Things You Maybe Didn’t Know About Juniper

juniper While our little Junebug is named after my great aunt June, whom I have called “Junie” since I was old enough to talk, we chose to give her the full name Juniper for a few reasons.  1.  We have a short and boring last name, and June just wasn’t doing anything with it.  2.  How would you like to be called June when your sisters names are Philippa, Romilly and Beatrix?  Wait, don’t answer that.  3. An evergreen shrub makes a better name for a February baby than a month of the summer. I think.

Since choosing her name, we have found out a few more interesting little tidbits about it, most of which have made us love it even more.

1.  The name Juniper is etymologically related to  lots of other more, umm… normal names.  Jennifer, Guinevere, Winifred (a great aunt of Trevor’s, as it happens), and Ginevra (middle name of one of my cabbage patch kids – who knew?) are all different forms of Juniper.  Juniper is, of course, the best of the bunch.

2.  Gin is made from Juniper berries.  Thanks very much to our dear missionary friend Jan for pointing this out to us when we told him this was the name we planned on using if we had a girl.  (This would be the one that doesn’t so much make us love the name more, but what are you going to do?)

3.  And then there’s this:

I shared that we were considering Juniper with my mom very early in the pregnancy, and she said (though she’ll deny this), “You can’t name a baby Juniper.  It’s a Donovan song.”

I expected upon googling to find some awful, trippy, drug-induced song that would deeply scar me and forever ruin the name.  (Maybe something more like this Donovan song, which Pippa now loves since we followed the YouTube link from the above. Weird.)

Anyway, no.  The lyrics to “Jennifer Juniper”, the song my mom thought we couldn’t possibly allow to be connected to our daughter, are as follows:

Jennifer Juniper lives upon the hill,
Jennifer Juniper, sitting very still.
Is she sleeping ? I don’t think so.
Is she breathing ? Yes, very low.
Whatcha doing, Jennifer, my love ?


Jennifer Juniper, rides a dappled mare,
Jennifer Juniper, lilacs in her hair.
Is she dreaming ? Yes, I think so.
Is she pretty ? Yes, ever so.
Whatcha doing, Jennifer, my love ?

I’m thinking of what it would be like if she loved me.
You know just lately this happy song it came along
And I like to somehow try and tell you.

Jennifer Juniper, hair of golden flax.
Jennifer Juniper longs for what she lacks.
Do you like her ? Yes, I do, Sir.
Would you love her ? Yes, I would, Sir.
Whatcha doing Jennifer, my love ?
Jennifer Juniper, Jennifer Juniper, Jennifer Juniper.

Jennifer Juniper vit sur la colline,
Jennifer Juniper assise trs tranquille.
Dort-elle ? Je ne crois pas.
Respire-t-elle ? Oui, mais tout bas.
Qu’est-ce que tu fais, Jenny mon amour ?
Jennifer Juniper, Jennifer Juniper, Jennifer Juniper.

Lovely, right?  I finally got around to  playing the song for Trevor a couple nights ago, and we’ve both been singing it to the baby ever since.  He’s even decided that someday when some boy asks him for permission to marry Junie, he will sing to him,”Do you like her?”  and if the response isn’t (also sung, of course) “Yes, I do, Sir” then he can hit the road.

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Is she dreaming? Yes, I think so.

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Is she pretty? Yes, ever so.

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Whatcha doing, Juniper, my love?

One thought on “Things You Maybe Didn’t Know About Juniper

  1. Fun, fun!! I was just doing a little name research as we’re working on our birth “announcements.” I can’t wait till we can send it both because I’m excited for all of us to meet this little person AND because I’m so weary of being pregnant, tired and sinning so much:( I guess besides the prego part it won’t end…but it will be different!

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