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Alternative forms[edit]


A patronymic surname that is derived from the male given name John +‎ -kin (which forms diminutive )+ -s (denoting "son of") hence meaning "son of little John". It was originally an offshoot of the male medieval name Jenkin/Jankin. The name was brought from the crusaders; it originated in Cornwall but became popular in England and Wales.


  • IPA(key): /ˈd͡ʒɛŋkɪnz/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: Jen‧kins

Proper noun[edit]


  1. A surname originating as a patronymic of Cornish and in English ("mainly of Devon") origin.
  2. A city in Kentucky.
  3. A city in Minnesota.

Derived terms[edit]


According to statistics in the United States, Jenkins is the 114th most common surname belonging to approximately 220,830 individuals. Jenkins is most common amongst White (73.9%) individuals and secondly common amongst Black (20.3%) individuals. All other races with the surname Jenkins are (3.3%) of the population.


Jenkins (plural Jenkinses)

  1. (derogatory, dated, colloquial) A flatterer or sycophant.
    the Jenkins employed by a newspaper
    October 1869, George William Curtis, Civil-Service Reform
    rouse the country for Jones and Justice or Jenkins and the Rights of Man
    • 1868, Edward Isidore Sears, editor, The National Quarterly Review, volume 16, page 404:
      Because they are styled "the executive," "executive officers," &c., by their Jenkinses, and are declared by the same authorities to possess unbounded knowledge, and transcendent "executive ability," they sometimes fancy themselves the Czar, the Shah, or the Grand Turk []