Meaning and Name Origin
Rachel \r(a)-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.
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 16 more related forms via Raquel, Richelle, Rochelle: Racquel, Racquell, Ricca, Ricci, Ricki, Rikki▼, Rikkie, Roch, Rochele, Rochell, Rochella, Rochette, Roquel, Roschella, Roschelle and Roshelle.
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 (#12538 out of 88799, Top 14%). (2000 U.S. Census)
Displayed below is the baby name popularity of Rachel for girls. Rachel reached its highest rank of #9 in the U.S. in 1996, and is at #155 presently. (Top 1000 Birth Names Statistics, 2014)
Below is a charted comparison of the popularity of the girl name Rachel and affiliated names. Popular related forms of Rachel (#155 in 2014) are Rachael, Racheal, Rachelle, Racquel, Rae, Raquel (#697 in 2014), Ray, Richelle, Ricki, Rikki, Rochelle, Shelley, Shellie and Shelly. These girl names were at the top of their popularity during the years 1970-1979 and are now significantly less popular, with forms like Rachael, Raquel, Rochelle, Shelley and Shelly becoming somewhat outmoded. (Top 1000 Birth Names Statistics, 2014)