Why do we hate the name Rachel?

Rachel is a Hebrew name which translates to a term for a female sheep — ewe — and eww indeed, according to a slew of celebrities abandoning their given names for something a little more chic. 

Apparently, Rachel is so 20 years ago. Sorry to all the Rachels out there, but your birth name is now a fashion faux pas. 

In the latest season of Netflix's Selling The OC, one of the dominating storylines is a few of the realtors gossiping that one of the stars, Alexander Jarvis, was a secret Rachel. 

"Her real name is Rachel," Alex Hall spilled over cocktails. 

"On the way to Cabo, we all boarded together and on her boarding pass it said 'Rachel'. I'm like 'who the f*** is Rachel?' Can people just be themselves?" 

Jarvis has since spoken about the name change with a curious explaination. 

"My first name is Rachel, my middle name is Alexandra. And in the South it's really common to go by your middle name," she told ET

"I just had a nephew born a month ago and he is being called by his middle name. It's just a common thing."

Is this true? Kinda. But the origin of this Southern custom was steeped in the patriarchal tradition to name children after their parents — a middle name identify them. 

So is either of Jarvis' parents named Rachel? They are not. They are named Robert and Pamela. 

This sounds like a shifty explaination to defend kicking Rachel to the curb. 

*Seethes in Rachel* Image: Netflix. 

Another reality star who renounced Rachel is Vanderpump Rules' Racquel Leviss. 


The 29-year-old's birth name was leaked after she got caught up in Scandoval, as news spread far and wide about an affair she had with her friend Ariana Maddix's long-term partner, Tom Sandoval. 

Leviss opened up about the name shift on Bethenny Frankel’s podcast in August.  

“So I changed my name to Raquel in first grade,” she said. 

“There were a few other Rachels in my class and I wanted to be special. I also feel like deep down, I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. I wanted to be somebody better in my eyes. And so Raquel was a way for me to kind of be that person.”

Then there's the most famous Rachel on the planet who no one knows is named Rachel.


Meghan Markle. 

'All rise for the Duchess of Racheldom!' Image: Getty. 

The Duchess of Sussex was born Rachel Meghan Markle. 

The queen used Rachel’s real name in her official consent letter ahead of her marriage to Prince Harry. The shade of it all.

To this day, Meghan has never explained why she ditched Rachel in her younger years. 

So what went wrong with all these Rachels? 

Based on some website called Behind The Name, the name Rachel first peaked in Australia in 1974 before enjoying an even bigger moment in 1991. But since then, the name has taken a nosedive in popularity.


According to Mama Natural, in the '90s Rachel was one of the top 10 most popular names for baby girls in the United States. But as of 2021, Rachel is not even placed in the top 100 most popular baby girl names. 

Between 1991 and 1996 was a big moment for Rachel which not-so-coincidentally coincides with the rise of arguably the most famous Rachel of all time: Friends character, Rachel Green.

Friends premiered in 1994 and Rachel quickly became the overwhelming favourite due to her fashion, her hilarious one-liners, love story with Ross, and who can forget, The Hair. Jennifer Aniston's haircut known as 'The Rachel' soared in popularity. 

The early '00s then welcomed two new Rachels to the pop culture zeitgeist: The Notebook's Rachel McAdams, and The O.C's Rachel Bilson.

Rachels have never been hotter!

Ahh, those were the days to be a proud, thriving Rachel.

So what changed? 

It's difficult to pinpoint but fraudster Rachel Dolezal probably didn't help. She's an academic/activist who presented herself as a black woman despite being white. 

She has since changed her name to Ezra and identifies as 'trans-Black'.

It's safe to say that this Rachel was very bad PR for all Rachels. 

Rachel is also a name that just sounds a tad old-fashioned and uncool. For example, the most popular baby girl names in Australia last year were trendy names like Mia, Isla, Ava and Ella.


Rachel has a different energy. 

Rachel is the type of person who would complain to the server if their meal was under-seasoned. 

Rachel is the type of person who gets annoyed when you don't text back straight away.

Rachel is the type of person to make disparaging remarks about you in front of your boss. 

If your name is Rachel and your blood is boiling right now (classic Rachel reaction tbh), then don't worry. 

Just go by Rach.

Rach is the first to order a round of mimosas at brunch. Rach always texts at the end of the night to make sure you got home safe. Rach carries a handbag filled with two packets of chocolate biscuits at all times. 

Rach is a damn good time.

For what it's worth, Vanderpump Rules' Racquel is reclaiming her Rachelness. 

“(My therapist) was like, ‘Interesting. I see you as Rachel to your core. You’re going by Raquel, which is OK, but it’s not true to who you are. It’s a wall you have up," she told Bethany.

"I’m really just trying to come back to my roots, and I’m introducing myself as Rachel.”

If Rachel doesn't stick, may I suggest a pivot to Rach? Thank me later. 

Feature image: NBC + Paramount Pictures. 

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