English variation of Jacob, Hebrew

James Origin and Meaning

The name James is a boy's name of Hebrew, English origin meaning "supplanter".

James is one of the classic Anglo-Saxon names, a stalwart through the ages that is more popular—and yes, stylish—than ever today. It recently came out Number 1 in a poll of America's favorite boys' baby names, and is the most common male name, counting people of all ages, in the US.

James, which reentered the Top 5 in 2016, is a current favorite among fashionable parents looking for a baby name that has both style and substance. Like Henry and Theodore, it manages to combine these two stellar qualities.

An English derivation of the Hebrew name Jacob, James is biblical (the name of two apostles in the New Testament), royal (kings of both England and Scotland), and presidential (with more U.S. Chief Executives -- six -- than any other name). The name James is also shared by countless great writers and entertainers.

There are fewer Jimmys, Jimbos or even Jamies these days; the most fashionable form of the name is James itself. Several stylish celebrities have chosen it in recent years for their sons, including Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, Liz Phair, Colin Farrell and Isaac Hanson. Brendan Fehr thought out of the box and named his daughter James, which has now become a fashionable middle names for baby girls..

James has some interesting foreign variations: Diego and Jaime (Spanish), Jacques (French), Giacomo (Italian), Hamish (Scottish), Jaako (Finnish), Seamus (Irish), Jaap (Dutch) and Jago (Cornish).

Along with being one of the most popular first names in the US, James is also one of the most common American last names .

# 4 in the US

James Rank in US Top 1000

# 20 on Nameberry

James Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

James Popularity

Famous People Named James

  • Saint James the Justbrother of Jesus, first bishop of Jerusalem
  • Saint James the Apostleson of Zebedee, brother of John the Apostle
  • James IV, Kings of Scotland
  • James I and VI and James II and VIIKings of England and Scotland
  • James I and IIKings of Aragon
  • James IIIV, Kings of Majorca
  • James MadisonJr., 4th U.S. president
  • James Monroe5th U.S. president
  • James Knox Polk11th U.S. president
  • James BuchananJr., 15th U.S. president
  • James Abram Garfield20th U.S. president
  • James Earl "Jimmy" CarterJr., 39th U.S. president
  • James ConnollyIrish revolutionary leader, signatory and labor leader
  • James LarkinIrish revolutionary leader and labor leader
  • James Byron DeanAmerican actor
  • James Joseph BrownAmerican singer
  • James Eugene "Jim" CarreyCanadian actor
  • James Maitland "Jimmy" StewartAmerican actor
  • James Patrick "Jimmy" PageEnglish musician of band Led Zeppelin
  • James TaylorAmerican singer,songwriter
  • James Earl JonesAmerican actor
  • James Todd Smith aka LL Cool JAmerican rapper and actor
  • James Byron CaseyAmerican football player
  • James CordenEnglish comedian and TV host
  • James Child DruryJr., American actor
  • James Edward FrancoAmerican actor
  • James Hillier BluntEnglish singer,songwriter
  • James Robert "Jim Bob" DuggarTV personality
  • James Thomas "Jimmy" FallonAmerican actor/comedian
  • James FeigenAmerican swimmer
  • James George FrazerScottish anthropologist
  • James GarnerAmerican actor
  • James "Jimi" HendrixAmerican singer
  • James Maury "Jim" HensonAmerican puppeteer
  • James Augustine Aloysius JoyceIrish novelist and poet
  • James Harvey "Jamie" KennedyAmerican actor/comedian
  • James Martin LaffertyAmerican actor
  • James Hiroyuki LiaoAmerican actor
  • James MagnussenAustralian swimmer
  • James MarloweAmerican actor and singer
  • James Paul MarsdenAmerican actor
  • James MarstersAmerican actor
  • James David MaslowAmerican actor and singer
  • James Clerk MaxwellScottish mathematical physicist
  • James Andrew McAvoyScottish actor
  • James Daniel McVeylead guitarist for The Vamps
  • James MorrisonEnglish singer
  • James "Murr" Murraycomedian from TV's Impractical Jokers
  • James RainwaterAmerican physicist and Nobel prize winner
  • James Rightonmember of the British band, Klaxons
  • James RobertsAustralian swimmer
  • James RollinsAmerican Author
  • James David Van Der BeekAmerican actor
  • James WolfeBritish war hero
  • (James) Paul McCartneyEnglish musician of The Beatles
  • James William AcasterBritish comedian
  • James David "Roady" RodriguezAmerican actor
  • James Andrew Eric PhelpsEnglish actor
  • James Anthony YammouniYoutube comedian
  • James A. LovellJr., American astronaut
  • James A. McDivittAmerican astronaut
  • James FitzjamesBritish Royal Navy officer
  • James Joseph "Jim" ParsonsAmerican actor
  • James Elliot BourneBritish musician of band Busted
  • James Alfred "Jim" ChapmanBritish vlogger
  • James PerryAmerican actor in YouTube sketch comedy show Studio C
  • James Francis "Jim" CameronCanadian filmmaker, director, and producer
  • James Metcalfe "Jamie" Campbell BowerEnglish actor, singer, and model
  • James Ma (born James Assarasakorn)Thai actor and model
  • James KowatsAmerican executive producer
  • James MilnerEnglish professional footballer
  • James "UberHaxorNova" WilsonYouTube personality
  • James Charles DickinsonYouTube personality
  • James TurnerYouTuber
  • James Leonard Gillette (b.1997)son of Lita Ford and Jim Gillette of Nitro
  • James Andrew Duggar (b. 2001)13th child of reality TV's Duggar family
  • James Wilkie Broderick (b. 2002)son of actors Matthew Broderick & Sarah Jessica Parker
  • James Alexander Philip Theo MountbattenWindsor, Viscount Severn (b. 2007); son of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex; grandson of Queen Elizabeth II
  • James Monroe Hanson (b. 2008)son of American musician Isaac Hanson
  • James Hoke Dorough (b. 2009)son of singer Howie Dorough of the Backstreet Boys
  • James Joseph Cavanagh (b. 2009)son of Canadian actor Tom Cavanagh
  • James Timothy Pudi (b. 2012)son of actor Danny Pudi
  • James Knight Newman (b. 2013)son of actress and model Jaime King
  • James Hamilton McDonough (b. 2014)son of actor Neal McDonough
  • James Jeffrey Dunham (b. 2015)son of comedian Jeff Dunham
  • James Arthur WalkerIV (b. 2016), son of American news correspondent Brooke Anderson
  • Jamin James Pastore (b.2017)son of Natalie Pasquarella and Jamin Pastore
  • James Andrew Glennon (b. 2018)son of American reality television personality Amber Portwood, half,brother to Leah Leann
  • James Holt Joblon (b. 2019)son of Claire Holt and Andrew Joblon.
  • James Hunter Baileyson of Devon Aoki and James Bailey.
  • James Francis Cagney Jr.American actor

James in Pop Culture

  • James Bond007, spy character created by Ian Fleming
  • James Tiberius Kirkcaptain in the Star Trek series
  • James 'Jim' Hawkinsmain character in RL Stevenson's Treasure Island and Disney's Treasure Planet
  • James Isaac "Jimmy" Neutronmain character in Jimmy Neutron : Boy Genius
  • James Conradcharacter in "King Kong" series
  • "James & the Giant Peach" novel by Roald Dahl, movie and main character
  • James "Prongs" Potterfather of Harry James Potter in the Harry Potter series
  • James Sirius Potterson of Harry James Potter in the Harry Potter series
  • James "Jem" Carstairscharacter in Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices series
  • James "Jim" Moriartynemesis in the Sherlock Holmes series
  • James "Rhodey" Rhodescharacter in Marvel Universe
  • James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnescharacter in Marvel Universe
  • James "Logan" Howlettalso known as Wolverine, character in Marvel Universe
  • James "Sawyer" Fordcharacter on TV series "Lost"
  • James "Jim" Paxtoncharacter in Marvel Universe
  • James Griffinthe MFE pilot in Voltron: Legendary Defender
  • James Sunderlandmain character in the video game "Silent Hill 2"
  • James Learycharacter in video game "The Sims 3: Moonlight Bay"
  • James Diamondcharacter on TV's "Big Time Rush"
  • Jamescharacter in the Twilight series
  • James "Jimmy" Kentcharacter on TV's "Downton Abbey"
  • Jamesmain character in viral short film "One,Minute Time Machine" (2014)
  • James Trivettecharacter on TV's "Walker, Texas Ranger"
  • Jamesmember of Team Rocket in the Pokemon series
  • James Duncan "Jim" Halpertcharacter on TV's "The Office"
  • James Lucas "Jamie" Scottcharacter on TV's "One Tree Hill"
  • Jamesa train on TV's "Thomas & Friends"
  • James "Wilke" Wilkerson IIICharacter on TV's "Switched at Birth"
  • James Whitlockcharacter in the Mindbender series by Veronica Slemp
  • James Starkcharacter in the 'House of Night' series by PC Cast
  • James Gatzbirth name of Jay Gatsby in F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby"
  • James Byrdpenguin in "Spyro the Dragon" video games
  • James Walshammain character in G. A. Henty's, With Wolfe in Canada
  • James Herondalemain character in Cassandra Clare's "The Last Hours"
  • James 'Iggy' Griffithscharacter in the Maximum Ride novels
  • Jamescharacter in video game "Fallout 3"
  • James Yewbeamcharacter in Jenny Nimmo's "The Children of the Red King" series
  • James Morgan "Jimmy" McGillreal name of Saul Goodman, character on TV's 'Breaking Bad' and 'Better Call Saul'
  • James Dennetcharacter in Mary Kubica's novel "The Good Girl"
  • James "Jimmy" Palmercharacter on TV's "NCIS"
  • James Evan Wilsoncharacter on TV's "House M.D."
  • James "Jim" Brasscharacter on TV's "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation"
  • James Rookcharacter in webcomic "Hotblood!"
  • James Bartholomew "Jimmy" Olsencharacter in DC Universe
  • James Jacob "Jim" Harperalso known as Guardian, character in DC Universe
  • James Jessealso known as Trickster, character in DC Universe
  • James Gordon Sr. and James Gordon Jr.characters in DC Universe
  • James Bennet(t) Sr. and James Bennet(t) Jr.characters in DC Universe
  • James Keziah DelaneyTom Hardy's character in Taboo (TV Series)
  • James "Jim" Lake Jr.character in DreamWorks Trollhunters
  • James Vanderboomcharacter in Rusty Lake: Roots
  • James Ratri aka William Minervacharacter in the manga/anime series "The Promised Neverland"

James in Nameberry Blog Posts