Meaning and Name Origin
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 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 (#71 out of 88799, 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)
Below is a charted analysis of the popularity of the boy name James and related names. Prominent alternative forms of James (#9 a year ago) appearing in the Top 1000 are 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. Adoption of these boy names was at its highest during the years 1970-1979 and is somewhat lower today, with versions such as Jamie, Jim, Jimmie, Jamey and Jacques 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. (2014 Birth Statistics)