English Lexicon

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There are many common names that have become a part of the English lexicon through simply having been used either as slang or as common parlance. All of them have some sort of explanation as to why they have become part of the lexicon although being a proper name.


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. ...
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