Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Geoffrey

Geoffrey is the medieval spelling of Jeffrey; used primarily among the English and the French (the French pronounce it zhaw-FRAY). In fact, the name was first introduced to England by the Norman French after the Conquest of 1066 and it’s been in circulation ever since. The Old French Geuffroi was ultimately derived from an Ancient Germanic name Gautfridu, with the last element (fridu) meaning “peace.” The first component of the name is up for debate, but the most common explanations come from the Old High German “got” meaning “God” or “gawi” meaning “district, territory” or, finally, “walah” meaning “stranger.” So Geoffrey could either mean Divine Peace, Place of Peace or Stanger of Peace. The name is often associated with Godfrey – which does mean “God’s peace.” In Medieval England, the name Geoffrey was particularly popular among the nobility; it’s also a name with a fair amount of literary cachet.  Three very significant men held the name Geoffrey in English history. One, Geoffrey Plantagenet was a Frenchman and father to King Henry II, thus launching the royal house of Plantagenet which ruled England from the 12th to 15th centuries. The other, Geoffrey of Monmouth, was a Welshman and British historian also dating back to the 12th century. He is the one we can thank for preserving the tales of King Arthur’s Court and other stories from Celtic mythology. Lastly, Geoffrey Chaucer was a 14th century poet and notable author of The Canterbury Tales.  Geoffrey would eventually fall from usage in England after the Middle Ages, but it was revived again in the 20th century (mostly in the form of Jeffrey).

All About the Baby Name – Geoffrey

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME GEOFFREY

Romance is the hallmark of the Six personality. They exude nurturing, loving, and caring energy. Sixes are in love with the idea of love in its idealized form - and with their magnetic personalities, they easily draw people toward them. Like the number Two personality, they seek balance and harmony in their life and the world at large. They are conscientious and service-oriented, and a champion for the underdog. These personalities naturally attract money and are usually surrounded by lovely material objects - but their human relationships are always primary. They thrive in giving back to others rather than being motivated by their own desires. This is when they achieve great things. Sixes are natural teachers, ministers and counselors.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME GEOFFREY

The old-school spelling of Geoffrey enjoyed a 20th century revival after the more phonetically-spelled Jeffrey surfaced in the 1930s.  While never as popular as Jeffrey (which reached as high as #9 on the charts in 1966), Geoffrey nonetheless saw some traction.  In fact, Geoffrey got as high as #167 on the charts (1975) – not too shabby. However, today, Geoffrey is no longer a Top 1000 favorite (and only given to a mere 100 baby boys in 2013).  It might be argued that Geoffrey is the more scholarly spelling – more medieval and historic. 

Quick Facts

ON GEOFFREY

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

N/A

PRONUNCIATION:

JEFF-ree

SIMPLE MEANING:

God's Peace

Characteristics

OF GEOFFREY

Humanitarian

Community-minded

Family-oriented

Loving

Affectionate

Compassionate

Sensitive

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Geoffrey

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME GEOFFREY

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Geoffrey

Popular Songs

ON GEOFFREY

Geoffrey Thomas
a song by Sham 69

Famous People

NAMED GEOFFREY

Geoffrey Chaucer (English author)
Geoffrey of Monmouth (Welsh historian)
Geoffrey Rush (Australian actor)
Geoffrey Boycott (English cricketer)
Geoffrey Howe (British politician)
Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou (medieval nobility)
Geoffrey Palmer (English actor)
Geoffrey Lewis (American actor)
Geoffrey Blainey (Australian historian)

Children of Famous People

NAMED GEOFFREY

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Geoffrey

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME GEOFFREY

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Geoffrey