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Gender: Male Meaning of James: "supplanter" Origin of James: English variation of Jacob, Hebrew James's Popularity in 2017: #4

The name James is a boy's name of Hebrew, English origin meaning "supplanter". James is ranked #4 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Bible Names for Boys and discussed in our forums with posts like "What would be the perfect twin?".

From the experts:

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. James is also among the most classic authentically English names for boys.

James is biblical (the name of two apostles in the New Testament), royal (kings of both England and Scotland), presidential (with more U.S. Chief Executives named James (six) than any other name), and it is shared by countless great writers and entertainers. James -- which reentered the Top 5 in 2016, for the first time since 1980 -- is a current favorite among fashionable parents looking for a baby name that has both style and substance. James also ranks among the Top 10 boy names starting with J of all time.

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.

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).

Find other names based on James using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named James

Saint James the Just, brother of Jesus, first bishop of Jerusalem
Saint James the Apostle, son of Zebedee, brother of John the Apostle
James I-V, Kings of Scotland
James I and VI and James II and VII, Kings of England and Scotland
James I and II, Kings of Aragon
James II-IV, Kings of Majorca
James Madison, Jr., 4th U.S. president
James Monroe, 5th U.S. president
James Knox Polk, 11th U.S. president
James Buchanan, Jr., 15th U.S. president
James Abram Garfield, 20th U.S. president
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr., 39th U.S. president
James Byron Dean, American actor
James Joseph Brown, American singer
James Eugene "Jim" Carrey, Canadian actor
James Maitland "Jimmy" Stewart, American actor
James Patrick "Jimmy" Page, English musician of band Led Zeppelin
James Taylor, American singer-songwriter
James Earl Jones, American actor
James Todd Smith aka LL Cool J, American rapper and actor
James Byron Casey, American football player
James Corden, English comedian and TV host
James Child Drury, Jr., American actor
James Edward Franco, American actor
James Hillier Blunt, English singer-songwriter
James Robert "Jim Bob" Duggar, TV personality
James Thomas "Jimmy" Fallon, American actor/comedian
James Feigen, American swimmer
James George Frazer, Scottish anthropologist
James Garner, American actor
James "Jimi" Hendrix, American singer
James Maury "Jim" Henson, American puppeteer
James Augustine Aloysius Joyce, Irish novelist and poet
James Harvey "Jamie" Kennedy, American actor/comedian
James Martin Lafferty, American actor
James Hiroyuki Liao, American actor
James Magnussen, Australian swimmer
James Marlowe, American actor and singer
James Paul Marsden, American actor
James Marsters, American actor
James David Maslow, American actor and singer
James Clerk Maxwell, Scottish mathematical physicist
James Andrew McAvoy, Scottish actor
James Daniel McVey, lead guitarist for The Vamps
James Morrison, English singer
James "Murr" Murray, comedian from TV's Impractical Jokers
James Rainwater, American physicist and Nobel prize winner
James Righton, member of the British band, Klaxons
James Roberts, Australian swimmer
James Rollins, American Author
James David Van Der Beek, American actor
James Wolfe, British war hero
(James) Paul McCartney, English musician of The Beatles
James William Acaster, British comedian
James David "Roady" Rodriguez, American actor
James Andrew Eric Phelps, English actor
James Anthony Yammouni, Youtube comedian
James A. Lovell, Jr., American astronaut
James A. McDivitt, American astronaut
James Fitzjames, British Royal Navy officer
James Joseph "Jim" Parsons, American actor
James Elliot Bourne, British musician of band Busted
James Alfred "Jim" Chapman, British vlogger
James Perry, American actor in YouTube sketch comedy show Studio C
James Francis "Jim" Cameron, Canadian filmmaker, director, and producer
James Metcalfe "Jamie" Campbell Bower, English actor, singer, and model
James Ma (born James Assarasakorn), Thai actor and model
James Turner, YouTuber
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 Mountbatten-Windsor, 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 Walker, IV (b. 2016), son of American news correspondent Brooke Anderson
Jamin James Pastore (b.2017), son of Natalie Pasquarella and Jamin Pastore
James Patrick Bulger, english boy kidnapped and beaten to death by Robert Thompson and John Vendabiles.
James Kowats, American executive producer
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 'Hunter' Bailey, son of Devon Aoki and James Bailey.
James Milner, English professional footballer
James "UberHaxorNova" Wilson, YouTube personality
James Charles Dickinson, YouTube personality

Pop Culture References for the name James

James Bond, 007, spy character created by Ian Fleming
James Tiberius Kirk, captain in the Star Trek series
James 'Jim' Hawkins, main character in RL Stevenson's Treasure Island and Disney's Treasure Planet
James Isaac "Jimmy" Neutron, main character in Jimmy Neutron : Boy Genius
James Conrad, character in "King Kong" series
"James & the Giant Peach," novel by Roald Dahl, movie and main character
James "Prongs" Potter, father of Harry James Potter in the Harry Potter series
James Sirius Potter, son of Harry James Potter in the Harry Potter series
James "Jem" Carstairs, character in Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices series
James "Jim" Moriarty, nemesis in the Sherlock Holmes series
James "Rhodey" Rhodes, character in Marvel Universe
James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes, character in Marvel Universe
James "Logan" Howlett, also known as Wolverine, character in Marvel Universe
James "Sawyer" Ford, character on TV series "Lost"
James "Jim" Paxton, character in Marvel Universe
James Griffin, the MFE pilot in Voltron: Legendary Defender
James Sunderland, main character in the video game "Silent Hill 2"
James Leary, character in video game "The Sims 3: Moonlight Bay"
James Diamond, character on TV's "Big Time Rush"
James, character in the Twilight series
James "Jimmy" Kent, character on TV's "Downton Abbey"
James, main character in viral short film "One-Minute Time Machine" (2014)
James Trivette, character on TV's "Walker, Texas Ranger"
James, member of Team Rocket in the Pokemon series
James Duncan "Jim" Halpert, character on TV's "The Office"
James Lucas "Jamie" Scott, character on TV's "One Tree Hill"
James, a train on TV's "Thomas & Friends"
James "Wilke" Wilkerson III, Character on TV's "Switched at Birth"
James Whitlock, character in the Mindbender series by Veronica Slemp
James Stark, character in the 'House of Night' series by PC Cast
James Gatz, birth name of Jay Gatsby in F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby"
James Byrd, penguin in "Spyro the Dragon" video games
James Walsham, main character in G. A. Henty's, With Wolfe in Canada
James Herondale, main character in Cassandra Clare's "The Last Hours"
James 'Iggy' Griffiths, character in the Maximum Ride novels
James, character in video game "Fallout 3"
James Yewbeam, character in Jenny Nimmo's "The Children of the Red King" series
James Morgan "Jimmy" McGill, real name of Saul Goodman, character on TV's 'Breaking Bad' and 'Better Call Saul'
James Dennet, character in Mary Kubica's novel "The Good Girl"
James "Jimmy" Palmer, character on TV's "NCIS"
James Evan Wilson, character on TV's "House M.D."
James "Jim" Brass, character on TV's "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation"
James Rook, character in webcomic "Hotblood!"
James Bartholomew "Jimmy" Olsen, character in DC Universe
James Jacob "Jim" Harper, also known as Guardian, character in DC Universe
James Jesse, also 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 Delaney, Tom Hardy's character in Taboo (TV Series)
James "Jim" Lake Jr., character in DreamWorks Trollhunters
James Vanderboom, character in Rusty Lake: Roots

James's International Variations

Shamus, Shay, Séamas, Seumus, Shamas (Irish) Jaap (Dutch) Hamish, Seumas, Jock, Jamie (Scottish) Giacomo (Italian) Jago (Cornish) Diego, Yago, Santiago, Jaime, Iago (Spanish) Jacque, Jacques (French) Hagop (Armenian)


TechnoKitten Says:


IMO This name needs a break,it's SO overused to the point that almost every baby will be named this...

IcyRosey Says:


This will be the name of my first son. This has been my favourite name for a boy since I was a nerdy teenager who loved the Harry Potter books. I not only love the name, but I think it’ll be a cool way to honour something that was so meaningful to me in my life. DH knows and thinks it’s great. We’ve already had two girls, and have named them with names we feel will be good as siblings to a James, (May and Wanda).

Carla jemma Says:


Popular middle name I like this as a middle name for my first baby boy

josephinedagnall Says:


I have loved this name since I was seven years old, and would use it in the first name spot if it weren't my cousin's name. As things stand, I think it will have to be a middle name at most, which is a shame because I love it so much!

Lilly Bobby57 Says:


Hi:) Anyone heard of the variation, St. James? (Given name)

galaxywasted Says:


This is my son’s first name, picked out by my husband. It took a while to grow on me as a first name but now I can’t picture him being named anything else and I think it balances out with the rest of our names nicely.

BayleighWelch23 Says:


Its my brother's name, so yeah i have plenty of references! I still love it, i'm thinking of using it as a middle name for one of son's in the future, to honor my brother and James Carstairs. But definitely not as a first name, WAY too popular for that!

BayleighWelch23 Says:


This is my little brother's name, he goes by Jamie. I think it really fits his personality. My other brother's name is Arthur. I'm a HUGE Cassandra Clare fan, i have read every Shadowhunter Chronicles book. So James Carstairs and Herondale and Uncle Arthur Blackthorn, ummm yes. So yeah, my brothers' names are James and Arthur, thanks mom and dad for the reference.

Alaina Says:


I used to love this name when I was little. But now it's not really growing on me that much anymore.

NameLover 11 Says:


this name is very handsome. VERY popular though.

Sillysarahlily Says:


When I was younger this was my favourite name but now I'd use it more as a middle name

Thepandaprincess223 Says:


I think this is quite a regal name

Jazzy7 Says:


I like this as a middle name.

NykkiJo Says:


Definitely masculine and still lovely to sing. I hope this name never falls out of popularity.

shelbynh Says:


I don't care how popular this name is. You can't go wrong with it!

Leah3456 Says:


This name embodies royalty and strength in one syllable. Love it!

Kierce Says:


I named my fear this name (I just feel like James fits fear... No offence to the people who are named James)

Guest Says:


This seems to be the go to middle for boys which is a good and bad thing. James balances out big names (hey that rhymes! 😜). I think the name is strong yet kinda boring though. It's so dang common. I'm liking Santiago so much lately.

Addie88 Says:


This used to be my number one option for a boy. Now, I think I like John more, given the choice between the two.

jasminegarden Says:


I really like this name but it's unlikely that I'd use it because it's just too common

TheClockworkPrincess Says:


This is my brother's middle name. I think it is a wonderful name, just VERY popular. But again I can't hear this name without thinking of both Harry Potter, and the Infernal Devices!

Annita Says:


The Portuguese form for James is: Thiago or Tiago.