Ginnifer was actually born with the more traditional spelling of her name, Jennifer. She adopted the Ginnifer spelling as a student, and changed her name legally in 2011.
So why the change?
As Ginnifer explained to David Letterman in 2009, she chose the "Gi" because it reflected the way her name is pronounced in her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. With Ginnifer's lovely Southern accent, her name really does begin with a "Gin," not a "Jen."
Plus, it has the added benefit of making her stand out!
Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT onABC.