Jeri is a girl’s name of German origin. It derives from the ancient Germanic boy’s name Gerald, which combined the words ger (spear) with wald (rule) to mean “spear ruler.” In the 16th century, the feminine form Geraldine came into use after poet Henry Howard used it in a sonnet for Irish-born Lady Elizabeth Fitzgerald. In the poem, he referred to her and her family as “the Geraldine.” Jeri is a short form of Geraldine, along with Geri, Gerri, Ger, and more. Its modern spelling gives a fresh, youthful twist to the vintage-sounding Geraldine.
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