Jacob/James Alternatives

  1. Coby
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of Coburn or Jacob or Jacoby
    • Description:

      Actor Coby Bell gives this short but sweet name a hefty amount of street cred. Can also be spelled Koby or Kobe, as in Kobe Bryant.
  2. Cobus
    • Diego
      • Origin:

        Spanish variation of James
      • Meaning:

        "supplanter"
      • Description:

        The energetic Diego is rising rapidly along with a lot of other authentically Spanish baby names that work perfectly well with surnames of any origin.
    • Giacobo
      • Hamish
        • Origin:

          Scottish variation of James
        • Meaning:

          "supplanter"
        • Description:

          Just as Seamus/Seumus is Irish for James, Hamish is the Scottish form — one that's not often used here, but still redolent of Olde Scotland. If you're ready to go further than Duncan and Malcolm, out to Laird and Ewan territory, this may be worth consideration. It also sounds just like the Yiddish word for homey.
      • Hemi
        • Iago
          • Origin:

            Welsh and Galician variation of James and Jacob
          • Description:

            Iago, the villain of Shakespeare's Othello, was so treacherously evil that his name has hardly ever been heard offstage. Try the much-more-benign Inigo.
        • Israel
          • Origin:

            Hebrew
          • Meaning:

            "he who struggles with God"
          • Description:

            Though it was used by the Puritans in the sixteenth century, the founding of the modern Jewish state in 1948 transformed Israel from a traditional favorite into an icon of Judaism.
        • Iacób
          • Iacómus
            • Jack
              • Origin:

                English, diminutive of John
              • Meaning:

                "God is gracious"
              • Description:

                Jack may have fallen from its Number 1 place in England, but in the US it's as popular as it was at its height in the 1920s and 1930s. A durable, cheery, everyman form of John, Jack ranks as one of the most popular boy names starting with J.
            • Jacki
              • Jackson
                • Origin:

                  English
                • Meaning:

                  "son of Jack"
                • Description:

                  Jackson is one of those names that's much more popular than you think, coming in near the top of our annual Playground Analysis, which ranks names by grouping all their spellings together. There were nearly 17,000 baby boys named Jackson -- along Jaxon, Jaxson, Jaxxon, Jaxen, Jaxyn, Jaxsen, and Jaxsyn -- which counted together makes it the Number 3 boys' name.
              • Jacobo
                • Origin:

                  Spanish variation of Jacob
                • Description:

                  Charming way to freshen up Jacob.
              • Jacoby
                • Origin:

                  Variation of Jacob, Hebrew
                • Meaning:

                  "supplanter"
                • Description:

                  Jacoby, a surname spin on Jacob shot up the charts in the middle of the 2000's, thanks largely to the popularity of Jacoby Ellsbury, the first Native American of Navajo descent in the Major Leagues, but has been dropping steadily since it peaked at Number 423 in 2008. As of 2022, it dropped out of the US Top 1000 and is given to around 170 boys each year.
              • Jacqueline
                • Origin:

                  French, feminine diminutive of Jacques
                • Meaning:

                  "supplanter"
                • Description:

                  Jacqueline originated as a feminine form of Jacques, the French variation of James, and therefore Jacob. Jacob was ultimately derived from the Hebrew name Ya’aqov, and gets its meaning, "supplanter" from the story of Jacob supplanting his brother Esau as the first-born son in the Bible. Jacqueline was first used in France in the Middle Ages.
              • Jaime
                • Origin:

                  Spanish variation of James
                • Description:

                  A Hispanic classic that has lost some momentum in recent years. It could be misunderstood by some as Jamie -- which is how it's pronounced on Game of Thrones.
              • Jake
                • Origin:

                  Hebrew, diminutive of Jacob
                • Meaning:

                  "supplanter"
                • Description:

                  This unpretentious, accessible, and optimistic ("everything's jake" -- meaning OK) short form of the top name Jacob is itself widely used, though more parents these days are opting for the full name Jacob. Jake (born Jacob) Gyllenhall is its most prominent current bearer.
              • Jakob
                • Origin:

                  German, Norwegian, and Slovenian variation of Jacob, Hebrew variation of James
                • Meaning:

                  "supplanter"
                • Description:

                  After cracking the US Top 200 in the early 2000s, fueled by Jacob's rise, this name has been losing steam in recent years. But Jakob is the top form of the name in many other countries, cultures, and languages, ranking highly in Germany, Norway, Austria, Iceland, and Slovenia. Jakub is the Polish variation.
              • Jakobe