For their first child, my parents had picked out the names Duncan or Robin. I am glad I wasn’t a boy. Mom says when I arrived, I didn’t look like a Robin. I am not sure what a human Robin is supposed to look like, but apparently not me. So instead they picked Rebecca which mom said meant enchantress. She had liked the character Rebecca in Ivanhoe. I will admit, I never read Ivanhoe, but I did read the CliffsNotes. Rebecca in Ivanhoe is falsely accused of witchcraft. It didn’t sound like my kind of tale, so I didn’t explore further.
During my school years, everyone wanted to know about my farm. Mom must have been the only one to read Ivanhoe, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm was the fictional piece everyone else had heard of or read. The count on that joke got quite high and was old after just a couple of times.
Somewhere between birth and the teen years, the meaning of Rebecca was no longer listed as enchantress, but was being defined as meaning heifer or cow. That is just swell for friends of a teenage girl to find out. I was no longer Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, but a cow on the farm. I received a stuffed cow complete with udder as a gift from my boyfriend. My eight year old brother had a fascination for that cow and its udder.
So I was a bit concerned to do any research to see what the meaning might be listed as now. It appears there is new confusion about whether Rebecca originates from Hebrew or Aramaic. The meaning can change some in translation, depending on which you start out with. So the current accepted meaning from one was listed as “noose”, while from the other language it is “to bind”. I think I will go with “to bind”.
A list of nicknames for Rebecca really hit the mark though. One of the nicknames was Bunny.