Jemima

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the name of a minor biblical character, from Hebrew יְמִימָה "dove". By folk etymology also used as a feminine form of James.

Proper noun[edit]

Jemima

  1. A female given name.
    • 1611, King James Version of the Bible (Authorized Version), Job 42:13-15:
      He had also seven sons and three daughters. And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch. And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren.
    • 1853 Elizabeth Gaskell, Ruth, Chapter XVII:
      -- and at last Jemima was fixed upon, because it would do either for a Scripture name or for a heroine out of a book."
      "I did not know Jemima was a Scripture name," said Ruth.
      "Oh yes, it is. One of Job's daughters; Jemima, Kezia, and Keren-Happuch. There are a good many Jemimas in the world, and some Kezias, but I never heard of a Keren-Happuch; and yet we know just as much of one as of another. People really like a pretty name, whether Scripture or out of it."
    • 2005 Zadie Smith, On Beauty, Penguin (2006), ISBN 9780141026664, page 51:
      But then, thought Kiki, they were brought up that way, these white American boys: I'm the Aunt Jemima on the cookie boxes of their childhoods, the pair of thick ankles Tom and Jerry played around. Of course they find me funny.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Jemima has largely fallen out of use in North America due to the association with advertising character Aunt Jemima, interpreted as a racial stereotype of African-Americans.

Translations[edit]

Anagrams[edit]