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Jessica is a traditionally feminine name with Hebrew roots meaning "rich" or "God beholds" — it comes from the Hebrew "yiskah," and variations include Iska, Jeska, Yessica, Jessika, Jess, Jessie and Jesse. Iscah was a daughter of Haran in the Bible's Book of Genesis.

There is no known usage of the name Jessica itself prior to Shakespeare's play "The Merchant of Venice," in which the character Shylock's daughter is named Jessica. So despite its Hebrew origins, Jessica herself was invented by the bard himself.

Jessica Drew is the alter ego of the character Spider-Woman, which first appeared in 1977 right around Jessica's huge skyrocket to name fame in the United States; it went from almost no usage at all in 1970 to being the number-one or number-two name for girls in the country from 1981 to 1997 straight. Since then, it declined in popularity and in 2019 rings in at only #331.

Girls' names with similar meanings (rich, wealthy) include Audriana, Avaline, Eadwina, Elodie, Hiroko, Juliette, Melony, Richelle, Rycca, and Tomika.
Other famous Jessicas include singers Jessica Simpson, Jessie J, and Jessie James Decker as well as actors Jessica Alba, Jessica Lange, Jessica Biel, and Jessica Chastain.

Jessica in quotes:

"Beshrew me but I love her heartily. For she is wise, if I can judge of her. And fair she is, if that mine eyes be true. And true she is, as she hath proved herself. And therefore, like herself — wise, fair and true — Shall she be placed in my constant soul." — Lorenzo on Jessica in Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice"

"The time for flowers has passed
and we are left with each other
the hard and the soft of it
I am your mother
nothing else is clear
between you and me."
— "Poem for Jessica," by Nicolette Stasko

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