What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

11 April 2012

J is for Jill

I first got interested in Indiana's sport (basketball, if you haven't seen Hoosiers recently) when I was in primary school. I lived in a small town, so just like in the movie, that's what we did on Friday nights: Go watch high school basketball. At that time, two of the high school cheerleaders were named Jill, and that's when I learned the name. I know that it's a bit creepy that I remember this (my memory is ridiculous: tiny details from long ago, yes; the massively important thing I have to do today, no idea), but I also remember the names of most of the girls' basketball team from that era, too. Hero worship started early for me.

This name took a long road to get to the Jill we know and love today: First it was Julius, as in Caesar, which might be from the Greek god Jupiter or might be from a Greek word meaning "downy-bearded". (Poor Jill!) From there we get Julian, then Jillian, and finally Jill. Peaked in popularity in the U.S. in 1977, when it got all the way up to 41st (that explains there being so many around my school days). According to both my sources, not enough babies have been named Jill in the U.S. in the past 10 years to merit a spot in the top 1000 names.

Photos of The Old Vicarage Bed and Breakfast Somerset, Radstock
This photo of The Old Vicarage
Bed and Breakfast Somerset

is courtesy of TripAdvisor. 
Famous Jills: Jill Biden, Jill Craybas (tennis player), Jill Hennessy (actress)

Fictional Jills: Jill Pole (Chronicles of Narnia), Jill Taylor (Home Improvement), Jill (nursery rhyme)

My Jills: One of my former instructors at South Plains College is a Jill (although I dutifully called her Professor at the time, and didn't dream of calling her Jill until much later when I joined the West Texas Running Club and found out she was also a member). And--finally!--I have a character called Jill. She's not in my current WIP, because I'm writing a prequal to the book that Jill appears in. But I definitely like this character; she comes to the school late in her educational career, and has to find her niche in the already-established social order. Which she does, eventually, mostly by saying out loud what everyone else is thinking. She's fun to write.

Do you know any Jills? Do you ever wonder why it took two people to go get one pail of water? 



Anonymous said...

I knew a Jill or two at work. It just might have taken two of them to get a pail of water.

mshatch said...

I liked Jill Pole. I think she might be the only Jill I know! This was a very interesting post! Thanks :)

Damyanti said...

Never known a Jill :)

Hope you’re enjoying the challenge so far!
--Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

Twitter: @AprilA2Z

Journaling Woman said...

I have a cousin Jill of whom I don't know too well. But, I have a very good friend Jill.

Love your theme.


50 foot QE said...

When I was 20 I was friends with a young man named Jack whose twin sister is named Jill.

Silly but true.

Actually. I liked both of them as they were both smart and funny.

JEFritz said...

I went to school with a Jill. I think she's the only one I've ever met. I guess I was born when the popularity started to wane.

And water can be very heavy!

Jaye Robin Brown said...

Hmmm, actually I don't know a single Jill. Or a married one, either.

erica and christy said...

My kids' babysitter's name is Jill. I also have a friend named Jill. I think of Jillian Harris from the Bachelorette (yes, I used to watch it....) I just finished reading Delirium and Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver, and in it, the first several pails of water the girl needed to carry were horrendously heavy. She wouldn't complain or ask for help, but she had to set it down every couple of feet. So, I suppose there's merit to the Jack and Jill thing. christy

Jill Haukos said...

If you would have asked me before reading this if I would have preferred another name, would have replied emphatically YES! However, after reading this, I might be okay with my name.

I would never need someone else to help me with that pail, however...

Karen Peterson said...

I went to school with a couple of Jills, but I don't think I know any in my current life.

Very interesting history on the name. I never would have guessed it originated with Julius.