Boy Names baby nameJames

What does the name James mean?

The meaning of the name “James” is: “Supplanter”.

Additional information: James originates from the Latin name Iacomus, which in turn comes from the Greek Ἰάκωβος (Iakobos), and the Greek name came from the Hebrew Ya’aqov – Jacob. The name means ‘supplanter’, and although it is traditionally a masculine name, some girls named Jamie use James as a nickname. Going from its root of Jacob, more feminine variants of James are Jacqueline, Jacqui, or Jackie. Nicknames for the name James include the aforementioned Jamie, Jim, Jimbo, Jimmy, or Jay. The name James has a lot of foreign language equivalents, some sounding more like ‘James’ and others sounding more like ‘Jacob’. A few examples of these are the Spanish Jaime, the Scottish Hamish, the Irish Seamus, the German Jakob and the Italian Giacobbe. Common misspellings of James are ‘Jame’, ‘Janes’, and ‘Jmaes’.

The name James has ranked in the top twenty given names for boys in the USA since popularity records for names began in 1880, and was the number one name for twelve consecutive years from 1940. In the UK James was the sixth most popular name for boys in 2006; it ranked 16th in the US in the same year. The popularity of the name James has fallen slightly since the start of the nineties, struggling to reach the top ten names for boys, but in 2014 it climbed back up to the ninth position. James is an equally popular name in other English speaking countries, and was in the top ten masculine names for England and Wales (climbing to the ninth most popular name in 2013), Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, and Scotland in 2014.

James has been the most popular name for presidents of the USA – six presidents in total – and there were two apostles of Jesus named James. Other celebrities with the name James are James Joyce (writer), King James I of England (who gave his name to the Bible translation), and James Cameron (director). Well known fictional characters named James are James Bond and James the Red Engine from Rev W Awdry’s Thomas the Tank Engine.