James meaning, boyJames

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What does James mean?

James \j(a)-mes\ as a boys' name (also used less generally as girls' name James) is pronounced jayms. It is of Hebrew origin, and the meaning of James is "he who supplants". From Late Latin Iacomus, a variant of Iacobus, Latin form of Greek Iakobos and New Testament Greek form of the Old Testament form Jacob (Hebrew Yaakov). Biblical: one of the 12 apostles of Jesus, who possibly was also a cousin of Jesus. The King James Bible is named in reference to James I of England (16th-17th century). See also Kimo and Santiago. A famous fictional character with this name is the British spy James Bond, created by author Ian Fleming. Writer James Joyce; actors James Mason, James Caviezel, James Gandolfini, Jimmy Stewart; entertainer Jimmy Durante; American Presidents Hames Buchanan, James Garfield, James Madison, James Polk, Jimmy Carter, James Monroe.


James has 28 variants: Diego, Diogo, Giacomo, Hamish, Iago, Jacob, Jacques, Jago, Jagu, Jaime, Jaimey, Jaimie, Jame, Jameson, Jamey, Jamie, Jamison, Jascha, Jayme, Jaymes, Jaymie, Jem, Jemmy, Jim, Jimbo, Jimmie, Jimmy and Seamus.

For more on this name, see also the related boy name Shamus.

James has 45 more related variations via Jacob, Jimmy, Santiago: Cob, Cobb, Cobby, Giacamo, Giacobbe, Giacobo, Giacopo, Iacopo, Iacovo, Iakob, Iakobos, Iakov, Jaap, Jack, Jackie, Jacko, Jacky, Jaco, Jacobi, Jacobo, Jacobus, Jacoby, Jacquet, Jake, Jakeb, Jakie, Jakob, Jakobe, Jakov, Jakub, Jamesie, Jamsey, Jay, Jimi, Jimmee, Jimmey, Sandiago, Sandiego, Santeago, Santiaco, Santigo, Shamus, Yakov, Yakup and Yaqub.

James has 4 feminine forms: Jacqueline, Jaime, Jamesina and Jamie.


James is a very prominent first name for males (#1 out of 1220, Top 1%) and also a very prominent surname for both adults and children (#80 out of 150436, Top 1%). (2000 U.S. Census)

Charted below is the baby name popularity of James for boys. James reached its apex position of #1 in the U.S. during the years 1940-1949, and is at #9 presently. (2014 Birth Statistics)

Top 1000 baby names ranking of James name in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of James outside U.S.

Jacob (#4 a year ago), Jack (#41), Santiago (#115), Diego (#129), Jameson (#159), Jake (#190), Jay (#372), Jamison (#440), Jakob (#458), Jaime (#468), Jimmy (#523), Jacoby (#593), Jamie (#786), Seamus (#900), Jimmie, Jim, Jayme, Jakub, Jackie, Hamish, Jacky, Jacques, Jame, Jakobe and Jamey are the prominent alternative forms of James (#9 a year ago) appearing in the Top 1000. Adoption of these boy names was at its highest during the years 1970-1979 (usage of 0.4238%) and is somewhat lower today (usage 0.3774%, down 10.9%), with versions such as Jamie, Jacques, Jamey, Jacky and Jim becoming somewhat outmoded. The most fashionable names for newborns here are Jameson (#159), Jamison (#440), Santiago (#115), Jacob (#4) and Diego (#129), with Diego, Jacob and Santiago enjoying a resurgence in usage. Below is a charted analysis of the usage of James and related names. (2014 Birth Statistics)

Top 1000 baby names ranking of Diego, Jack, Jackie, Jacky, Jacob, Jacoby, Jacques, Jaime, Jake, Jakob in U.S.

Top 1000 baby names ranking of Jakobe, Jame, James, Jameson, Jamey, Jamie, Jamison, Jay, Jayme, Jim in U.S.

Top 1000 baby names ranking of Jimmie, Jimmy, Santiago, Seamus in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Hamish, Jack, Jacob, Jake, Jakob outside U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Jakub, James, Jamie, Jay, Jimmy outside U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Seamus outside U.S.

Similar Names

Suggested similar baby names are Eames, Jabes, Jamee, Jamel, Janek, Janesh, Janos, Janus and Jones. These names tend to be less frequently used than James.