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Quick Facts on Jefferson

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • English
  • Number of syllables:
  • 3
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 609
Simple meaning:
Son of Jeffrey (God's peace)

Characteristics of Jefferson

  • Authoritative
  • Powerful
  • Tough
  • Tenacious
  • Wealthy
  • Problem-solver
  • Achiever

Etymology & Historical Origin - Jefferson

Jefferson is the transferred use of an English surname dating back to the Middle Ages. As a patronymic surname (i.e., passed from the father), Jefferson means quite obviously “son of Jeffrey”. In its original form, Geoffrey is a name of Germanic (Frankish) origin but the meaning is debated and uncertain. Most likely Geoffrey developed from Godfrey which also has Frankish and Germanic roots. The words “god/gōd” essentially means “God, good” and “fred/frid” means “peace”. Therefore, the full meaning of the name has to do with God’s peace or some divine (good) sense of peace. Geoffrey was brought to the British Isles by the Normans and the first recorded spelling of the surname was rendered Geffreysone in the mid 14th century. The medieval spelling of Geoffrey has since gone by the wayside. As a forename, Jefferson was popularized in America in honor of Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), the nation’s third President and principle author of the Declaration of Independence.

Popularity of the Name Jefferson

Jefferson has maintained a position on the charts for well over a century and most likely longer (thanks to Thomas Jefferson). In the mid 19th century Civil War South, the name was also used with some frequency in honor of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy. While the name has never achieved anything beyond mild or moderate popularity in the United States, it has successfully carved out a consistent spot on the charts. The name’s peak popularity may be behind him, and despite the trendy interest in surnames as first names, Jefferson isn’t making the cut. When it comes to “son of” surnames specifically, Jefferson is far lagging in popularity compared to names like Jackson, Grayson and Harrison. We were surprised to see this. Jefferson has a rather dignified and intelligent quality to him, not to mention it’s loaded with patriotism. Further cementing the name’s patriotic quality in pop-culture is a memorable character named Jefferson Smith from the 1939 iconic movie starring James Stewart called “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”. It’s a handsome name and a stronger, more modern (not to mention underused) alternative to Jeffrey.
Popularity of the Boy Name Jefferson
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Jefferson

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Jefferson

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Jefferson

    Jefferson Hope (A Study in Scarlet) Jefferson Hope is a pivotal character in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1887 novel, A Study in Scarlet, the book in which Sherlock Holmes makes his debut appearance. While investigating the murders of two men in London, Drebber and Stangerson, Holmes makes his brilliant deductions, which lead to Jefferson as the murderer. Jefferson is a good man, who had fallen in love with Lucy Ferrier years earlier in the Utah Territory in the United States. Lucy, unfortunately, has been raised a Mormon and is forced to choose a husband from that religion, either Drebber or Stangerson. Jefferson spirits her and her father out of Salt Lake City, but while he is foraging for food, Lucy’s father is killed and Lucy herself is kidnapped and forcibly married to Drebber. Lucy dies shortly thereafter of a broken heart, and Jefferson plots his revenge, following the two men to England and doling out their just desserts. When Holmes’ trail leads to Jefferson Hope, Jefferson gladly affirms his suspicions. Jefferson is ready to accept the consequences of law for his crimes of honor, but his own poor health metes out death before justice can; Jefferson dies with a smile of peace on his face.

    Jefferson Smith (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington) Jefferson Smith is the title character of the celebrated Frank Capra 1939 movie, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, based upon an unpublished story by Lewis R. Foster, and starring James Stewart in a signature role. Jefferson Smith is the leader of the “Boy Rangers”, who is appointed to fill the Senate seat of a recently deceased member. Unknown to the upstanding Jefferson, the system is fixed and he is merely a dupe of the forces who control the behind the scenes goings-on in Washington. After several plot twists that mistakenly put Jefferson Smith in a bad light, leading to his dawning awareness of the chicanery of his fellows, Jefferson stages an hours-long filibuster in the Senate that wins the day. He is proven to be as good and decent as we have known all along, and his enemies get their comeuppance. Politicians of the day roundly attacked the film, insisting it portrayed them in an unflattering light – some things never change!

  • Popular Songs on Jefferson

    Popular Songs on Jefferson

    Jefferson - a song by Roxette

    Jefferson St. - a song by Coretta Scott

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Jefferson

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Jefferson

    A Picture Book of Thomas Jefferson (David A. Adler) - A simple presentation of the third president's life from childhood. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Jefferson Davis: President of the Confederacy (Jean Kinney Williams) - A biography profiling the life of Jefferson Davis, who following the secession of eleven southern states, gave up his U.S. citizenship to accept the presidency of the Confederate States of America and led the South in the Civil War. Includes source notes and timeline. Recommended for ages 10-14.

    Meet Thomas Jefferson (Marvin Barrett) - When Thomas Jefferson was young, Virginia was still a colony of England. Jefferson thought that many English laws and taxes were unfair, so he studied hard to become a lawyer and help make better laws. Soon he and others came to believe that the colonies should become a new country, and Jefferson was chosen to write the Declaration of Independence. As the third president of the United States, he focused on exploring the country and making it grow. His fairness and love of learning made him one of the most beloved presidents of all time. Recommended for ages 6-9.

    The Story of Thomas Jefferson (Patricia A. Pingry) - This title is intended for toddler aged and upwards. The third President of the United States, the author of the "Declaration of Independence", and the man whose library began the Library of Congress. Colorful, sometimes whimsical, illustrations make this a book even the youngest child will love. Parents can use this story to introduce toddlers to the life of Jefferson and the concept of the presidency. Recommended for ages 2-5.

    Who Was Thomas Jefferson? (Dennis Brindell Fradin) - Did you know that John Adams had to coax Thomas Jefferson into writing the Declaration of Independence? It's true. The shy Virginia statesman refused at first, but then went on to author one of our nation's most important and inspiring documents. The third U.S. president, Jefferson was also an architect, inventor, musician, farmer, and-what is certainly the most troubling aspect of his life-a slave owner. Finally, here's a biography for kids that unveils the many facets of this founding father's remarkable and complicated life. Recommended for ages 8-11.

  • Famous People Named Jefferson

    Famous People Named Jefferson

    Famous People Named Jefferson - Jefferson Davis (President of the Confederacy)

  • Children of Famous People Named Jefferson

    Children of Famous People Named Jefferson

    Famous People Who Named Their Son Jefferson - Ellen Burstyn (actress); Tony Randall (actor)

Personality of the Boy Name Jefferson

The number Eight personality has everything to do with power, wealth and abundance. Somehow, this personality has been blessed on the material plane, but their authoritative and problem-solving traits provide evidence that their good fortunes are not just the luck of the lottery. They are well earned. This is the personality of CEOs and high-ranking military personnel. Eights are intensely active, hard-driving individuals. Success is only meaningful to them after a job well-done.  They are remarkable in their ability to see the larger picture right down to the smallest details, and organize a strategy around success. They then have the ability to direct a group around them toward any goal, and realize individual potential to get the most out of their team.

Variations of the Baby Name - Jefferson

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