Since the middle of the 20th century it has been primarily thought of as a diminutive of Jennifer."1 Jane is the
This name has many forms, and as such has many meanings within the English lexicon. A jenny is defined, by Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary, as either one of three things, the first two being derived from 1600 from the name Jenny: 1) a female bird, as in a jenny wren; 2) a female donkey; or 3) a spinning jenny, "an early multiple-spindle machine for spinning wool or cotton" (ca. 1783, derived from Jenny, a nickname for Jane).3 Jen is, in Chinese philosophy, "a compassionate love for humanity or for the world as a whole."4
There are multiple dictionary entries, however, for the word jane, which is based on the namesake Jane. One dictionary says that jane is slang for "a girl or a woman."5 The Free Dictionary claims that the word jane is a "coin of Genoa" or "any small coin"; also, a jane could be a "kind of twilled cotton cloth."6
There are other variations on the name Jane and usages of the name Jane. ...