Serbian)
- Rebecka (Swedish)
- Rifka/Riwka (Yiddish)
The name was the subject of the 1938 British novel of the same name, written by Daphne du Maurier. It is also borne by a 19th-century Lebanese Christian saint. The designated name-day is March 23 (France).
Common English diminutive forms include: Becca, Beck, Becky, Bex, Reba and Rebi.