Cornish variation of Welsh Guinevere
"white shadow, white wave"

Jennifer Origin and Meaning

The name Jennifer is a girl's name of Cornish origin meaning "white shadow, white wave".

Jennifer is the Cornish variation of Guinevere, which ultimately derived from the Welsh name Gwenhwyfar. It has been in use in the English-speaking world since the 18th century but came to prominence in the 20th. Playwright George Bernard Shaw chose Jennifer for the name of his leading lady in his play The Doctor’s Dilemma, which drew more attention to the name.

Jennifer was the top name of the 1970s, when there were close to 800,000 Jennifers born: No wonder there are now online support groups for grown-up Jens who have suffered a lack of personal identity. These days Jennifer has fallen out of the Top 100 though it's forever a pretty-sounding name.

Many modern parents opt for Jenna over Jennifer, though Jenna too is losing steam. Jenny and Jennie are forever appealing if not exactly stylish short forms; Jenifer is an alternate spelling.

One name that's taking over where Jennifer left off is Genevieve. Another idea for Jennifer lovers in search of an alternative: the perennially appealing Jane. Or even the original Welsh Guinevere.

Bill and Melinda Gates are the parents of a Jennifer. Wonder how she feels with a sister named Phoebe and a brother called Rory?

# 517 in the US

Jennifer Rank in US Top 1000

# 292 on Nameberry

Jennifer Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Jennifer Popularity

Famous People Named Jennifer

  • Jennifer Jones (born Phylis Lee Isley)American actress
  • Jennifer Shrader LawrenceAmerican Actress
  • Jennifer Maria CapriatiAmerican tennis player
  • Jennifer Joanna AnistonAmerican actress
  • Jennifer Lynn LopezAmerican singer/actress
  • Jennifer Love HewittAmerican actress
  • Jennifer Kate HudsonAmerican singer/actress
  • Jennifer J. Arroyobassist for Canadian band Kittie
  • Jennifer Anne GarnerAmerican actress
  • Jennifer Lynn ConnellyAmerican actress
  • Jennifer Marie MorrisonAmerican actress
  • Jennifer GreyAmerican actress
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh (born Jennifer Leigh Morrow)American actress
  • JenniferYvette Holliday, American actress/singer
  • Jennifer Tilly (born Jennifer Ellen Chan)American actress
  • Jennifer Lindsay StoneAmerican actress
  • Jennifer PaigeAmerican singer,songwriter
  • Jennifer BealsAmerican actress
  • Jennifer Jane SaundersEnglish actress and comedienne of duo French & Saunders
  • Jennifer EspositoAmerican actress
  • Jennifer Odessa Nettleslead singer of American country band Sugarland
  • Jennifer CoolidgeAmerican actress/comedienne
  • Jennifer Nicole FreemanAmerican actress
  • Jennifer Kate Stitt DavidsonAmerican former vice president of The Cartoon Network
  • Jennifer Lesley EllisonEnglish actress, model and singer
  • Jennifer Christina FinniganCanadian actress
  • Jennifer Kathleen HansonAmerican country music singer,songwriter
  • Jennifer JohnstonIrish novelist
  • Jennifer Michelle LeeAmerican film director
  • Jennifer Lynn KnappAmerican,Australian folk rock singer
  • Jennifer J. LavoieAmerican model and actress
  • Jennifer Ann LienAmerican actress
  • Jennifer Chambers LynchAmerican film director
  • Jennifer Leann CarpenterAmerican actress
  • Jennifer "Kitty" Dunndrummer of the American rock band Mindless Self Indulgence
  • Jennifer ShuChinese actress
  • Jennifer Lee WorthBritish midwife and author of "Call the Midwife"
  • Jasmine Lucilla Elizabeth Jennifer van den Bogaerde aka BirdyEnglish singer, songwriter
  • Jennifer Patricia 'Jen' BeattieScottish football player
  • Jennifer Young (b. 1964)daughter of actor Gig Young
  • Jennifer Grant (b. 1966)daughter of actor Cary Grant
  • Jennifer Chambers Lynch (b. 1968)director; daughter of director David Lynch
  • Jennifer Adamson (b. 1971)daughter of actor Kit Culkin; half,sister of Macaulay Culkin
  • Jennifer Katharine Gates (b. 1996)daughter of Microsoft's Bill and Melinda Gates
  • Jennifer Jane Brown (b. 2001)late daughter of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown
  • Jennifer Danielle Duggar (b. 2007)17th child of reality TV's Duggar family
  • Jennifer Lee WigginsAmerican actress , of Chinese & Irish/English descent

Jennifer in Pop Culture

  • Jennifer Carsoncharacter on Australian TV series "Carson's Law"
  • Jennifer "Jen" Lindleycharacter on TV's "Dawson's Creek"
  • Jennifer Tallulah Humphreycharacter on TV's "Gossip Girl"
  • Jennifer "J" Robbinscharacter on TV's "Into the Dark"
  • Jennifer Checkmain character in 2009 film "Jennifer's Body"
  • Jennifer Kalesorceress in Marvel Comics
  • Jennifer Parkercharacter in the "Back to the Future" series
  • Jennifer Kellercharacter on TV's "Stargate Atlantis"
  • Jennifer "J.J" Jareaucharacter on TV's "Criminal Minds"
  • Jennifer "Jenny Matrix" Mattheuscharacter from YouTube series Video Game High School
  • Miss Jennifer Honeynice teacher from book/movie "Matilda"
  • Jennifer Dugancharacter in the movie "Spiderman 3"
  • JenniferLouis Dubedat's beautiful wife in the 1906 play "The Doctor's Dilemma" by G. Bernard Shaw; upon introduction, Dr. Ridgeon remarks, "That's a strange name." Jennifer answers, "Not in Cornwall."
  • Jennifer Adams Townsendcharacter from Yesterday's child, by Barbara Wood
  • Jennifer "Jen" ScottsPink Power Ranger on TV's Power Rangers Time Force
  • Jennifer McMinamincharacter in the YouTube series "Most Popular Girls in School"
  • "Jennifer" 1953 film
  • "Jennifer Juniper" 1968 song by Donovan that sent this name to the top of the charts
  • "Jennifer Ever" song by The Smashing Pumpkins
  • Jennifer Adamsmain character in 'The Gray Wolves' series by Quinn Loftis
  • Jennifer Pierceyounger daughter of Jefferson Pierce aka Black Lightening

Jennifer in Nameberry Blog Posts