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Origin, Meaning, And History Of Jennifer

The name Jennifer is of Welsh origin and is derived from the name “Gwenhwyfar,” which means “fair one” or “smooth and white.” It also has roots in Cornwall where the name Guinevere is believed to be the source of the name Jennifer, after the wife of King Arthur in the legendary folktale known for her charming beauty. It gained popularity in the English-speaking world in the 20th century. Some spelling variations of Jennifer are ‘Jenifer’ or ‘Jenefer.’ The name means ‘white spirit’ or ‘fair one.’ Some other common variants also include Yenifer (Latin America), Jenifer (English), and Jenifer (Spanish). The name Jennifer also has popular nicknames: Yenny, Jenny, Jen, Jenessa, Jena, Jenae, Jenelle, Jeni, Jenna, Jenn, Jenni, and Jennie.

Guenevere and Gwenhwyfar are some counterparts of this name in Welsh and Arthurian mythology. Meanwhile, it is popular as Dzsenifer in Hungarian, Gaenor or Gaynor in Welsh, Ginevra in Italian, and Guenièvre in French. The pronunciation of the title is JEHN-i-fər.

There are differing interpretations of Queen Guinevere’s attributes in various writings. For example, some paint her as a virtuous lady, while in other variations, she is a flawed character who is unfaithful to her husband. In the pseudo-historical chronicle Historia Regum Britanniae, she was lured by the nephew of King Arthur, Mordred, who waged a rebellion against him.

It is also believed that the name became popular in the English-speaking world after the release of the play “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” in the early 20th century, which featured a character named Jennifer. Another name associated with popularizing this name is Jennifer Jones, a Hollywood starlet who made her first successful film in 1943.

In fiction, Jennifer has been a prominent name. For instance, one of the main characters in Roald Dahl’s book Matilda is Jennifer Honey. She is Matilda Wormwood’s schoolteacher who ultimately adopts Matilda as her child. In addition, Jennifer Scott is one of the team leaders in the action superhero series Power Rangers Time Force. The name also gained popularity from the famous play The Doctor’s Dilemma by George Bernard Shaw, where Jennifer was the main protagonist. And in the 1970 movie “Love Story,” Ali MacGraw played the character of Jennifer Cavalleri, a strong-willed and independent young woman from a wealthy family.


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Old Welsh - White; Fair; Blessed; Holy; Smooth; Soft; A variant spelling is Jenifer
Ghana, Welsh
 J..  Je..  Jea..  Jen..  Jun..  Jag..  Jan..  Jas.. 

How To Pronounce Jennifer?


Famous People With The Name Jennifer

  • Jennifer AnnistonAmerican actress known for role in the TV series Friends
  • Jennifer LopezAmerican actress and singer
  • Jennifer GarnerAmerican actress
  • Jennifer BattenFemale American guitarist known to perform on all three world tours by Michael Jackson
  • Jennifer GranholmCanadian-American politician
  • Jennifer LawrenceAmerican Actress and Golden Globe Awardee
  • Jennifer CapriatiAmerican Tennis Player and former world no.1

Jennifer On The Popularity Chart

The popularity of the name Jennifer can be seen as a reflection of changing cultural attitudes and values, as well as the influence of popular media and literature on baby names. Here is a graphic representation of its popularity and ranking over time.

Popularity Over Time

Jennifer was the best-preferred name during the 1980s and early 1990s, with an average of 18,000 titles per million. However, it has declined to an average of 633 per million as of 2021.

Source: Social Security Administration

Rank Over Time

From the pole position ranking till 1984, it remained at the top till the year 1991. For the first time, it fell below the top 100 ranking in the year 2009 and saw a considerable decline. As of 2021, it stayed on the 493rd rank.

Source: Social Security Administration

Names With Similar Sound As Jennifer

Jennifer comes in a variety of forms that are all equally popular. If you’re looking for a name with a similar sound, take a look at the list below.

Names With Similar Meaning As Jennifer

If you’re looking for a name that has the same meaning as Jennifer but is distinct. Here are a few recommendations.
Luna Bela Bianca Candace Fiona Gauri Guinevere Ivory Maryam Shweta Arjun Gavin Finn

Name Numerology For Jennifer

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