Saturday, October 29, 2011

Genoveva, Geneva & Genevieve

Today's name: Genoveva, from Geneva and Genevieve
There are also the variants Genovefa, Genevra/Ginevra, Genever, Genevia, and Geneve.

Pronunciation: jehn-oh-VEE-vah, HEN-oh-VEH-vah
Genevieve is also pronounced with the JEN sound in America, while it is either JAHN or ZHAHN in France.

Potential nicknames: Gen, Gena, Genna, Genny, Neva, Nova, Veva, Viva, Eve, Ever, Eva, Evie

Origin: The Spanish variant of either Old French Geneva or French Genevieve (perhaps originally Gaulish), although I am uncertain which it is for sure. Geneva can mean "juniper tree/berry," from either French "Genevrier" or old Dutch "genever, jeniver" or come from a Celtic meaning, while Genevieve can mean "white wave" (from Old German) or Celtic "of the race of women." This meaning is tied to Guinevere, which means "fair, smooth." There are other vague possible meanings. It seems the true origin was either lost in translation or Genoveva is a variant of both Geneva and Genevieve.

Popularity: Genoveva only ranked in the U.S. in 1885, 1894 and 1895. Geneva last ranked every year between 1880 (when the SSA first started keeping track) and 1995. Genevieve ranked at #279 last year. In 2010 there were only 5 baby girls named Genoveva, and 15 in 2011, while there were 149 named Geneva, 6 Geneve, 1,182 named Genevieve, 8 Gennavieve, and 16 Genevive. In 2011 Genevieve jumped up to #232, with 1,356 births. There were also 7 girls named Genavie, 15 Genoveva, 28 Genevie, 48 Genavieve, and 156 Geneva.

Fun fact: (1) Saint Genoveva Torres Morales of Spain, lived from 1870 to 1956. Her feast day is January 5. Saint Genevieve is the Patron Saint of Paris. (2) Genoveva Edroza-Matute was a Filipino author. (3) Lake Geneva, which touches both Switzerland and France. It was first called Geneva in the English language. There is also a Lake Geneva in Michigan and one in Wisconsin, possibly more elsewhere. (4) Geneva, Switzerland (and Illinois, and New York, with possibly more). (5) Fictional country of Genovia in "The Princess Diaries." (6) A good way to honor a special man in your life named Gene. (7) The Geneva Conventions. (8) The baby of Benicio del Toro and Kimberly Stewart is named Delilah Genoveva.


1 comment:

  1. I really like Genevieve, whilst my sister prefers Guinevere. Personally, I find Genoveva a little clunky for my tastes.