The origin of spinning jenny (the cotton-spinning machine invented by James Hargreaves) always seemed to me to be named after a person called Jenny. However, as I was reading Etymology for Everyone by Anatoly Lieberman, the author proposed two origins.
The first theory:
It "is said to have been so named by the [inventor] after his wife, Jenny."
However, it was further suggested that
"It is a 'corruption' of gin, a contraction of engine. Gin would easily suggest Jin, Jinny, and Jenny."
Clearly, spinning can't be disputed insofar that, as the prefix, it comes from the word spin, but my question here is about the origin of -jenny:
Does it mean "engine" or is it as innocuous as it appears?
An article on revolvy.com stated that "parish registers show that neither [the inventor's] wife nor any of his daughters was called Jenny". Could gin be corrupted this much over time? Any help?