Gender: Female Meaning of Rachel: "ewe" Origin of Rachel: Hebrew Rachel's Popularity in 2019: #191

Rachel Origin and Meaning

The name Rachel is a girl's name of Hebrew origin meaning "ewe".

Rachel was derived from the Hebrew word rāchēl, meaning “ewe.” In the Old Testament, Rachel was the favorite wife of Jacob, and mother of Joseph and Benjamin. International variations include the Spanish Raquel and Israeli Rahel.

Delicacy, softness, and Old Testament importance made Rachel a top biblical choice from the seventies on. At a much earlier time Rachel was considered characteristically Jewish—it wasn't used as a Christian name until after the Reformation—but the fact that it has reached as high as the Top 10 in this country demonstrates that it has been fully embraced by parents of all backgrounds. While off its peak, Rachel is still one of the most popular girls' names starting with R as well as one of the most classic names for girls.

Rachel was a US First Lady name, via the wife of Andrew Jackson, and current prominent bearers include Rachels Weisz, Dratch, McAdams, Griffiths, Maddow, Roy, and Zoe. A major influence on the name was Jennifer Aniston's iconic character on Friends; other fictional Rachels were found in the Anne of Green Gables and Percy Jackson series, and on Glee.

16 names similar to Rachel

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Rachel. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Rachel, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!

Find other names based on Rachel using our baby name generator.


Rank in US: #191

- this week

Famous People Named Rachel

Pop Culture References for the name Rachel

Rachel's International Variations

Rachele (Italian) Rechell, Rashka, Rashke (Israeli) Rakhila, Rahil, Rashel, Rakhil (Russian) Raghnailt, Ráichéal (Irish Gaelic) Rahela (Hawaiian) Rahel (Hebrew) Rakel (Swedish) Ruchel (Yiddish) Rachelle (French) Rachela (Polish)


robin57 Says:


I have loved this name for years. It has the three things that I am looking for. I love the name. I like the origin. I like the meaning. Also, it is a Biblical name, so yeah. I like it. It works for a little girl and adult.

josephinedagnall Says:


I realised I liked this name when I was 8 years old, but I didn't start to love it until I watched Friends as a teen. It's now one of my all-time favourite names!

eve Says:


not in 2018 please

meekshouse Says:


This is my name. The only complaint I would have is that growing up in the 90's there were a ton of Rachel's but now that its popularity has tapered off, I highly recommend. My husband and family call me Rae.

Carolinekalmes Says:


Despite growing up with a ton, I still think this is a pretty name. My sister had a beautiful friend named Rachel when I was really little and that's still the impression I get with this name.

Daiseymae Says:


I have always really liked this name. I love the sound of it, and it is a family name too.

briarblossom Says:


I think Rachel works for pretty much any culture or era and for any age . Timeless.

danirose01 Says:


I grew up in a sea of Rachels. There were always more than 5 of them no matter where I went. Never met one who went by Rae either, they were always something unflattering like Rach or Rachie. Not a fan at all, I don't see the attraction.

paulapuddephatt Says:


Lovely, classic name

Fluffykitten101 Says:


Unpopular opinion: I don't like the name Rachel at all. It sounds incredibly 80's and I can't picture it on someone younger than 40. The -ach sound is also rather harsh sounding.

TheNymphGarden Says:


Rachel is a name that is thought by many to be dated, but I find it so timeless, beautiful, and delicate. One of the rare names that can be used over and over and it still retains that soft, sweet sound.

r13martin Says:


To me Rachel is the most universal name of all, you can look at any girl and say they "look like" a Rachel.

foreverharriet Says:


I think this is one of those rare names that won't ever go out of style.

TheSlothPrincess Says:


Rachel is a very beautiful name. I see it as being traditional, not dated or trendy. It is a fairly common, but not mega-popular name in my region. I would consider naming my own daughter this.

cricketbell Says:


That's my middle name and I love it so much.

headintheclouds Says:


The ultimate friendly girl-next-door 90's name. I don't really find Rachel dated though, the same way I'd find Jessica or Jennifer, since I know plenty of people who have little Rachels under the age of ten. I think it's more of a modern-classic biblical girl's name, one that to me, sounds gentle, sweet, and brimming with intelligence and creativity.

yvonne_virginia Says:


I love this name! At first I thought that the meaning was 'eww' which outraged me momentarily. Glad it isn't!

Momof2Davisgirls Says:


I luv the name Rachel. I also like the nickname Rae.

gabbygrace1915 Says:


What does this even mean? How can a name be ugly for one race but pretty for another? It's just a name, it doesn't change with race

indiefendi2 Says:


That is the worst comment you could ever make.

CupcakeGirl13 Says:


So beautiful, I know it is such in old name, but it sounds sorta modern to me. Is that weird?

Lucia Says:


My friends name is Rachel, a nice name!

ladybug99 Says:


Rachel is a name that can easily transfer from childhood to adulthood and still be just as cute! Benefit of the nickname Rae, which is also super cute and popular style right now!

MissMarshall Says:


I will say...being born in 1990 with this name, I was always in a class or on a team FULL of Rachels. I never hear it on little girls now, though. A lot of people call me Rach for short.

csd267 Says:


I have an odd attraction to "out-dated" names that to me, don't sound dated at all. Rachel is one of them. I think it sounds refreshing and sweet.

Leah3456 Says:


This name is so pretty and soft-sounding. It has an 80s/90s vibe to it.

Netta5187 Says:


Yes, it's 80's and it doesn't matter if it's biblical or not. Not everyone is Christian! It has a soft sound however and it's a classic, although an overused one.

lesliemarion Says:


80's? Dated? It's Biblical for heaven's sake!

MissusAytch Says:


Dated, but in a weirdly attractive way. This seems like the name of a beautiful girl.

Eva Thyssen Says:


I don't like this name, sorry.

Rush1986 Says:


this is so 80's to me.

sophiesilly Says:


This would make a really nice middle name.