Names (Jennifer)

Rowland, Jennifer A B jennifer.rowland at ic.ac.uk
Thu Oct 12 04:53:49 EDT 2000


Dorian wrote:
>The "fer" part would mean "fair", as "fionn" or "fin" in Irish names does.
>I think the name comes from the Welsh "Gwynhfawr" (or something like that);
>I don't know what the other part means.
Becca here. My baby name book (yes, I have one!) says that Jennifer is also
a form of the French Guinivere, made popular after some version of the King
Arthur stories. And Nobody Knows what Guinivere means (but as she eats
bones in Joan Aiken's _The Stolen Lake_ it can't be anything very good).
"Gwynhfawr", however you pronounce it, looks awfully like Gwenhyfera (sp?)
from The Perilous Gard. Weird! And white wave or white-cheeked would be a
very good name to give to a Person Under the Hill, I think.
Becca (who loves name meanings too!)

As Cornish, Welsh and Breton are all related, if Guenevere was from Brittany
the name might mean something similar. It's a good mythic sounding name,
isn't it? Whereas Jennifer is very mundane.
Are any of the other UK listmembers the right age to remember a programme
that I used to be shown in primary school? It was tellings of fairy tales,
and the theme song was the Storyteller saying what his name was in lots of
different languages- (I am the storyteller and my story must be told, I roam
around different lands [I think])...In Russia I am Ivan, In Holland I am
Jan, In Wales I am Ewan, and so on till the end which was In England I am
John! (Isn't it cool that Vanya and Jack are abbreviations of the same
name?) For a while after that I loved finding different versions of the same
name- Miriam/Mary/Maria/Maire and so on. 
It's odd how quite a simple change in spelling can change the feeling of the
name (Sophy and Sophie are totally different people!)
Jennifer
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