|Region of origin||Francia, medieval France, Norman England|
|Derived||Godfried, Gottfried, Godfrey|
|Related names||Jeffrey, Geoff, Jeff|
|Look up Geoffrey in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
Geoffrey (//) is a French and English masculine given name. It is the Anglo-Norman form of the Germanic compound *gudą 'god' and *friþuz 'peace'. It is a cognate of Dutch Godfried and German Gottfried.
It was introduced to Norman England alongside the form Godfrey. It was also Anglicised as Jeffrey from an early time. Popularity of the name declined after the medieval period, but it was revived in the 20th century. Modern hypocorisms include Geoff, Jeff, or ned.
Jeffrey and its variants are found as surnames, usually as a patronymic ending in -s (eg Jefferies, Jaffrays); The surname Jefferson is also a patronymic version of the given name.
The original spelling with Jo- was modified in Geo-. The graphic e after G is used in French to avoid the pronunciation [go], but [ʒɔ] instead. The spelling Geo- is probably due to the influence of the first name Georges, derived from Old French Jorre, Joire.
The Old Frankish name Godefrid itself is from the Germanic elements god- and frid-. The Middle Latin form is Godefridus (whence also Godfrey). The second element is widely used in Germanic names, and has a meaning of "peace, protection". The first element god- is conflated from two, or possibly three, distinct roots, ie got and possibly *gaut, in origin a tribal name (Geats, Goths) or a theonym (a byname of Wotan).
Albert Dauzat (1951, rev. ed. 1980) followed by others, argued that the Middle French name Geoffrey in fact retains a distinction between two Germanic names which became conflated in the Middle Ages. According to this argument, Godfrey continues *goda-friþu-, while Geoffroy continues *gaut-friþu-. If a strictly phonetic development is assumed, Geoffrey cannot be derived from Godfrid, as *go- would result in Old French go- ([gɔ]) and not geo- (jo-, [dʒɔ]), ie goda-fridu would yield Godefroy [godfrwa] but not Geoffroy. On the other hand, *gau- [gaw] would regularly result in jo- (geo- [dʒɔ]), i.e *gaut-fridu- would regularly result in Geoffroy [dʒɔf:rwa].
Alternative suggestions which would derive the first element from Germanic gisal- 'hostage', or w(e)alah 'Gallo-Roman; stranger' are also rejected by Dauzat as phonetically impossible: gi would have resulted in Old French [dʒi] (Modern French [ʒi]), as in Gisalbert > Gilbert (ie *Gisalfrid > *Giffrey), and *w(e)alh- would have resulted in *gaul- [gol] (ie *Wealhfrid > *Gaulfrey, *Gauffrey).
List of people called Geoffrey
In television and film
- Geoff Dolan, New Zealand actor, singer and corporate entertainer
- Geoff Edwards, American actor/game-show host
- Geoff Harvey, Australian musician and television personality
- Geoffrey Hayes, English television presenter and actor
- Geoffrey Holder, actor
- Geoffrey Lewis, American character actor who has been popular since the early 1970s
- Geoff Morrell (actor), Australian film and theatre actor
- Geoff Morrell (Pentagon), former reporter, Pentagon spokesman
- Geoff Murphy, New Zealand film director, writer and assistant director
- Geoffrey Palmer (actor), English television and movie actor appearing in many British television sitcoms and movies
- Geoffrey Perkins, British radio and television producer
- Geoff Peterson, robotic sidekick on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson
- Geoffrey Rush, Australian Academy Award and Emmy Award winning actor
- Geoff Thompson, writer, film director and self-defence expert
- Geoffrey Wright, Australian film director born in Melbourne in 1959
- Geoff Abrams, American tennis player
- Geoff Bent, one of the eight Manchester United players that lost their lives in the Munich air disaster
- Geoff Blum, infielder in Major League Baseball
- Geoff Bodine, NASCAR driver
- Geoffrey Boycott, former England cricketer
- Geoff Capes, former British shot put champion and two-time World's Strongest Man winner
- Geoff Grover, Australian Rules Footballer with St Kilda and Port Melbourne
- Geoff Horsfield, English football player
- Geoff Howarth, New Zealand cricketer
- Geoff Hunt, Australian squash player, ranked the World No.1 squash player from 1975 to 1980
- Geoff Hurst, the only footballer who ever scored a hat-trick in a World Cup final
- Geoff Jenkins, outfielder in Major League Baseball
- Geoff Rowley, professional skateboarder
- Geoff Ogilvy, Australian golfer, winner of the 2006 US Open.
- Geoff Roes, ultra-runner, Western States 100 Endurance Run record holder
- Geoff Sanderson, forward in the National Hockey League
- Geoff Schwartz, American NFL football player (Carolina Panthers)
- Geoff Toovey, Rugby League Coach for the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
- Geoffrey Chaucer, English author, poet, philosopher, bureaucrat, and diplomat
- Geoffrey Household (1900–1988), British writer
- Geoffrey Moorhouse (1931–2009), British writer
- Geoff Johns, American writer of comic books
- Geoff Barrow, producer/instrumentalist for the band, Portishead
- Geoff Berner, Canadian singer-songwriter on the accordion
- Geoff Downes, Keyboard player known for his work with The Buggles, Yes and Asia
- Geoff Emerick, recording studio audio engineer, who is best known for his work with the Beatles
- Geoffrey Gordon, American composer
- Geoff Nicholls, former keyboard player for Black Sabbath
- Geoff Richardson, multi-instrumentalist for Caravan
- Geoff Rickly, lead singer and lyricist of the Post-Hardcore band Thursday
- Geoff Stone, percussionist for Drastic Fall
- Geoff Tate, American rock singer, former member of the band Queensryche
- Geoff Wigington, guitarist for pop punk band Waterparks
- Geoffrey Howe, British Conservative politician and former Deputy Prime Minister
In other fields
- Geoffrey Beene (1927–2004), American fashion designer, born Samuel Albert Bozeman, Jr
- Geoff Dixon, Australian corporate executive and former CEO and Managing Director of Qantas
- Geoffrey Evans (1940-2012) English-born Irish serial killer
- Geoffrey C. Hazard Jr., American law professor
- Geoffrey Hinton, British computer scientist, known as one of the pioneers of deep learning research
- Geoffrey Langlands (1917–2019), British Army officer and educator
- Geoff Lloyd, British radio DJ
- Geoff Ramsey, member of Rooster Teeth Productions
- Geoffrey Ma, Chief Justice of Hong Kong
- Louis Guinet, Les emprunts gallo-romans au germanique (du Ier siècle à la fin du Ve siècle), Éditions Klincksieck, 1982.
- Ernst Förstemann, Altdeutsches Namenbuch (1856), 533.
- Albert Dauzat, Noms et prénoms de France, édition revue et commentée par Marie-Thérèse Morlet, Librairie Larousse 1980, pp. 287b - 288a - 296ab.
- for example, Late Latin *gauta gave Old French jöe and Modern French joue "cheek", and Latin gaudia gave French joie "joy". . In the history of the French language, there is a regular palatalisation of [g] > [dʒ] > [ʒ], before [a], [ɛ], [e], [i], but not before [o], [u], where [g] was maintained.
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