Deborah has suffered from the fact that in the mid-twentieth century there were so many Debbies on the block that the beauty and meaning of the original name got lost. Now this lovely name of an Old Testament prophetess suddenly sounds fresher than overused Sarah, Rachel, and Rebecca.
The biblical Deborah was a poet, judge, and heroic prophet who first predicted that the Israelites would win their freedom from the tyrannical Canaanites, then led a successful revolt that helped accomplish it, celebrating the victory in a famous song of triumph.
Deborah was the second most popular name in the US in 1955, remaining in the Top 10 from 1950 to 1962. The streamlined version, Debra, was hot on its tail, replacing it at Number 2 a year later.
Some notable bearers have been Revolutionary War heroine Deborah Sampson Gannett, actress Deborah Kerr, modern operatic soprano Deborah Voight, Deborah (Blondie) Harry, and Debbie (born Mary Frances) Reynolds.
The original form Devorah is another possibility.