Meaning & History
From a Norman French form of a Germanic name. The second element is Germanic frid "peace", but the first element may be either gawia "territory", walha "foreign" or gisil "hostage". It is possible that two or more names merged into a single form. In the later Middle Ages Geoffrey was further confused with the distinct name Godfrey.The Normans introduced this name to England where it became common among the nobility. Famous medieval literary bearers include the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth and the 14th-century poet Geoffrey Chaucer, writer of The Canterbury Tales. By the end of the Middle Ages it had become uncommon, but it was revived in the 20th century, often in the spelling Jeffrey.