Apparently of Shakespearean origin. This was the name of the daughter of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice (1596). Shakespeare's source has not been established, but he presumably intended it to pass as a typically Jewish name. It may be from a biblical name that appeared, in the translations available in Shakespeare's day, as Jesca (Genesis 11:29; Iscah in the Authorized Version). This occurs in a somewhat obscure genealogical passage; Iscah appears to have been Abraham's niece. Notable bearers of the name include the British actress Jessica Tandy (1909–94), the British writer Jessica Mitford (1917–96), and the American actress Jessica Lange (b. 1949). The name has been extremely popular since the 1990s.