Deborah Origin and Meaning

The name Deborah is a girl's name of Hebrew origin meaning "bee".

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. Deborah may no longer be among the most popular girl names starting with D, but 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.

# 971 in the US

Deborah Rank in US Top 1000

# 929 on Nameberry

Deborah Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Deborah Popularity

Famous People Named Deborah

  • Deborah Jane KerrScottish actress
  • Deborah Ann "Debbie" HarryAmerican singer
  • Deborah Ann "Debbie" GibsonAmerican singer
  • Deborah Anne "Debby" BooneAmerican singer
  • Deborah Ann "Debby" RyanAmerican actress
  • Deborah CoxAmerican R&B singer
  • Deborah Pryceformer U.S. Congresswoman from Ohio
  • Deborah MailmanAustralian actress
  • Deborah Ann WollAmerican actress
  • Deborah L. "Deb" MellAmerican politician
  • Deborah Ann ConwayAustralian singer, formerly of band Do,Re,Mi
  • Deborah Lynn Thurmond AllenAmerican country music singer
  • Deborah Kara UngerCanadian actress
  • Deborah VoigtAmerican operatic soprano
  • Deborah Vivien (Mitford) CavendishDuchess of Devonshire
  • Deborah Esther LipstadtAmerican historian and author
  • Deborah LyttonAmerican novelist
  • Deborah Readcommon,law wife of Benjamin Franklin

Deborah in Pop Culture

  • Deborah Galeschoolmistress who sacrifices her personal life for her pupils in Ernest Poole's Pulitzer Prize,winning novel His Family (1917)
  • Deborah Krillet'the Shulamite' from Alice and Claude Askew's novels The Shulamite (1904) and The Woman Deborah (1910)
  • Deborah "Debbie" Scottcharacter on One Tree Hill
  • Deborah Trevertoncharacter from Green city in the sun, by Barbara Wood
  • Harriet Deborah Vanecharacter in Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey books
  • Deborah Jenkynscharacter in Cranford
  • Deborah "Debbie" Thornberrycharacter in the cartoon The Wild Thornberrys
  • Deborah "Debbie" Oceancharacter on "Ocean's" series
  • Deborah "Debbie" Gallagheryoungest daughter on Showtime TV series Shameless