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What does Rachel mean?

Rachel [ra-chel] as a girls' name is pronounced RAY-chel. It is of Hebrew origin, and the meaning of Rachel is "ewe, female sheep".

Biblical: Jacob's wife, described as being "beautiful in form and countenance". Jennifer Aniston's character in the popular TV series "Friends" was named Rachel. Rachelle (ra-SHELL) is a variant pronunciation; Raquel is popular in Spain. See also Richelle and Rochelle. Actresses Raquel Welch, Rachel Ward, Rachel Griffins; author Rachel Carson.

Associated with: biblical, beautiful.


Rachel has 30 variants: Rachael, Racheal, Rachelanne, Rachelce, Rachele, Racheli, Rachell, Rachelle, Rachil, Rae, Raechel, Raechell, Rahel, Rahil, Rakel, Raquel, Raquela, Raquella, Raquelle, Rashell, Rashelle, Ray, Raychel, Raychel, Raychelle, Rechell, Shell, Shelley, Shellie and Shelly.

Rachel has 7 more related forms via Raquel, Richelle, Rochelle: Racquel, Racquell, Roch, Rochele, Rochell, Rochella and Roquel.

Kreatif forms:
(female) Rachella, Rochel, ..

(male) Racheler, Rachelme, ..

How popular is Rachel?

Rachel is a very prominent first name for women (#79 out of 4276, Top 2%) and also a very prominent last name for all people (#12181 out of 150436, Top 8%). (2000 U.S. Demographics)


Ranking and usage % can show different trends depending on the distribution of names that year.

Displayed below is the baby name statistics of Rachel for girls. Rachel reached its highest rank of #9 in the U.S. in 1996, and is at #155 presently. (2014 U.S. SSA Records)

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Rachel name in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Rachel outside U.S.

Below is a charted comparison of the popularity of the girl name Rachel and affiliated names. Popular related forms of Rachel (#155 in 2014) listed in the Top 2000 are Rachael (#1164 in 2014), Racheal, Rachele, Rachell, Rachelle, Racquel, Rae, Raechel, Raquel (#697), Ray, Richelle, Rochell, Rochelle, Shelley, Shellie and Shelly. These relations of Rachel were at the top of their popularity 23 years ago (adoption of 1.66%) and are now significantly less common (adoption 0.16%, 90% less), with forms like Shelly becoming less stylish.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Rachel, Rachael, Racheal, Rachele, Rachell in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Rachelle, Racquel, Rae, Raechel, Raquel in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Ray, Richelle, Rochell, Rochelle, Shelley in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Shellie, Shelly in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Rachel, Rachael outside U.S.

Similar Names


Rachel is alike in pronunciation to Richel and Richele. Other suggested similar names are Barbel, Batel, Bethel, Carel, Cariel, Carmel, Ceciel, Chel, Dael, Darcel, Darel, Darrel, Erthel (see Eartha), Ethel, Gael, Gayel, Hadeel, Hazel, Jacquel, Jael, Jahnel, Janel, Janiel, Jannel, Jayel, Karel, Karmel, Lael, Laurel, Mabel, Madel, Maidel, Mariel, Marvel, Michael, Nachell, Rachana, Radha, Raedell, Raelee, Raene, Rafaela, Railey, Raine, Rainee, Rainey, Raizel, Ramee, Ramie, Ramsey, Ranae, Randee, Ranee, Raphaela, Raphella, Rasheda, Raven, Rawley, Raye, Rayne, Raynee, Raynell, Rayney, Rayzel, Raziela, Rhea, Richela, Richella, Richia, Richmal, Rickee, Rondel and Ruthe. These names tend to be less commonly used than Rachel.