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Genevieve Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Genevieve including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Genevieve Overview

  • Meaning: Genevieve means “woman of the race” and also means “white wave.”
  • Gender: Genevieve is most commonly a name for girls. There are no male variations of the name.
  • Origin: Germanic and Celtic languages.
  • Pronunciation: “JIN-ah-veev”
  • Popularity: At present, the name Genevieve is in the top 200 most popular girls’ names in the United States.
  • Nicknames: Genia, Jean, Jeanie, Jen, Jennie, VeeVee.
  • Variations: Gemma, Gena, Genavieve, Gina, Guinevere.
  • Namesakes: Genevieve Angelson, actress.

What Does Genevieve Mean?

Genevieve is a timeless and classic name that has spanned centuries. The name Genevieve has a rich history steeped in Germanic and Celtic origins.

The name Genevieve has two accepted meanings. The most well-known meaning is “woman of the race.” In simpler words, the phrase “woman of the race” means a “woman that is fair-skinned and light-haired” (1).

The second most common meaning for the name Genevieve is “white wave.” This meaning describes a cresting wave.

What Is the Origin of the Name Genevieve?

There are two theories as to the origins of the name Genevieve. The first accepted origin of the name is Germanic. In this language, the name Kenowefa is thought to be the first iteration of the name Genevieve.

The second origin is from the Celtic language. The name Genevieve means “white wave” in Celtic. The ancient Germanic and Celtic languages share many words. This makes it difficult to discern which language is the true origin of the name Genevieve.

How Popular Is the Name Genevieve?

The name Genevieve has experienced fluctuations in popularity over time. Currently, the Social Security Administration has Genevieve listed as the 155th most popular girls name (2).

Genevieve was a very popular name throughout the early 1900s. It peaked as the 76th most popular name for girls in 1916. Since then, it decreased in popularity until the 1980s. From the 1980s to the present day, Genevieve has slowly become more popular.

Genevieve is a popular name in many European nations. It is not a name that is commonly used in Spanish-speaking countries.

How Do I Pronounce Genevieve?

Like many Germanic words, the G in Genevieve is pronounced with a J sound. You pronounce Genevieve as “JIN-ah-veev.”

Is Genevieve a Boy or Girl Name?

Genevieve is most commonly a girl’s name. It is very rare for Genevieve to be used as a name for a boy.

Variations of Genevieve

Most variations of Genevieve are from other European nations. Below are a few of the most popular variations of Genevieve.

  • Gemma (English)
  • Gena (Greek)
  • Genavieve (French)
  • Gina (Italian)
  • Genoveva (Italian)
  • Guinevere (Welsh)

Nicknames for Genevieve

Genevieve is a longer name. Long names tend to have many nickname options. Because Genevieve can be a struggle to pronounce, the name has shortened variations. Here are some nicknames for the name Genevieve.

  • Genia
  • Geniee
  • Jean
  • Jeanie
  • Jen
  • Jennie
  • VeeVee

Similar Names to Genevieve

The name Genevieve is unique in that it sounds modern but is hundreds of years old. Below is a list of names similar to Genevieve if you are considering other options.

Middle Names for Genevieve

Genevieve is an elegant name that pairs well with both traditional and modern middle names. Here are some names that would pair best with Genevieve.

Sibling Names for Genevieve

Sibling names with similar origins sound best when paired with Genevieve. Here’s a list of some sibling names that work well with Genevieve.

  • Aidan
  • Blaine
  • Cormac
  • Douglas
  • Emmet
  • Quinn
  • Sean
  • Timothy
  • Bridgette
  • Chevonne
  • Dorian
  • Gweneth
  • Ingrid
  • Millie
  • Susanne

Famous People Named Genevieve

The name Genevieve was popular in the early 1900s and the 1980s. Because of this, there are many examples of famous or well-known people who bear the name Genevieve.

  • Genevieve Angelson: American actress.
  • Genevieve Behrend: French author.
  • Genevieve Bujold: Canadian actress.
  • Genevieve Castree: Canadian illustrator.
  • Genevieve Gorder: American TV host.
  • Genevieve Morton: South African model.
  • Genevieve Page: French actress.

Genevieve in Popular Culture

Characters named Genevieve are found in books, shows, and films. Popular culture has many mentions of people named Genevieve.

Here is a list of some of the most well-known characters named Genevieve in popular culture:

  • Genevieve Atkinson: Character from the TV show “The Young and The Restless.”
  • Genevieve Emery: Character from French film “Les Parapluies de Cherbourg.”
  • Genevieve Selsor: Character from the book “The Martian Chronicles.”
  • Genevieve Mirren-Carter: Character from the TV series “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”

Genevieve FAQs

Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about the name Genevieve:

Is Genevieve a Religious Name?

There are no mentions of the name Genevieve in regards to any major world religion. Genevieve is either Celtic or Germanic in origin but is not tied to either of these cultures’ religions. There is a Saint named Genevieve, but this Saint was not a figure in the Bible.

What Is Genevieve the Patron Saint Of?

Saint Genevieve is the Patron Saint of Paris. Her feast day is celebrated on January 3rd. Saint Genevieve was named Patron Saint of France because she helped protect the city of Paris from an invasion by the Huns. Saint Genevieve prayed while the Huns were invading. Miraculously, the Huns diverted from the city of Paris (3).

What Colors Are Associated With the Name Genevieve?

Colors most commonly associated with the name Genevieve are light orange, yellow, red, and green. These colors are lucky colors for people named Genevieve.

Is There Music Associated With the Name Genevieve?

“Sweet Genevieve” is a song written in the late 1800s about a woman named Genevieve. Another song that mentions the name Genevieve is “Oh! Genevieve” by the Dashounds. This song is a love song released in 2014.

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