J names, Kin/Family, Male, Proto-Indo-European, Surname names


Jefferson comes from an English surname, a patrynomic surname meaning “son of Jeffrey“, Jeffrey being a medieval variant of Geoffrey, the Norman-French form of a Germanic name. The second element of the name comes from Germanic frid meaning “peace” from Proto-Germanic *friþuz (peace, tranquility; sanctuary, refuge) from PIE *priHós (beloved, dear) from root word *preyH- (to love, to please). The first element is a little tricky. It’s been linked to Germanic gawia from Old High German gawi, gouwi meaning “territory” or “district”; Old High German walha meaning “foreigner, stranger” used to refer to someone who wasn’t Germanic, such as a Celt or Roman, which derives from Proto-Germanic *walhaz; or it may be derived from Old High German gisil meaning “hostage, pledge” which may have derived from Old Irish gíall (hostage, human pledge) from Proto-Celtic *gēstlos (hostage, bail) from PIE *gʰeydʰ- (desire, wait for).

Nicknames: Jeff

Origin: Proto-Indo-European



  • Jeffrey (English)
  • Jeffery (English)
  • Geoffrey (English, French)


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