Biblical name (meaning ‘bee’ in Hebrew), borne by the nurse of Rebecca (Genesis 35:8) and by a woman judge and prophet (Judges 4–5) who led the Israelites to victory over the Canaanites. It has always been popular as a Jewish name. It was in use among Christians by the mid 16th century and was taken up by the Puritans in the 17th century, in part because the bee was a symbol of industriousness. Since then it has enjoyed enormous popularity, peaking in the 1960s. Among other famous bearers is the actress Deborah Kerr (1921–2007).
English: topographic name for someone living by a notable broad oak, from Old English brād ‘broad’+ āc ‘oak’, or a habitational name from a minor place so named, such as Broad Oak in Symondsbury, Dorset. Braddock in Cornwall (Brodehoc in Domesday Book) may have this origin; the second element may however be Old English hōc ‘hook of land’, ‘hill spur’.