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Subject: Re: Meaning of Genevieve?
Author: Cleveland Kent Evans   (Authenticated as clevelandkentevans)
Date: April 18, 2007 at 11:44:35 AM
Reply to: Meaning of Genevieve? by Beatrix
Genevieve is a modern French name. No one knows for sure what its original derivation is. Just as this site says, most experts think the best guess is that is from an ancient Germanic name derived from roots that meant "race, tribe" and "woman". But a minority opinion thinks it is a form of Guinevere, which is originally Celtic. As this site says, most experts believe Guinevere derives from roots which meant "white, fair, holy" (the same word was used for "white" and "holy" in ancient Welsh) and "soft, smooth."

So I believe this site is completely correct in its interpretation. Unfortunately, we cannot be sure whether this French name derives ultimately from Germanic or Celtic roots unless more evidence is discovered.

Though one cannot always interpret the two words that made up ancient Germanic names as having been intended to create a meaningful compound, I would assume that the original intention of the Germanic name would have been more likely "woman of the race" or "woman of the tribe" rather than "race of women." :)

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