Juniper (given name)

Juniper (given name)

Infobox Given Name Revised
name = Juniper

gender = Both
meaning =
region =
origin =
related names = Guinevere, Jennifer , Genevieve, Ginevra
footnotes =
The given name is either in reference to the English common name for the juniper tree or berry, or in reference to a derivation of the Welsh name Guinevere. Juniper has historically been used as both a boys and girls name. Juniper has never been on the top 1000 list of given names in the United States, but is an increasingly popular girls name likely due to the popularity of a wide assortment of well-known fictional works, including the cartoon series "The Adventures of Juniper Lee," the movie "Benny and Joon" (where the Joon character was short for Juniper), and the novel "Juniper, Gentian and Rosemary."

The Juniper tree's name is derived from the Latin word juniperus. In Latin, juniperus is combination of the word "junio," which means young, and "parere," to produce, hence youth producing, or evergreen. [ [ University of Vermont: Derivation of Scientific Names ] ] The names Genefer, Jenefer and Jinifer (all old English variants for juniper), [Richard Oliver Heslop, [ Northumberland Words] ", 1892-94: see Ginifer & Jinifer.] Geneva (French variant of genevrier), Geneviève (French variant), [ [ Ernest Weekley, Words and Names, Page 24] ] Ginepro (Italian for Juniper), Ginevra (Italian variant form of Juniper), and Ginny are other names that also refer to the Juniper tree. The Welsh name Guinevere is a variant spelling of Gwenhwyfar, which in Welsh is a combination of the word "gwen," which means white or fair and "hwyfar" which means a spirit or fairy. This is also the same origin for a name that is similar sounding to Juniper: Jennifer.

Because the Latin Juniperus family of names are the same or very similar sounding to the Welsh Guinevere family of names, it is very difficult to determine, for names that begin with gin-, jen-, or jun-, which family they ultimately originated with.

Common nicknames of Juniper

*Ginny: The name for the spirit gin is an English derivation of the Dutch word for Juniper: genever. This nickname is either in reference to gin, or similarly, when something is said to taste like Juniper berries, it is said to be "ginny" tasting.

*Jenny: More so in England, where in some places it is pronounced "jenny-per."

*June or Joon: The most common nickname for Juniper.


*Nip or Nipper The origin of the usage of "nip" to refer to a drink or a glass of an alcoholic beverage originally referred to a nip of gin, with the "nip" a shortening of Juniper. [ [ Meliora: Quarterly Review of Social Science, 1868, Page 47] ]

Symbolism of the name Juniper

Infobox Painting|

title=Ginevra de' Benci
artist=Leonardo da Vinci
year=circa 1476
type=oil on wood
width_inch = 14.4
city=Washington, D.C.
museum=National Gallery of Art

*Succor: In the Bible's Old Testament, a juniper tree with an angelic presence sheltered the prophet Elijah from Queen Jezebel's pursuit. Similarly a later apocryphal biblical tale tells of how the infant Jesus and his parents were hidden from King Herod's soldiers by a juniper during their flight into Egypt.
*During the Renaissance, Juniper was frequently used in art to represent chastity. For example, in Leonardo da Vinci's Ginevra de' Benci, not only was the subject named Juniper (in Italian Ginevra is Juniper), but directly behind the portrait is a Juniper tree. The reverse of the portrait is decorated with a juniper sprig encircled by a wreath of laurel and palm and is memorialized by the phrase VIRTUTEM FORMA DECORAT ("Beauty adorns Virtue").
*Saint Juniper, "the jester of the Lord" is sometimes called the Saint of comedy. He was also known for his patience-- it is said that St. Francis once described the perfect friar by citing "the patience of Brother Juniper, who attained the state of perfect patience because he kept the truth of his low estate constantly in mind, whose supreme desire was to follow Christ on the way of the cross." St. Frances held Juniper in such high regard he once said, "Would to God, my brothers, I had a whole forest of such Junipers."
*In many parts of Europe, juniper branches were smoldered and carried around fields to protect livestock and a female spirit of the Jupiter tree, called ~Frau Wachholder~ was invoked to make thieves return the goods they had stolen.
*In ancient Wales, the Juniper tree was sacred and it was believed that cutting down a Juniper tree would result in the woodcutter's death the following year.
*The Eastern Redcedar ("Juniperus virginiana") is used to make wooden pencils and is the "cedar" used in moth-repelling cedar chests and drawers.
*The Juniper Berry is used as a distinct flavoring for a wide variety of dishes and beverages.
*One of the most famous Grimm Fairy Tales is "The Juniper Tree." In the story a mother is buried under a Juniper Tree, magically becomes part of the tree and a bird that was hatched in the tree, and avenges the death of her son when the bird drops a millstone and kills her son's stepmother.

Notable Junipers

Notable persons with given name Juniper

*Brother Juniper, main character in Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize winning 1927 novel (and 2004 movie starring Gabriel Byrne), "The Bridge of San Luis Rey"
*Brother Juniper, title character in Fred McCarthey's nationally syndicated comic strip that ran from 1946-1979
*Juniper Beausoleil, character in the 1998 movie Blockbuster
*Juniper Calder, film maker
*Juniper B. Carol, author, theological expert
*Juniper Ellis, literary critic
*Juniper Glass, Ascent magazine editor
*Juniper Green character in the 1920s Catherine Chisholm musical "Lassie"
*Juniper "JJ" Johnson, character in Jan Haag's novel "No Palms"
*Juniper "Junie" B. Jones, the title character in the "Junie B. Jones" children's books
*Juniper Lee, the title character in the cartoon series "The Life and Times of Juniper Lee"
*Juniper McGuire, title character in Margot Dalton's 1992 novel, "Juniper"
*Juniper Meriweather, title character in the novel "Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary"
*Juniper Myles, character in Derek Wilson's 2004 novel, "Tripletree"
*Juniper "Joon" Pearl, the title character in the movie "Benny and Joon"
*Juniper Purinton, actress
*Juniper Sage, author
*Juniper Serra, "Apostle of California," beatified in 1988 by Pope John Paul II (final step before sainthood)
*Juniper Sikora, fashion designer [ [ Juniper Fashion Designs] ]
*Juniper Shuey, artist
*Juniper Stafford, character in the Anne Perry novel "Farrier's Land"
*Juniper Teewah, character in Craig Lesley's Pulitizer Prize-nominated 1995 novel, "The Sky Fisherman"
*Juniper von Phitzer, publisher
*Juniper Wiley, author
*Juniper Zhang, poet
*Saint Juniper (d. 1258), a follower of Saint Francis of Assisi

Notable persons with Geneva variant form of Juniper

*Geneva Mitchell, actress
*Mamie Geneva Eisenhower, first lady

Notable persons with Genevieve variant form of Juniper

*Genevieve, a saint in Eastern Orthodoxy and Catholicism
*Genevieve Brunet (born 1959), Canadian female cyclist
*Genevieve Gorder (born 1974), American television host and interior designer
*Genevieve Villard, fictional character in "Sigilverse"
*Genevieve Woo, Singaporean television presenter

Notable persons with Ginevra variant form of Juniper

*Ginevra de' Benci, subject in Leonardo de Vinci painting
*Ginevra "Ginny" Weasley, Character in Harry Potter books
*Ginevra King, muse of F. Scott Fitzgerald, named for the de Vinci painting

Notable persons with the surname Juniper

*Barrie Edward Juniper, author
*Tony Juniper, environmentalist

The name Juniper in music

*Juniper (band)
*Juniper Lane
*Juniper's Daughter
*Jennifer Juniper, a song by Donovan

Notable businesses or products named Juniper

*Juniper Fashion Designs [ [ Juniper Fashion Designs] ]
*Juniper Green Gin [ [ Juniper Green Gin] ]
*Juniper Networks [ [ Juniper Networks] ]
*Junipero Gin [ [ Junipero Gin] ]
*Juniper Estate Wine [ [ Juniper Estate Wine] ]


*"Folk-Etymology: A Dictionary of Verbal Corruptions or Words Perverted in Form" by A. Smythe Palmer, 1969

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