Jay Origin and Meaning

The name Jay is a boy's name of Latin origin meaning "jaybird".

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 mid-century choice, Jay was in the Top 100 from 1956 to 1970. In the last couple of decades he was replaced by such more elaborate forms as Jayden, Jaylen, and Jayce. But Jay could make a comeback in tandem with cousins May, Kay, Fay, and Ray.

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, also born James.

In India, Jay is used as a modern variant of the Hindi Jaya, which means "victory."

# 382 in the US

Jay Rank in US Top 1000

# 392 on Nameberry

Jay Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Jay Popularity

Famous People Named Jay

  • James Douglas Muir "Jay" LenoAmerican talk show host and comedian
  • Finley Jay Lanningson of Youtubers Bryan & Missy Lanning
  • Jonathan Adam Saunders "Jay" BaruchelCanadian actor
  • Jay Sean (born Kamaljit Singh Jhooti)British singer/rapper
  • Jay Livingston (born Jacob Harold Levison)American songwriter
  • Jay AsherAmerican novelist
  • Javier Manuel "Jay" HernandezAmerican actor
  • Jay Christopher CutlerAmerican NFL player
  • Jay Zstage name of Shawn Corey Carter, American rapper
  • Jay Pharaohstage name of Jared Antonio Farrow, American actor/comedian
  • James S. "Jay" HuguleyAmerican actor
  • Jay McGuinessBritish singer and dancer
  • Jay ChouTaiwanese singer,songwriter, actor
  • Jay ParkKorean,American singer, rapper, entrepreneur
  • Jay Nicky Byrnetwin son of Westlife singer Nicky Byrne
  • Aaron Jay Hanleyson of Michelle Heaton & Hugh Hanley
  • Jay Farrar (b. 1966)musician and founder of alternative country bands Son Volt and Uncle Tupelo
  • John JayAmerican revolutionary
  • Jay Baka PhineasBg (b. 1971) American Star Trek fan in the State of Georgia, creator of The Captain Kirk Page website, www.thecaptainkirkpage.com

Jay in Pop Culture

  • Jay Gatsby (born James Gatz)main character in F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby"
  • Jay Pritchettcharacter on TV's "Modern Family"
  • Jason "Jay" Walker aka Blue Ninjacharacter in animated series "Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu"
  • Jay "Chef" Hickscharacter in the movie "Apocalypse Now"
  • Jay Clemenscharacter in TV series "Rita Rocks"
  • Jaycharacter in movie "Knocked Up," played by Jay Baruchel
  • Jay Keplercharacter in TV movie "16 Wishes"
  • Jay Smousecharacter in Adventures in Odyssey
  • Jay Halsteadcharacter in TV's "Chicago P.D."
  • Jayson of Jafar in Disney's Descendants
  • Jay Garrick aka The Flashcharacter on TV's "The Flash"
  • Jayfeather "Jay"character in Erin Hunter's book series "Warriors"
  • Jay Merrickmain character in the webseries "Marble Hornets"
  • Homer Jay Simpsonmain character on animated series "The Simpsons"
  • AlsoJayan.
  • Jaycharacter played by Jason Mewes in the "Jay and Silent Bob" Movies

Jay in Nameberry Blog Posts