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Rebecca (F)>

Rebecca (female)

Variants:Beathag (F) Rebeca (F) Rebecka (F) Rebekka (F) Rivka (F)
Pet Name(s):Beca (F) Becca (F) Beck (F) Becky (F) Reba (F)
Lesser Synonym(s):Beatrice (F) Beatrix (F) Sophia (F)
Can be spelt:Rebeca (F) Rebecka (F) Rebeka (F) Rebekah (F)
Source(s): FreeCEN 1841 Census of Aberdeenshire
The Oxford Names Companion, OUP
"Scottish Forenames" - Donald Whyte, FGH, FSG
Private communications [AB, NAF]

English from Hebrew "fair"; OT Genesis 25:19 et seq.  Other sites give the meaning "bound" and a correspondent [NAF] has suggested "snare", this being of the same format in Hebrew.  Whyte also cites the Hebrew word for "heifer" as a possible meaning.

Rebecca is spelt in a large number of ways in the 1841 Census of Aberdeenshire. Those occurring several times are listed above. Of these Rebeka is the most frequent. Others, occurring very rarely, are: Rebaca, Rebacah, Rebacca, Rebbecca, Rebeaka, Rebecha. It is probable that nearly all these variations will be found using Soundex searching.

ONC says the Scottish Gaelic name Beathag is "often Anglicized as Sophia or Rebecca". For this reason, in Gaelic areas of Scotland, we consider that these names and Beatrice/Beatrix can become lesser synonyms.

A correspondent [AB] has reported a family in Lanarkshire, Scotland, where a girl born about 1900 was named Ruby, possibly as a homage to the paternal grandmother Rebecca [see FAQ 11]. However, we have no evidence that Ruby is a general alternative or pet name for Rebecca so have not included this relationship.