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Gender: Female Meaning of Jennifer: "white shadow, white wave" Origin of Jennifer: Cornish variation of Welsh Guinevere Jennifer's Popularity in 2017: #310

The name Jennifer is a girl's name of Cornish origin meaning "white shadow, white wave". Jennifer is ranked #310 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Names That Mean Water and discussed in our forums with posts like "Sibsets You Know".

From the experts:

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?

Find other names based on Jennifer using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Jennifer

Jennifer Jones (born Phylis Lee Isley), American actress
Jennifer Shrader Lawrence, American Actress
Jennifer Maria Capriati, American tennis player
Jennifer Joanna Aniston, American actress
Jennifer Lynn Lopez, American singer/actress
Jennifer Love Hewitt, American actress
Jennifer Kate Hudson, American singer/actress
Jennifer J. Arroyo, bassist for Canadian band Kittie
Jennifer Anne Garner, American actress
Jennifer Lynn Connelly, American actress
Jennifer Marie Morrison, American actress
Jennifer Grey, American actress
Jennifer Jason Leigh (born Jennifer Leigh Morrow), American actress
Jennifer-Yvette Holliday, American actress/singer
Jennifer Tilly (born Jennifer Ellen Chan), American actress
Jennifer Lindsay Stone, American actress
Jennifer Paige, American singer-songwriter
Jennifer Beals, American actress
Jennifer Jane Saunders, English actress and comedienne of duo French & Saunders
Jennifer Esposito, American actress
Jennifer Odessa Nettles, lead singer of American country band Sugarland
Jennifer Coolidge, American actress/comedienne
Jennifer Nicole Freeman, American actress
Jennifer Kate Stitt Davidson, American former vice president of The Cartoon Network
Jennifer Lesley Ellison, English actress, model and singer
Jennifer Christina Finnigan, Canadian actress
Jennifer Kathleen Hanson, American country music singer-songwriter
Jennifer Johnston, Irish novelist
Jennifer Michelle Lee, American film director
Jennifer Lynn Knapp, American-Australian folk rock singer
Jennifer J. Lavoie, American model and actress
Jennifer Ann Lien, American actress
Jennifer Chambers Lynch, American film director
Jennifer Leann Carpenter, American actress
Jennifer "Kitty" Dunn, drummer of the American rock band Mindless Self Indulgence
Jennifer Shu, Chinese actress
Jennifer Lee Worth, British midwife and author of "Call the Midwife"
Jasmine Lucilla Elizabeth Jennifer van den Bogaerde aka Birdy, English singer- songwriter
Jennifer Patricia 'Jen' Beattie, Scottish 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

Pop Culture References for the name Jennifer

Jennifer Carson, character on Australian TV series "Carson's Law"
Jennifer "Jen" Lindley, character on TV's "Dawson's Creek"
Jennifer Tallulah Humphrey, character on TV's "Gossip Girl"
Jennifer "J" Robbins, character on TV's "Into the Dark"
Jennifer Check, main character in 2009 film "Jennifer's Body"
Jennifer Kale, sorceress in Marvel Comics
Jennifer Parker, character in the "Back to the Future" series
Jennifer "J.J" Jareau, character on TV's "Criminal Minds"
Jennifer "Jenny Matrix" Mattheus, character from YouTube series Video Game High School
Miss Jennifer Honey, nice teacher from book/movie "Matilda"
Jennifer Dugan, character in the movie "Spiderman 3"
Jennifer, Louis 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 Townsend, character from Yesterday's child, by Barbara Wood
Jennifer "Jen" Scotts, Pink Power Ranger on TV's Power Rangers Time Force
Jennifer McMinamin, character 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 Adams, main character in 'The Gray Wolves' series by Quinn Loftis
Jennifer Pierce, younger daughter of Jefferson Pierce aka Black Lightening

Jennifer's International Variations

Genoveva (Spanish) Ginevra, Genoveffa (Italian) Genowefa (Polish)


jenncait Says:


My name, and I have only met maybe 2 people with the same name in my 23 years...amongst the 20 Jessica's, Sarah's and Amy's I went to school with...perhaps Jennifer just isn't as popular where I'm from!

I'm a Banana Says:


8 letters isn't too long. 11 letters? That's too long. That aside I do hate this name.

Smollie Says:


I actually really like this name. I don't know anyone with this name, which might be surprising to hear. Plus, I really like the nicknames Jen and Jenny - both have a cool but vintage feel to me.

burg123 Says:


Why though? It's not even a pretty name.

Nicole Says:


We named our daughter Jennifer and call her Jenni or Jen. Her grandmother and my cousin are also named Jennifer so there's a few in our family! My husband was the one who actually named her though and I had a choice of veto and didn't use it. Now it is really unusual, so much so that we can barely ever find Jennifer stamped things like names for her door etc.

Samsonite Says:


Such an overused name; have no idea why anyone ever did use it (then, once it was clearly so popular) or would now. Aside from its overuse, it just isn't particularly pretty, and it's too long.

bordercollie Says:


I actually really love Jennifer. It's soft, but strong, and really pretty. Sad that it was so overused.

abertawe Says:


Come on, there is a lot of nostalgia around the 50s. Why assume this person celebrates racism?

kiwipop Says:


Sorry, that's not what I meant, I was talking about pop culture, clothing, etc

htw Says:


How were the 50s the best generation? Mmm segregation!

htw Says:


I think it needs to rest for at least 20 more years

jchew823 Says:


Unfortunately, I was one of the 800,000 Jennifers born in the 1970’s. I can’t begin to tell you how many Jennifers I graduated High School with. And even though my Father was the parent who gave me the name, and told me why he did, I still haven’t grown to like it after all these years. Which of course doesn’t please my Father.

Maybe it’s because it was such a common name when I was growing up. My brother actually wanted to name his eldest daughter after me. Not because I’m his favorite (and only) sister, but because he realized how uncommon the name is now, and wanted to try to bring the name back into popularity. He didn’t do it (thank God). Instead he gave his eldest daughter the MIDDLE name of Jennifer, which I think doesn’t go too well with her first name but it isn’t my kid!!! To this day, I still don’t know if I should be honored by the fact that my brother did this, or sort of think that this child is cursed that one of her names is the one I have disliked most of my life.

Jenn Terry Says:


I've grown to love my name. I hated it growing up because it was so common. I was among the hundreds of thousands of Jennifers born in the late 1970's. There were 5 Jennifers in my graduating class. The fact that there is an online support group for Jennifers is a bit ridiculous. YOU define your own self-identity. Your name is just the beginning.

I like the nickname Jenn or Jenna a little better, but I love Welsh names and think it's very pretty.

Impwood Says:


I actually like this name. I wouldn't use it because I do not absolutely love the way it sounds, but I see it as a lovely Welsh name with a wonderful meaning.

RoddyThlayli Says:


I don't dislike the name Jennifer, but I've met two where I live (Canada) in a fairly small, out of the way, farmer-type community.

zzyzx Says:


dated, but if you named your kid this she`d probably be the only one.

headintheclouds Says:


If I look at Jennifer purely without knowledge of its popularity in the 80s and just appreciated it for its aesthetics, I would actually really like the name. It sounds quirky, fun and weighty all at once, with a lovely meaning and an interesting background + roots. I can see how parents in the 80s would have found it pretty and named their daughter Jennifer without realizing the sheer magnitude of its prevalence, especially without Internet back in the day. Nowadays, I think the Jennifer phenomenon has made this name very, very overexposed and as a result it seems time-stamp dated and tired, but I would bet that one or two generations from now, there'd be lots of little Jennifers running around once again, as the name starts sounding fresh again, and Jennifers start becoming grandmothers with namesake granddaughters!

Jannifer Jones Cohen Says:


My name is Jannifer -- a different variation. My mom had named me Jennifer Jones after the movie star but didnt like the nick name Jenny so changed the e to an a shortly thereafter. This name has remained quite different through all the variations for 66 years. I like my name as I like being different. There were not many Jennifers when I was growing up either. But the 80's did change that!

Jennifer Kelly Says:


Hey! I may take offence. BTW, I was born in '93.

kiwipop Says:


I actually think that the name Jen by itself sounds better.

mabespark Says:


This has the coolest meaning, but it feels stale and leftover from the '80s.

jtay07 Says:


This is my name and I love it. Just because a name is or was very common doesn't mean it isn't a nice name. I don't mind meeting other Jen's.

raevynstar Says:


I really like it! Sure, it was an epidemic in the 80s, but it would be refreshing now (as opposed to another Ava).

Theodora_Phoenix Says:


Way too common. But I hate Gennifer even more. I do like the variations Jeniffer and Jenifer.

MaryKathryn Says:


This name is so "been there, done that"