Jennifer became a common first name for females in English-speaking countries during the 20th century. The name Jennifer is a Cornish variant of Guinevere,[1] which is a French form of the Old Welsh Gwenhwyfar (gwen: white, fair + hywfar: smooth, soft).[2] Other theories say the name derived from the Old English words jenefer, genefer and jinifer,[citation needed] which were all variants of Juniper and used to describe the juniper tree.[3] The name has been in use since the 18th century.[1] Before 1906 the name was fairly uncommon, but it became popular after George Bernard Shaw used it for the main female character in The Doctor's Dilemma.[citation needed] It gained even more popularity in the 1970s. Though its popularity is often attributed to the novel and film Love Story,[citation needed] Jennifer was already the number 3 name given to baby girls in the United States in 1969, the year before the book and movie were released. Jennifer was the single most popular name for American girls from 1970 to 1984.[4] Since the early 1990s it has remained common, but considerably less so. It is also popular to Hispanic females. Diminutives include Jen (Jenn), Jenny (Jennie, Jenni), and Jenna.

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