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Jennifer (f) Occasionally Jenifer, which is the earlier
Cornish spelling. In parish registers of the seventeenth
and eighteenth centuries the name also occurs as Gweniver, which hints at its connection with the name of King Arthur’s wife, Welsh Gwenhwyfar, Norman Guinevere.
The original meaning of the name has to do with ‘white-
ness, fairness’ and ‘smooth, yielding.’ Jennifer was at one time a purely Cornish name. It spread into the rest of England after 1925, becoming highly popular in 1950. Scottish parents made it their ~oth most frequently used name in 1958, and used it more and more in the years that followed. It has only just showed signs of fading away in the late 1970’s. Meanwhile the name ‘arrived’ in the U.S.A. and Canada, where it was top name in 1975. The short forms Jenny and Jennie sometimes occur as independent names, though in Scotland these are traditionally more closely associated with Janet.

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