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Gender: M Meaning of Jay: "jaybird" Origin of Jay: Latin Jay's Popularity in 2013: #392

Popularity: this week.

Though this feels like a modern invention, Jay has been in use for centuries. Early Jays often were named in honor of founding father John Jay, whose surname derived from the jaybird. A popular midcentury choice, Jay was in the Top 100 from 1953 to 1970. In the last couple of decades he was replaced by such more elaborate forms as as Jayden, Jalen, and Jayce. But Jay could make a comeback in tandem with cousins May, Kay, Fay, and Ray. Now at Number 391 in the US, Jay is ranked Number 60 in Scotland, 85 in Northern Ireland.

In literature, the most prominent Jay wasn't a Jay at all--Gatsby's birth name was James Gatz. In real life, the honor goes to Jay Leno.

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Famous People Named Jay

James Douglas Muir "Jay" Leno, American talk show host and comedian
Jonathan Adam Saunders "Jay" Baruchel, Canadian actor
Jay Sean (born Kamaljit Singh Jhooti), British singer/rapper
Jay Livingston (born Jacob Harold Levison), American songwriter
Jay Asher, American novelist
Javier Manuel "Jay" Hernandez, American actor
Jay Christopher Cutler, American NFL player
John Jay, American revolutionary
Jay-Z (born Shawn Corey Carter), American rapper
Jay Pharaoh (born Jared Farrow), American actor/comedian
James S. "Jay" Huguley, American actor

Pop Culture References for the Name Jay

Jay Gatsby, main character in "The Great Gatsby"
Jay Pritchett, character on TV's "Modern Family"
Homer Jay Simpson, main character on animated series "The Simpsons"
Jason "Jay" Walker aka Blue Ninja, character in animated series "Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu"
Jay "Chef" Hicks, character in the movie "Apocalypse Now"
Jay Clemens, character in TV series "Rita Rocks"
Jay, character in movie "Knocked Up," played by Jay Baruchel
Jay Kepler, character in TV movie "16 Wishes"

Jae, Jai, Jave, Jaye, Jeays, Jeh, Jeyes