Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"J" is for Jiffy Jeff

Note: For those brave souls that choose to endure through this post, my apologies...

Jiffy Jeff…not a moniker I would choose to give myself. It was one given to me by my wonderful , great aunt Nell Jeffords. Not sure why, although I do remember it being spoken by her in loving fashion. She has long since ‘crossed the veil’, but the memory of her and this nifty name she had for me is imprinted forever in my mind.

Jeffords is my middle name, so ascribed to me as a ‘tribute’ of sorts to my great uncle, Warren Jeffords (Nell’s husband). My first name is George, as was the case for a number of Campbells in succession, and as is the case for my son, Ben. My dad was called George, as was his dad, so to avoid confusion Jeff seemed an appropriate, familiar name for me.

Jeff comes from the longer name Jeffrey (Germanic). It means “God’s Peace”, and thusly the meaning of the name Jeff is often given as “God’s Peace”. Would it not be grand and heart warming if Jeffords had the same meaning? As fate would have it, that is not the case.

Jeffords is of English origin, although it may have roots in an earlier time in France. Its theoretical English origin would be from the ancient Norman culture established in England after the conquest of 1066. It was a name often given to a chubby-cheeked or round-faced person (God’s Peace…oh why could it not have been Jeffrey? Although chubby-cheeked could bring up imagery of a happy person). As for the possible French origin…quite possibly from the word “giffard”, a pejorative of the word “giffel”, meaning “jaw”.

The name was spelled a number of different ways…Gifford, Giffard, Gyfford, Gifferd, Givard, etc. You may be wondering as I have , how the “G” became a “J”. I am not certain, although name spelling changes were commonplace with early immigrants to the New World.

Historical records indicate that some of the first immigrants to North America bore the name Jeffords, or a variant thereof. I have traced my Jeffords ancestors to early 1700s New England.

I like to provide appropriate photographs with my Alphabe-Thursday post, although I am hesitant to offer myself up in photo exhibitry. I also like to post photos that I have taken. If I were to post about my name, then by assumption I would post photos of me…the Real Deal…and most likely these photos would not have been taken by me. Alas, most are not, although the last and most recent photo of the “chubby-cheeked, round-faced” character I did indeed take. Photo credits for the majority of pictures go to my dad, MrsC, and my friend Rick.

Jeff Haiku...

Jiffy Jeff eats jam

While Auntie Nell cooks her ham

Memories run deep


Jenny Matlock


  1. Those photos are priceless, all so wonderful! I like Jefford, I like it a lot!

  2. So cute with the wavy, blond hair. In the second picture it looked so curly. Great group of photos.

  3. My favorite is the PJ in the mirrors picture.

    At the risk of having your wife beat me up...

    I'm gonna have to say...

    Not only are you one smart're one adorable one, too!

    I think you might need to become a historical writer in your spare time.

    I love all the facts you share with us each week!


  4. What a cute little guy you were. Your not so bad now. Wasn't there a saying "quick as a jiffy"? Maybe that's where your nickname came from. Great post.

  5. I really like the name Jeffords, it sounds so distinguished. And your photos are wonderful, I just love the one with the goat - just look at the grin on your face! Such a neat post, I love all the history behind your name. Kathy

  6. So were you fixing your sister's bike or taking the chain off? Lol

    Very interesting post! And I enjoyed all the pictures.

    Now following!

  7. Loved this post and the info's about names is always interesting..but the photos make me smile!! I have some of my brother and I just like were one cutie and not bad now. Thanks for joining us. Fun to have a man blogger!

  8. I like it over here!
    You have very cool pics up and this post was pretty priceless! Thanks for sharing and stop by my blog any ole day! Thanks!

  9. Awesome photos (though I do love yours too). What happened to those curls? The old family pictures are priceless and the newer shots great, the closeup with your dog and the last one with Mrs. C especially. Name origins fascinate me. Thank you for sharing yours.

  10. Wonderful collection of photos Jeff ... funny ... the first sons in my family all bear the first name George ... yet none have ever been referred to by that name ... I think the change of alphabet G to J may have occurred because G is pronounced as J in French and vice versa ... so coming to the new country, it would have made some sense to change the first letter to the letter it was pronounced as .... okay ... i'm clearly up to late and too tired to make sense ... it was an interesting post as always!

  11. Hi Jeff look at you
    Grown up from being so cute
    To one handsome chap

    Here is my J

  12. I enjoyed your post. The different spellings of Jefford was particularly interesting to me. But the photos were superb. Excellent!!

  13. You've got a great smile! And I love etymology! Thanks for schooling me.

  14. Great post! I love those pictures!!

    G often becomes J when you cross the Atlantic, or at least that's what I've noticed.

  15. Great photos, and a very interesting J post :) .
    My middle name means "grace" ... when I was growing up my Mom used to call me "Grace" because of my very obvious lack in that dept.

    Catherine :)

  16. I love your story and the photos are great. I love the photo with the hat . You look so vulnerable.

  17. My Grandfather called every little boy "George", the way some people say "buddy" or "son". I like the picture of you with the billy goat. The blue icing make up is nice. :-) And that tree hugging camera is cool!

  18. Completely adorable photos! And all such great quality! I always enjoy your posts...and God's peace to you!

  19. What a wonderful post, I love learning the origin of words and especially names! Thanks Jiffy Jeff!

  20. A great post as usual. I agree with Jenny a historical writer would be right down your alley. Mrs C can investigate, keep bees and you can write. I hope my Jeff, spelled the other way, and I have a lot of options when we retire.

  21. What a wonderful post: your life in a nut-shell! Great text, lovely photos, interesting mixture of general historical facts and personal history. You have a good sense of humour, balance and I think you must be a very kind man.
    I agree with some of the other commenters; historial writing might be something for you.
    Best wishes,

  22. I agree that Jeffords sounds very distinguished. Thanks for sharing your name story -- you were an adorable little boy!

  23. I love all the photos jiffy jeff....I hear jiffy and I think of peanut I will think of jeff...Great j post.....

  24. Jiffy Jeff - you resurrect a Jiffy story for me.

    We had a cousin from Germany stay with us in 1985. While boning up on her English by reading the Sears catalog, she came across a description that says, "Dries in a jiffy." To which she replied, "But I don't have a jiffy!" Bwahahahahahaaha

  25. I see you n a lot of blogs I follow. I live in Georgia - right down the road in Kennesaw.

    I loved your pictures - what a sweet life it seems to have been and you and your wife look so happy.

    I enjoyed your J day.


  26. Nice to meet you Jiffy Jeff! I'm new to the alphebe party and doing some catching up. My favorite picture is the "Rocky" in sweats, in training at the top of the stairs! (Just watched the movie again this weekend so the similarity popped.) I'm a word-nerd and loved all of that in your post. Thanks!

  27. I see that I've missed some of your posts. Sorry to be late. This is great, Jiffy Jeff! Loved seeing the chronology of photos.