Geoffrey (given name)

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Gender Male
Word/name English
Meaning "peace" and name of a deity
Other names
Related names Jeffrey, Geoff, Jeff, Jeffory

Geoffrey, often spelled Jeffrey, and abbreviated as Geoff or Jeff or Geof, is a male given name in the English-speaking world.

The common confusion between the first names Geoffroy "Geoffrey" and Godefroy "Godfrey" is due to analogy.

Medieval variants on "Geoffrey" include "Jeffrey"[1] and "Jeffery". Jeffrey is sometimes spelled with one f as in Jefrey. Jeffrey and its variants are found as surnames, usually as a patronymic ending in -s (e.g., Jefferies, Jaffrays); The surname Jefferson is also a patronymic version of the given name, literally "son of Jeffer", the name formant being a mutation of Jeffery.

The name was introduced to England by the Normans after William the Conqueror's conquest of England in 1066. It was particularly popular among English nobility.[citation needed]


Geoffrey originates from the Old French form Geoffrei [dʒɔfreʲ] (West Middle French Geoffrey, East Middle French Geoffroy), itself from Proto-French forms (Latinized in -us) Jotfredus, Jozsfredus, Josfredus (10th century) and Jof[f]redus, Jofridus, Jaufredus, Geffredus (11th century).[2] The spelling Geo- is probably due to the scholar form of OF Jorre, Joire, which is Georges. The e after G is used to avoid the pronunciation [go], but [dʒɔ] instead.

It is ultimately a Germanic name *Gautfriþu[3] or Gautfrid,[4] that can be reconstructed in Proto-Germanic as *Gautafriþuz. Although the name's second element is frid, meaning "peace". The first element of the name is disputed. Possible words that it originates from include gawi "territory" or Gaut,[5][6] a byname for Wotan (see Old Norse Gautr for Óðinn) or "geat". According to the rules of the French phonetics, only Gau- [gaʷ] can have changed into Jo- (Geo-) : OF [dʒɔ] > F [ʒo] (compare Late Latin *gauta > OF jöe > joue "cheek", gaudia > joie "joy"). The etymologies with Germanic gisal- "hostage", god "god" or w(e)alah "stranger" are phonetically impossible. Gi- would have been retained in French (Gi- [gi] > Gi- OF [dʒi] > F [ʒi], compare Gisalbert > Gilbert). Same thing for Go- (compare Gaulish *gobbo > Gallo-Romance GOBARE > French gober [gobe] "to swallow", "to suck" and the given name/surname Godefroy [godfrwa] "Godfrey"). W(e)alh- would have been turned into Gaul- (Old Low Franconian *Walha > Gallo-Romance *WAHLA > F Gaule [gol] "Gaul". Old Low Franconian *walu- > Gallo-Romance *WALUA > French gaule [gol] "pole". Old Low Franconian *walda > F gaude "weld").


The variations of the name include

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  1. ^ Behind the Name: Meaning, Origin and History of the Name Jeffrey
  2. ^ Louis Guinet, Les emprunts gallo-romans au germanique (du Ier siècle à la fin du Ve siècle), éditions Klincksieck, 1982.
  3. ^ GUINET
  4. ^ Albert Dauzat, Noms et prénoms de France, Librairie Larousse 1980, édition revue et commentée par Marie-Thérèse Morlet. p. 287b - 288a.
  5. ^ GUINET
  6. ^ DAUZAT