[ 3 syll. jen-ni-fer, je-nnif-er ] The baby girl name Jennifer is also used as a boy name, though it is far more popular for girls. It is pronounced JHEHN-ihF-er †. Jennifer's origin is Old Welsh, and its use, English and German. The name Jennifer is the Cornish form of Guinevere (Old French). The original form is Gwenhwyfar (Old Welsh), a name which gave rise to short forms such as Gaynor and Geunor in Wales after the medieval period. The name spread to England after the 16th century, spawning forms such as Vanora in Scotland, and Jennifer or Jenifer in Cornwall. By the start of the 20th century, interest in the name as a Cornish variant picked up, and it rapidly replaced the original forms. The popularity of the name was first boosted by its appearance as the character Jennifer Dubedat in the George Bernard Shaw play The Doctor's Dilemma (1905).
Jennifer is a form (English and German) of the English and French Guinevere.
Jennifer is a widely used name; it has 77 forms that are used in English and foreign languages. English forms of the name include Genever, Genn, Genna, Genni, Gennie, Genny, Genoveffa, Genoveva, Genowefa, Ginnifer, Jenai, Jenalee, Jenalyn, Jenalynn, Jenara, Jenarae, Jenay, Jenaya, Jeneen, Jenefer, Jenene, Jenessa, Jenetta, Jenibelle, Jenica, Jenice, Jeniece, Jenika, Jenise, and Jenita. Other English forms include the shortenings Jen, Jeni, Jenn, Jenna, and Jenni, the diminutives Jeffie, Jena, Jenae, Jenne, Jenney, Jennie, and Jenny (also used in German), and the spelling variants Genifer, Gennifer, Gennifur, Jeneffer, Jenifer (also used in German), Jeniffer, Jenifre, Jenipher, Jennafer, Jennefer, Jenneffer, Jenniferr, Jenniffer, Jennyfer (also used in German), and Jenyfer. The Hawaiian Ienipa is a form of Jennifer that is used in foreign languages.
Jennifer is popular as a baby girl name. The name grew in popularity from the 1930s up to the 1970s; prior to that, it was of only very modest use. At the height of its usage in 1974, 4.030% of baby girls were named Jennifer. It had a ranking of #1 then. The baby name has seen a marked drop in frequency since then. In 2012, it ranked at #163 with a usage of 0.100%, but it was nevertheless the most popular within all girl names in its family. Jennifer was 27% more regularly used than the 2nd most popular name, Jenna, in 2012. Jennifer has in the last century been mainly given to baby girls. There were 172 times more baby girls than boys who were named Jennifer in 1989.
Baby names that sound like Jennifer include Jeniffer, Jennefer, Jenneffer, Jenniffer, Genifer, Gennifer, Jenifer, Jenipher, Jennipher, Jenniver, Jennyfer, Jenyfer, Juniper, Junipyre, Genever, Ginevra, Jenifre, Junyper, and Junypyre.
† Pronunciation for Jennifer: JH as in "joy (JH.OY)" ; EH as in "ebb (EH.B)" ; N as in "knee (N.IY)" ; IH as in "it (IH.T)" ; F as in "fee (F.IY)" ; ER as in "hurt (HH.ER.T)"
Details of famous persons named Jennifer:
Actress Jennifer Aniston, born 11 February 1969, Sherman Oaks, California.
Actress Jennifer Connelly, born 12 December 1970.
Actress Jennifer Garner, born 17 April 1972, Houston, Texas.
Actress Jennifer Love Hewitt, born 21 February 1979, Waco, Texas.
Actress Jennifer Hudson, born 12 September 1981, Chicago, Illinois.
Actress Jennifer Jones, born Phylis Isley 2 March 1919, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Actress Jennifer Lopez, born 24 July 1970, New York, New York.
Actress Jennifer Tilly, born 16 September 1958, Harbor City, California.
Artist Jennifer Joseph.
Internet Celebrity Jenn Sterger, born Jennifer Lynette Sterger.