[ 3 syll. ge-ne-vie-ve, gen-evi-eve ] The baby girl name Genevieve is pronounced as JHAE-NViy-ehV or JHEHN-eh-VIY-V †. Genevieve is mainly used in English, French, and German, and it is of Celtic and Old Welsh origin. From Celtic roots, its meaning is lady of the people, tribal woman - in this context, Genevieve can be used in the English and French languages. The name is of obscure origin; it could be of similar roots as Jennifer, or it could be a two-element name combining the Celtic 'geno' (meaning race, people, tribe) with the Germanic 'wefa' (woman, wife) and thus taken to mean 'lady of the people' or 'tribal woman'. The latter derivation is unusual as it involves different languages; the name could have been heavily altered via French transmission of the original form Genovefa (Old French), which first appeared in 5th-century France.
Saint Geneviève (419/422-512) was a Gallo-Roman nun who helped the people of Paris fend off the Huns and the Franks; she was later venerated as the patron saint of Paris. In a medieval legend told since the 10th century, Genoveva of Brabant was a heroine and chaste wife falsely accused on the word of a rejected suitor; she supposedly fled to the forests to raise her child and was eventually reunited with her husband. The literary revival of her story in the 19th century led to the popularity of the name in France. The name was then introduced to Britain in the same century. It was later popularized by the British film Genevieve (1953) about a vintage car of the same name.
In addition, Genevieve is a variant form of the English and French name Guinevere in the German language.
The name Genevieve is widely used; it has 66 variant forms that are used in English and other languages. English variant forms include Gena, Genae, Genaveeve, Genavie, Genavieve, Genavive, Genaya, Geneieve, Geneva, Geneve, Geneveeve, Genever, Genevie, Genevievre, Geneviéve, Genica, Genivee, Genivieve, Genna, Genni, Gennie, Genny, Genovera, Genoveva (also used in German, Portuguese, and Spanish), Genoveve, Genovieve, Genovive, Genvieve, Ginata, and Ginebra. Other English forms include the diminutive forms Gina, Ginnie, Ginny, Jenny (also used in German), and Veva, and the spelling variants Geneveve and Genevive.
Variant forms of Genevieve used in other languages include Geneviève (French), Genevra (Italian), Genoveffa (Italian), Genowefa (Polish), Ginette (French), Ginevra (Italian), Jinelle (Welsh), and Zenevieva (Russian). The spelling variant Genovefa (Old French, German, and Spanish) is another foreign form.
Genevieve is a popular baby name for girls, and it is also regarded as rather trendy. Its usage peaked modestly in 1915 with 0.286% of baby girls being named Genevieve. It ranked at #77 then. The baby name has since experienced a steep fall in frequency. In 2018, its usage was 0.092% and its ranking #172, having regained some lost ground in the recent decade. Among all girl names in its group, Genevieve was the most popular. In 2018, 85% more girls were named Genevieve than the next ranked name, Jennifer.
Baby names that sound like Genevieve include Genaveeve, Genavie, Genavieve, Genavive, Geneieve, Geneva, Geneveve, Geneviève, Geneviéve, Genevive, Genivee, Gineveve, Ginevive, Jahnavee, Jahnavey, Jahnavi, Jahnavie, Jahnavy, Janavee, and Janavey.
† Pronunciation for Genevieve: JH as in "joy (JH.OY)" ; AE as in "at (AE.T)" ; N as in "knee (N.IY)" ; V as in "vow (V.AW)" ; IY as in "eat (IY.T)" ; EH as in "ebb (EH.B)"
A famous person named Genevieve is Singer Alison Moyet, born Genevieve Alison Jane Moyet, 18 June 1961, Billericay, Essex, England.