Cool Name of the Week: Jennifer

I broke my wrist this weekend in karate class, which makes it sound cool…but tripping while sparring, which makes it sound a little less cool. (Though Jennifer Lawrence tripping at the Oscars makes tripping seem cooler, right?) So needless to say, I have had some time this weekend to ruminate about potential cool names of the week. And I’ve picked one that seems ubiquitous, but is on its way onto the endangered name list. Is it too late to save Jennifer? And could Oscar winner (and fellow tripper) Jennifer Lawrence help lead the Jen-aissance?

Nameberry actually posted about what they coined the “Jennifer Jauggernaut” last week, and how Jennifer went from obscurity to the top spot in less than 30 years. Jennifer, along with my name, Lisa, were THE names for Generation X girls, to the point where there are Jennifer support groups online….as if the name was some sort of child abuse.  Which explains why few people are currently naming their kids Jennifer (currently #134 on the the baby name list) or especially, Lisa (#703 on the U.S. lists), and they are picking names like Brooklinne instead. (Because the name HAS to be unique…even if it is just a made-up spelling.)

Jennifer is based on the old name Guinevere, and means “white wave.” It comes with a few potential nicknames, including Jen, Jenna and Jenny. Another variant that’s on the rise is Genevieve, which is currently #232 and climbing.

There’s a whole slew of famous Jennifers for name inspiration…Aniston, Lopez, Lawrence, Garner, Hudson, Love Hewitt, Jones and Connelly.

if you’re thinking of Jennifer, consider an offbeat middle name to freshen it up: Lark, Snow or Belle would be my choices. Or put Jen in the middle and use a short-and-sweet first name, like Zoe, Rose or Maeve.

Do you think Jen’s been around the block too often to make it a serious name contender? Would you ever consider a name that was hot when you were a kid, like Lisa, Jessica, Jason, or Mike?

Oh, and congrats to my fellow tripper Jennifer Lawrence on her Oscar win!

Photo: Pregnant woman via Ronald Summers/

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  1. by jennnin

    On February 25, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    I wish I knew of the support groups earlier. I’m a ’73 Jennifer…and I have a cousin Lisa who was also a ’73. Must find these groups now.

    I personally love my name, just not when people call me Jenny.

    When I had my daughter, I made sure her name was uncommon but not weird. Didn’t want her to have to be one of 3 girls in her class with the same name. As it stands…her little Catholic school has only had one ever Chelsea enrolled, and that’s my Chelsea. :)

  2. by Jennifer

    On February 27, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Don’t do it! I am a Jennifer born in ’79 and there were five Jennifer’s in my graduating high school class and at least two in all of my elementary school classes. I literally have four other close friends named Jennifer and it is a nightmare. All you moms naming your kiddos Sophia, Olivia and Madison, beware. It is NOT fun having the most common name in a 20 year time period (1970-1990 according to U.S. Social Security Admin.) Just last week in my OB’s office I was called in by the nurse and two of us stood up!

  3. by Gricelda

    On March 21, 2013 at 2:56 am

    Hi I dont find where to subscribe to receive your next post or newsletter per Email…

    Excuse my english, I’m French^^