Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Rachel

The name Rachel is borne from the Bible and comes from the Hebrew word meaning ‘ewe.’ In Genesis 29:1-30, Jacob notices the strikingly beautiful shepherdess named Rachel and it’s love at first sight. She becomes his second and most favorite wife (after first being tricked into marrying her sister Leah). Rachel is the mother of Joseph and Benjamin. It was during childbirth with her second son that Rachel dies, so she calls the baby “Ben-oni” or ‘son of my sorrow.’ Jacob would later change the boy’s name to Benjamin, undoing the unfortunate stigma left by his mother. Traditionally, Rachel has been considered a Jewish name, but it is now widely used among the Gentiles.

All About the Baby Name – Rachel

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME RACHEL

The number 11 is a Master Number, and embodies heightened traits of the Two. This personality is on a life journey to find spiritual truth. They are extremely idealistic and intuitive. Elevens have a rare and exceptional spiritual energy that brings a sense of obligation to illuminate the world around them. It's a very powerful responsibility, but these people have far more potential than they know. It's important that they surrender to higher ideals. They have the capacity to see the bigger picture, and they possess the skills to inspire others spiritually. Elevens have strong diplomatic skills and can become great peacemakers. Master numbers can be both a blessing and a curse, as they walk the fine line between greatness and the potential for self-destruction.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME RACHEL

The name Rachel has been a female name in heavy use for over 100 years. The highest point of the name’s success came in the mid-1980’s throughout the 1990’s when it maintained a Top 20 position for 15 years. Since the turn of the 21st century, Rachel has been on a downward trend but still sits on the list of Top 100 most favored girls’ names. Rachel is always a safe choice: It’s got biblical tradition, historic endurance, classical appeal and an unpretentious nature that still invokes the beautiful “little lamb” with whom Jacob fell instantly in love.

Quick Facts

ON RACHEL

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

Hebrew

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

138

PRONUNCIATION:

RAY-chul

SIMPLE MEANING:

Ewe, lamb

Characteristics

OF RACHEL

Inspirational

Highly Intuitive

Spiritual Teacher

Extremely Bright

Uplifting

Truth-seeker

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Rachel

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME RACHEL

"My Cousin Rachel" is Daphne du Maurier’s hugely popular 1951 mystery-romance, shortly thereafter made into a successful movie starring Olivia de Havilland and Richard Burton. Rachel is the mysterious protagonist of the novel, set in 19th century Cornwall. As a young widow, she marries the older Ambrose Ashley, who is vacationing in Italy for his health. Back at the mansion, Ambrose’s adopted nephew and heir-apparent, Philip, receives increasingly alarming letters from his uncle, indicating that all may not be well in the new marriage. When Ambrose does in fact die, Philip’s original distaste turns to hatred and suspicion. Enter Rachel in Cornwall, bearing Ambrose’s effects and seeking to commiserate with Philip. Philip, of course, falls in love with the lovely young woman, and seeks to make everything over to her upon his reaching his majority. But – is she who she seems? Has she poisoned his uncle? Is she poisoning him? What is her own fate to be? More than a half century later, she remains a tantalizing enigma, and the subject of a good read.

Popular Songs

ON RACHEL

Reuben and Rachel
an old children's song by Birch & Gooch

Little Rachel
a song by Eric Clapton

Rachel
a song by Seals & Crofts

Rachel's Song
a song by Side Walk Slam

Famous People

NAMED RACHEL

Rachel Carson (environmentalist)
Rachel Jackson (U.S. First Lady)
Rachel (19th century French actress)
Rachel Dratch (actress/comic)
Rachel Hunter (model)
Rachel McAdams (actress)
Rachel Weisz (actress)
Rachel Bilson (actress)
Rachel Blanchard (actress)
Rachel Corrie (activist)
Rachel Kempson (actress)
Rachel Griffiths (actress)
Rachel Carson (environmentalist)
Rachel Jackson (U.S. First Lady)
Rachel (19th century French actress)
Rachel Dratch (actress/comic)
Rachel Hunter (model)
Rachel McAdams (actress)
Rachel Weisz (actress)
Rachel Bilson (actress)
Rachel Blanchard (actress)
Rachel Corrie (activist)
Rachel Kempson (actress)
Rachel Griffiths (actress)
Rachel Carson (environmentalist)
Rachel Jackson (U.S. First Lady)
Rachel (19th century French actress)
Rachel Dratch (actress/comic)
Rachel Hunter (model)
Rachel McAdams (actress)
Rachel Weisz (actress)
Rachel Bilson (actress)
Rachel Blanchard (actress)
Rachel Corrie (activist)
Rachel Kempson (actress)
Rachel Griffiths (actress)

Children of Famous People

NAMED RACHEL

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Rachel

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME RACHEL

Rachel of the bible is extremely important as the mother of Joseph (of the many-colored coat) and Benjamin, and as the wife of Jacob. When Jacob first comes upon her, he falls in love immediately, as she “…was lovely in form and beautiful”, and so he agrees to work for her father, Laban, for seven years in return for her hand. The wily old Laban, however, has other plans. At the wedding feast he substitutes Rachel’s older sister, Leah, under the veil. Leah, we are delicately told, was not quite the looker her sister was, having “weak eyes” (perhaps this means she wore an ancient version of coke-bottle glasses?). Laban tells Jacob this is only appropriate, as the elder sister should marry first, but not to worry – another seven years of unpaid labor and Rachel will be his. Jacob goes for it. Leah may not be a beauty queen, but a baby-maker she is in spades, especially of sons. Rachel is so jealous that she sends her maidservant to Jacob to produce a couple of sons on her behalf. Finally after many years, Rachel gives birth to Joseph and then to Benjamin, after which she dies. Joseph becomes the favorite child of his father, although one has to wonder if he really could keep all those children straight.

Rachel Carson is the author of “Silent Spring”, her 1962 prizewinning expose of the harm being done to the environment by chemicals. Having worked as a scientist and editor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, she had already published numerous pamphlets, scripts and articles on the conservation of natural resources, as well as three books about the sea. It was her anxiety about the increasing use of synthetic pesticides after World War II that caused her to turn her attention in that direction, and Silent Spring was the result. Vilified by corporate chemists, agriculturists and even government agencies, she held firm to her convictions, and the book was a runaway success. Rachel Carson died in 1964, but her legacy is an astounding one – no less than a 180 degree turnaround in how we, the human creatures “in charge” of this great planet, are beginning to think about and act toward the world we live in. She can truly be lauded as “The Mother of Environmentalism”.

Rachel of the bible is extremely important as the mother of Joseph (of the many-colored coat) and Benjamin, and as the wife of Jacob. When Jacob first comes upon her, he falls in love immediately, as she “…was lovely in form and beautiful”, and so he agrees to work for her father, Laban, for seven years in return for her hand. The wily old Laban, however, has other plans. At the wedding feast he substitutes Rachel’s older sister, Leah, under the veil. Leah, we are delicately told, was not quite the looker her sister was, having “weak eyes” (perhaps this means she wore an ancient version of coke-bottle glasses?). Laban tells Jacob this is only appropriate, as the elder sister should marry first, but not to worry – another seven years of unpaid labor and Rachel will be his. Jacob goes for it. Leah may not be a beauty queen, but a baby-maker she is in spades, especially of sons. Rachel is so jealous that she sends her maidservant to Jacob to produce a couple of sons on her behalf. Finally after many years, Rachel gives birth to Joseph and then to Benjamin, after which she dies. Joseph becomes the favorite child of his father, although one has to wonder if he really could keep all those children straight.

Rachel Carson is the author of “Silent Spring”, her 1962 prizewinning expose of the harm being done to the environment by chemicals. Having worked as a scientist and editor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, she had already published numerous pamphlets, scripts and articles on the conservation of natural resources, as well as three books about the sea. It was her anxiety about the increasing use of synthetic pesticides after World War II that caused her to turn her attention in that direction, and Silent Spring was the result. Vilified by corporate chemists, agriculturists and even government agencies, she held firm to her convictions, and the book was a runaway success. Rachel Carson died in 1964, but her legacy is an astounding one – no less than a 180 degree turnaround in how we, the human creatures “in charge” of this great planet, are beginning to think about and act toward the world we live in. She can truly be lauded as “The Mother of Environmentalism”.

Rachel Carson is the author of “Silent Spring”, her 1962 prizewinning expose of the harm being done to the environment by chemicals. Having worked as a scientist and editor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, she had already published numerous pamphlets, scripts and articles on the conservation of natural resources, as well as three books about the sea. It was her anxiety about the increasing use of synthetic pesticides after World War II that caused her to turn her attention in that direction, and Silent Spring was the result. Vilified by corporate chemists, agriculturists and even government agencies, she held firm to her convictions, and the book was a runaway success. Rachel Carson died in 1964, but her legacy is an astounding one – no less than a 180 degree turnaround in how we, the human creatures “in charge” of this great planet, are beginning to think about and act toward the world we live in. She can truly be lauded as “The Mother of Environmentalism”.

Rachel of the bible is extremely important as the mother of Joseph (of the many-colored coat) and Benjamin, and as the wife of Jacob. When Jacob first comes upon her, he falls in love immediately, as she “…was lovely in form and beautiful”, and so he agrees to work for her father, Laban, for seven years in return for her hand. The wily old Laban, however, has other plans. At the wedding feast he substitutes Rachel’s older sister, Leah, under the veil. Leah, we are delicately told, was not quite the looker her sister was, having “weak eyes” (perhaps this means she wore an ancient version of coke-bottle glasses?). Laban tells Jacob this is only appropriate, as the elder sister should marry first, but not to worry – another seven years of unpaid labor and Rachel will be his. Jacob goes for it. Leah may not be a beauty queen, but a baby-maker she is in spades, especially of sons. Rachel is so jealous that she sends her maidservant to Jacob to produce a couple of sons on her behalf. Finally after many years, Rachel gives birth to Joseph and then to Benjamin, after which she dies. Joseph becomes the favorite child of his father, although one has to wonder if he really could keep all those children straight.