Meaning ‘gift’ in Hebrew; it is borne by the father of King David (1 Samuel 16), from whose line (according to the New Testament) Jesus was ultimately descended. It was popular among the Puritans, and is still used frequently in the United States, less so in Britain. As a girl's name it is a respelling of Jessie. Notable American bearers have included the outlaw Jesse James (1847–82), the athlete Jesse Owens (1913–80), and the politician Jesse Jackson (b. 1941).
Portuguese, Galician, Italian, and Jewish (Sephardic): variant of the topographic name Costa, denoting someone who lived on a slope or river bank or on the sea coast, with the addition of the preposition da ‘from (the)’, ‘of (the)’.