In This Article

Origin, Meaning, And History Of James

A variant of the much-adored boy name Jacob, James is a name of Hebrew origin. Like Jacob, it means ‘supplanter.’ James is the English version of the Latin name ‘Iacomus.’ Iacomus, which is a variation of the Biblical Latin term Iacobus, derived from the Hebrew name Ya’aqov.

James is a biblical name. In the Christian Bible’s New Testament, there are three James, among which two are apostles. The final -s in this first name are characteristic of the words taken from Old French. James also has Scottish roots and royal undercurrents. Prominent figures, such as King James VI, who took over the English throne in the 17th century, made this name a part of royal courts.

The name comes with a long list of variations. It is Giacomo in Italian, Iago in Welsh, and Jacques in French. Jakob is the German and Polish variation of the name, while Jaime is the Spanish form of the moniker. The name also has an Irish version, spelled as Séamas.

Some of the most notable name bearers of James in history include the English explorer Captain James Cook, the Scottish inventor James Watt, and the Irish poet James Joyce. There are and have been plenty of famous personalities with this name. However, James Brolin, James Brown, and James Cameron are the most well-known figures in the entertainment industry who may have contributed to the popularity of the name in the US. Acclaimed writers such as James Baldwin and James Patterson are other notable mentions.

Who can forget James Bond, the fictional British secret agent who has been featured in various films, stories, and novels for over seven decades? Similar is the case with the protagonist James in Roald Dahl’s hit book, James and the Giant Peach. This sweet masculine name is undoubtedly one with widespread appeal.


heart image
1 word, 5 letters, 2 vowels, 3 consonants
Short and easy to pronounce

How To Pronounce James?

Pronounced as jehmes

The way you pronounce a name can make all the difference.

Listen to the sound of the name James in English.

Famous People With The Name James

  • James Brown20th-century American musical artist, one of the first ten inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • James BuchananLawyer, diplomat, and the 15th President of the US
  • James Marshall HendrixAmerican musician regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history
  • James MonroeAmerican politician and the 5th President of the US
  • James Earl JonesAmerican actor and voice artist known for his deep bass voice
  • James TaylorAmerican singer and songwriter, six-time Grammy Award winner
  • James CameronAcademy Award-winning Canadian filmmaker
  • James Madison4th United States President, hailed as the ‘Father of the Constitution’
  • King James I of EnglandThe namesake of King James in Bible
  • James Dean20th-century American actor

James On The Popularity Chart

The popularity of the name James was at an all-time high in the 1980s. The chart below documents its popularity trends.

Popularity Over Time

The name’s popularity gradually declined From 1998 onward. Check out the graph below to understand its popularity over time.

Source: Social Security Administration

Rank Over Time As James

James was a popular boy name in the 1980s and 1990s. However, the usage of the name saw a sharp decline in the recent years.

Source: Social Security Administration

Names With Similar Sound As James

James is an easy-to-pronounce name. If you want to find names that sound like James, take a look at the list below.

Popular Sibling Names For James

If you are looking for some matching sibling names that resonate with James, check our suggestions here.

Boy Sibling Names For James

Find matching brother names for James and create a wonderful team of siblings.

Jaimes heart imageJamese heart imageJamesen heart imageJamesie heart imageJameson heart imageJamesy heart imageJamieson heart imageJamis heart imageJamison heart imageJammas heart image

Girl Sibling Names For James

Looking for some suitable sister names for James? Check out our collection of beautiful and unique names.

Gemma heart imageGemmariah heart imageJaimah heart imageJama heart imageJameah heart imageJamee heart imageJamielle heart imageJamina heart imageJamye heart imageJaymie heart image

Other Popular Names Beginning With J

Looking for more baby names starting with the letter J to resonate with your family’s naming tradition or to rhyme with the sibling names? Find a range of alternative names starting with this letter.

Names With Similar Meaning As James

There are so many other baby names that mean the same as James. Find your pick from the ones listed below.

Popular Songs On The Name James

Infographic: Know The Name James‘s Personality As Per Numerology


Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

How To Communicate The Name James In Other Languages

In Nautical Flags


In Sign Language


In Braille Alphabet


In Morse Code


Name Numerology For James

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the meaning of the name James?

The name James means ‘supplanter.’

2. What is the origin of the name James?

James has a Hebrew origin.

3. How to pronounce the name James?

James is pronounced as ‘jaymz.’

4. Is there a Hebrew version of the name James?

The Hebrew versions of James, a derivative of the name Jacob, are Yaakov, Yakov, Akiba, and Akiva.

5. Is the name James a royal name?

James can be considered a royal name as it was borne by several kings and monarchs throughout history. For instance, James I of England was a monarch who ruled both England and Scotland during the 17th century.

6. Does James have any spiritual or religious significance?

According to the New Testament, James was Jesus’s brother and the Jerusalem Church’s leader. He is a significant figure in the Holy Bible who saw Jesus Christ after His resurrection. The name was carried by other important Biblical figures as well.

Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.