James Name Meaning

Lastest Updated June 7, 2024
Home » Baby Names » James Name Meaning

Fact: The name James is derived from the Hebrew name Yaakov (Jacob). It appears prominently in the New Testament, with two apostles named James: James the Greater and James the Less.

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A Deep Dive

James Overview

Meaning

Supplanter, holder of the heel

Gender

Boy, Gender-neutral

Origin

Hebrew

Etymology

Derived from the Hebrew name “Ya’aqov,” which became “Iacomus” in Latin and eventually “James” in English.

Religion

Christianity

Pronunciation

/dʒeɪmz/

Popularity

James is an enduringly popular name globally, particularly in English-speaking countries. Ranked 4th most popular name in USA in 2023.

Syllable

2 syllables

Length

5 letters

Numerology

3 (Expressive, Social, Artistic)

Name Styles

Popular, Classic, Vintage, Short, Cool, Cute

Associated Traits

Strong, reliable, classic

Spiritual, Religious, or Cultural Significance

The name is associated with several biblical figures, including two of Jesus’ apostles, St. James the Greater and St. James the Less.

Name Day

July 25th
A Deep Dive

James Variations in Different Cultures

Popular Variations

Jacob, Diego, Giacomo, Jacques, Séamus, Iago, Jaume, Jakub

Common Nicknames

Jay, Jimmy, Jamie, Jem, Jas, Jayman, Jamz, Bond, Jimmer

Diminutives

Jim, Jay

Famous People

  • James Madison
    (American 4th U.S. President)
  • James Dean
    (American Actor)
  • James Brown
    (American Singer)
  • James Cameron
    (Canadian Director)
  • James Joyce
    (Irish Writer)
  • James Baldwin
    (American Writer)
  • James Franco
    (American Actor)
  • James Hetfield
    (American Musician)
  • James Harden
    (American Basketball Player)
  • James McAvoy
    (Scottish Actor)
  • James Earl Jones
    (American Actor)
  • James Stewart
    (American Actor)
  • James Watt
    (Scottish Inventor)
  • James Cook
    (British Explorer)

Pop Culture Icons and Works

  • James Bond
    ("James Bond," Film Series)
  • James T. Kirk
    ("Star Trek," TV Series)
  • James "Sawyer" Ford
    ("Lost," TV Series)
  • James P. Sullivan
    ("Monsters, Inc.," Animated Film)
  • James St. Patrick
    ("Power," TV Series)
  • James Norrington
    ("Pirates of the Caribbean," Film Series)
  • James "Rhodey" Rhodes
    ("Iron Man," Film Series)
  • James Potter
    ("Harry Potter," Book Series)
  • James "Logan" Howlett
    ("X-Men," Film Series)
  • James Herriot
    ("All Creatures Great and Small," Book Series)

Places

  • St. James
    (Missouri, USA)
  • James City
    (North Carolina, USA)
  • James Bay
    (Ontario, Canada)
  • St. James Parish
    (Louisiana, USA)
  • James Town
    (Accra, Ghana)
  • Fort St. James
    (British Columbia, Canada)

What Is the Meaning of James?

The meaning of James is “supplanter” or “holder of the heel.” This name conveys the idea of one who follows and then replaces another, reflecting determination and resilience in people named James.

What Is the Origin of The Name James?

James is of Hebrew origin. It is a modern descendant of Iacobus, the Latin form of the Hebrew name Jacob.

James has biblical significance, being the name of two apostles in the New Testament, and also has royal roots, with several kings of England and Scotland bearing the name.

James Name Popularity

Popularity Chart of the Name James in the U.S. over the Years

United States flagUnited States#52021#42022#42023
Top 3 Rankings#11940#11941#11942

Annual Statistics Breakdown for James

YearName RankingNumber of BirthsBirth Rate (%)
20234
No change from 2022
11670
(-419 from 2022)
0.63730
20224
(+1 from 2021)
12089
(-363 from 2021)
0.64544
20215
(+1 from 2020)
12452
(+76 from 2020)
0.66460
20206
No change from 2019
12376
(-808 from 2019)
0.66909
20196
(-2 from 2018)
13184
(-456 from 2018)
0.68603
20184
No change from 2017
13640
(-714 from 2017)
0.70174
20174
(+1 from 2016)
14354
(-559 from 2016)
0.72527
20165
(+2 from 2015)
14913
(+54 from 2015)
0.73622
20157
(+2 from 2014)
14859
(+398 from 2014)
0.72680
20149
(+4 from 2013)
14461
(+871 from 2013)
0.70568
201313
(+1 from 2012)
13590
(+135 from 2012)
0.67254
201214
(+3 from 2011)
13455
(+185 from 2011)
0.66308
201117
(+2 from 2010)
13270
(-628 from 2010)
0.65324
201019
(-1 from 2009)
13898
(-320 from 2009)
0.67650
200918
(-1 from 2008)
14218
(-970 from 2008)
0.67037
200817
(-2 from 2007)
15188
(-784 from 2007)
0.69656
200715
(+1 from 2006)
15972
(-281 from 2006)
0.72106
200616
(+1 from 2005)
16253
(+113 from 2005)
0.74135
200517
No change from 2004
16140
(-328 from 2004)
0.75869
200417
(+1 from 2003)
16468
(-427 from 2003)
0.77923
200318
No change from 2002
16895
(-72 from 2002)
0.80408
200218
(+1 from 2001)
16967
(-106 from 2001)
0.82099
200119
(-1 from 2000)
17073
(-918 from 2000)
0.82542
200018
(+1 from 1999)
17991
(-564 from 1999)
0.86150
199919
(-1 from 1998)
18555
(-1132 from 1998)
0.91000
199818
(-1 from 1997)
19687
(-718 from 1997)
0.97093
199717
No change from 1996
20405
(-758 from 1996)
1.02138
199617
No change from 1995
21163
(-1568 from 1995)
1.05618
199517
(-3 from 1994)
22731
(-2044 from 1994)
1.13013
199414
No change from 1993
24775
(-1477 from 1993)
1.21544
199314
(-5 from 1992)
26252
(-2254 from 1992)
1.27096
19929
(-2 from 1991)
28506
(-2007 from 1991)
1.35797
19917
(+1 from 1990)
30513
(-1845 from 1990)
1.43951
19908
(+1 from 1989)
32358
(-358 from 1989)
1.50360
19899
No change from 1988
32716
(+196 from 1988)
1.56089
19889
(-1 from 1987)
32520
(-140 from 1987)
1.62416
19878
(-1 from 1986)
32660
(-1393 from 1986)
1.67469
19867
No change from 1985
34053
(-1808 from 1985)
1.77204
19857
No change from 1984
35861
(-1 from 1984)
1.86348
19847
(-1 from 1983)
35862
(-482 from 1983)
1.91091
19836
No change from 1982
36344
(-2532 from 1982)
1.95022
19826
(+1 from 1981)
38876
(+588 from 1981)
2.06000
19817
(-2 from 1980)
38288
(-1024 from 1980)
2.05586
19805
No change from 1979
39312
(-41 from 1979)
2.11952
19795
No change from 1978
39353
(-548 from 1978)
2.19687
19785
No change from 1977
39901
(-140 from 1977)
2.33529
19775
No change from 1976
40041
(+1740 from 1976)
2.34246
19765
(-1 from 1975)
38301
(-1271 from 1975)
2.34603
19754
(+1 from 1974)
39572
(-1763 from 1974)
2.43910
19745
(-1 from 1973)
41335
(-1504 from 1973)
2.53550
19734
(-1 from 1972)
42839
(-4227 from 1972)
2.65481
19723
(-1 from 1971)
47066
(-7537 from 1971)
2.81151
19712
No change from 1970
54603
(-7135 from 1970)
3.00368
19702
(+1 from 1969)
61738
(+1838 from 1969)
3.24122
19693
(+1 from 1968)
59900
(-764 from 1968)
3.27473
19684
(-1 from 1967)
60664
(-1021 from 1967)
3.41685
19673
No change from 1966
61685
(-3476 from 1966)
3.46656
19663
(+1 from 1965)
65161
(-2515 from 1965)
3.58494
19654
No change from 1964
67676
(-5351 from 1964)
3.57204
19644
No change from 1963
73027
(+1736 from 1963)
3.60265
19634
No change from 1962
71291
(-1254 from 1962)
3.45296
19624
No change from 1961
72545
(-3412 from 1961)
3.45175
19614
(-1 from 1960)
75957
(-858 from 1960)
3.52143
19603
No change from 1959
76815
(-1800 from 1959)
3.54746
19593
No change from 1958
78615
(-154 from 1958)
3.62871
19583
(-1 from 1957)
78769
(-5572 from 1957)
3.65539
19572
No change from 1956
84341
(-559 from 1956)
3.85312
19562
(+1 from 1955)
84900
(+717 from 1955)
3.95578
19553
No change from 1954
84183
(-2124 from 1954)
4.02739
19543
(-1 from 1953)
86307
(+233 from 1953)
4.17116
19532
(-1 from 1952)
86074
(-991 from 1952)
4.29894
19521
No change from 1951
87065
(-187 from 1951)
4.41218
19511
No change from 1950
87252
(+1027 from 1950)
4.56415
19501
No change from 1949
86225
(-633 from 1949)
4.74075
19491
No change from 1948
86858
(-1746 from 1948)
4.82009
19481
No change from 1947
88604
(-6157 from 1947)
4.97008
19471
No change from 1946
94761
(+7323 from 1946)
5.10131
19461
No change from 1945
87438
(+12977 from 1945)
5.29802
19451
No change from 1944
74461
(-2495 from 1944)
5.42936
19441
No change from 1943
76956
(-3319 from 1943)
5.53975
19431
No change from 1942
80275
(+3101 from 1942)
5.51864
19421
No change from 1941
77174
(+10423 from 1941)
5.47995
19411
No change from 1940
66751
(+4271 from 1940)
5.31940
19401
(+1 from 1939)
62480
(+2844 from 1939)
5.26738
19392
No change from 1938
59636
(+536 from 1938)
5.26213
19382
No change from 1937
59100
(+2538 from 1937)
5.20021
19372
No change from 1936
56562
(+1868 from 1936)
5.17188
19362
No change from 1935
54694
(-310 from 1935)
5.13897
19352
No change from 1934
55004
(+736 from 1934)
5.14252
19342
No change from 1933
54268
(+3159 from 1933)
5.11029
19332
No change from 1932
51109
(-818 from 1932)
5.00974
19322
No change from 1931
51927
(+710 from 1931)
4.83296
19312
No change from 1930
51217
(-2741 from 1930)
4.78764
19302
No change from 1929
53958
(+1825 from 1929)
4.77710
19292
(+1 from 1928)
52133
(-618 from 1928)
4.70681
19283
No change from 1927
52751
(-926 from 1927)
4.62256
19273
No change from 1926
53677
(+482 from 1926)
4.61969
19263
(+1 from 1925)
53195
(+514 from 1925)
4.64405
19254
No change from 1924
52681
(-260 from 1924)
4.57531
19244
No change from 1923
52941
(+2478 from 1923)
4.52862
19234
No change from 1922
50463
(+660 from 1922)
4.45678
19224
No change from 1921
49803
(+53 from 1921)
4.42616
19214
No change from 1920
49750
(+1842 from 1920)
4.37197
19204
(-1 from 1919)
47908
(+5516 from 1919)
4.35218
19193
No change from 1918
42392
(+277 from 1918)
4.17521
19183
No change from 1917
42115
(+4777 from 1917)
4.01611
19173
No change from 1916
37338
(+1770 from 1916)
3.89218
19163
No change from 1915
35568
(+1795 from 1915)
3.85252
19153
No change from 1914
33773
(+7510 from 1914)
3.83381
19143
No change from 1913
26263
(+5431 from 1913)
3.84344
19133
No change from 1912
20832
(+3188 from 1912)
3.88478
19123
No change from 1911
17644
(+7692 from 1911)
3.90824
19113
(-1 from 1910)
9952
(+758 from 1910)
4.12270
19102
(+1 from 1909)
9194
(+1599 from 1909)
4.40925
19093
No change from 1908
7595
(+583 from 1908)
4.29428
19083
No change from 1907
7012
(+305 from 1907)
4.21478
19073
No change from 1906
6707
(+799 from 1906)
4.22930
19063
No change from 1905
5908
(-134 from 1905)
4.10090
19053
No change from 1904
6042
(+187 from 1904)
4.21830
19043
No change from 1903
5855
(+376 from 1903)
4.22735
19033
No change from 1902
5479
(-113 from 1902)
4.23671
19023
No change from 1901
5592
(+857 from 1901)
4.21243
19013
No change from 1900
4735
(-2510 from 1900)
4.09630
19003
No change from 1899
7245
(+2648 from 1899)
4.46880
18993
No change from 1898
4597
(-724 from 1898)
3.99066
18983
No change from 1897
5321
(+208 from 1897)
4.02804
18973
No change from 1896
5113
(-93 from 1896)
4.19298
18963
No change from 1895
5206
(-129 from 1895)
4.03347
18953
No change from 1894
5335
(+225 from 1894)
4.21266
18943
No change from 1893
5110
(+80 from 1893)
4.09154
18933
No change from 1892
5030
(-368 from 1892)
4.15562
18923
No change from 1891
5398
(+882 from 1891)
4.10644
18913
No change from 1890
4516
(-581 from 1890)
4.13307
18903
No change from 1889
5097
(+77 from 1889)
4.25815
18893
No change from 1888
5020
(-542 from 1888)
4.21735
18883
No change from 1887
5562
(+794 from 1887)
4.28152
18873
No change from 1886
4768
(-587 from 1886)
4.36187
18863
No change from 1885
5355
(+180 from 1885)
4.49845
18853
No change from 1884
5175
(-518 from 1884)
4.46332
18843
No change from 1883
5693
(+470 from 1883)
4.63834
18833
No change from 1882
5223
(-669 from 1882)
4.64370
18823
No change from 1881
5892
(+451 from 1881)
4.82828
18813
No change from 1880
5441
(-486 from 1880)
5.02512
18803
First SSA data recorded
5927
First SSA data recorded
5.00595

American States Popularity Rankings for James

(From the Most to Least Popular, Based on Number of Births )

New York (NY)

New York (NY) flagNew York (NY)#62021#122022#72023

Pennsylvania (PA)

Pennsylvania (PA) flagPennsylvania (PA)#62021#62022#62023

California (CA)

California (CA) flagCalifornia (CA)#182021#212022#232023

Texas (TX)

Texas (TX) flagTexas (TX)#112021#112022#172023

Ohio (OH)

Ohio (OH) flagOhio (OH)#102021#82022#112023

Illinois (IL)

Illinois (IL) flagIllinois (IL)#112021#82022#92023

North Carolina (NC)

North Carolina (NC) flagNorth Carolina (NC)#42021#52022#42023

Michigan (MI)

Michigan (MI) flagMichigan (MI)#172021#132022#102023

Georgia (GA)

Georgia (GA) flagGeorgia (GA)#52021#52022#42023

Tennessee (TN)

Tennessee (TN) flagTennessee (TN)#32021#52022#32023

Alabama (AL)

Alabama (AL) flagAlabama (AL)#32021#22022#32023

Virginia (VA)

Virginia (VA) flagVirginia (VA)#32021#32022#32023

Kentucky (KY)

Kentucky (KY) flagKentucky (KY)#22021#82022#72023

Florida (FL)

Florida (FL) flagFlorida (FL)#92021#132022#112023

Massachusetts (MA)

Massachusetts (MA) flagMassachusetts (MA)#62021#32022#62023

South Carolina (SC)

South Carolina (SC) flagSouth Carolina (SC)#22021#42022#42023

New Jersey (NJ)

New Jersey (NJ) flagNew Jersey (NJ)#72021#82022#62023

Indiana (IN)

Indiana (IN) flagIndiana (IN)#82021#142022#102023

Missouri (MO)

Missouri (MO) flagMissouri (MO)#72021#82022#82023

Mississippi (MS)

Mississippi (MS) flagMississippi (MS)#32021#12022#22023

Wisconsin (WI)

Wisconsin (WI) flagWisconsin (WI)#142021#162022#92023

Louisiana (LA)

Louisiana (LA) flagLouisiana (LA)#42021#52022#42023

Arkansas (AR)

Arkansas (AR) flagArkansas (AR)#72021#92022#72023

Maryland (MD)

Maryland (MD) flagMaryland (MD)#32021#32022#42023

Minnesota (MN)

Minnesota (MN) flagMinnesota (MN)#82021#52022#92023

West Virginia (WV)

West Virginia (WV) flagWest Virginia (WV)#112021#172022#122023

Oklahoma (OK)

Oklahoma (OK) flagOklahoma (OK)#72021#62022#52023

Washington (WA)

Washington (WA) flagWashington (WA)#92021#92022#72023

Iowa (IA)

Iowa (IA) flagIowa (IA)#162021#72022#92023

Connecticut (CT)

Connecticut (CT) flagConnecticut (CT)#32021#62022#52023

Kansas (KS)

Kansas (KS) flagKansas (KS)#52021#62022#62023

Colorado (CO)

Colorado (CO) flagColorado (CO)#82021#72022#82023

Oregon (OR)

Oregon (OR) flagOregon (OR)#92021#72022#122023

District of Columbia (DC)

District of Columbia (DC) flagDistrict of Columbia (DC)#32021#52022#52023

Nebraska (NE)

Nebraska (NE) flagNebraska (NE)#122021#52022#122023

Arizona (AZ)

Arizona (AZ) flagArizona (AZ)#132021#242022#122023

Utah (UT)

Utah (UT) flagUtah (UT)#62021#52022#52023

Maine (ME)

Maine (ME) flagMaine (ME)#182021#122022#82023

Rhode Island (RI)

Rhode Island (RI) flagRhode Island (RI)#192021#62022#32023

New Mexico (NM)

New Mexico (NM) flagNew Mexico (NM)#132021#102022#162023

Montana (MT)

Montana (MT) flagMontana (MT)#32021#72022#32023

South Dakota (SD)

South Dakota (SD) flagSouth Dakota (SD)#182021#102022#82023

North Dakota (ND)

North Dakota (ND) flagNorth Dakota (ND)#152021#132022#62023

Idaho (ID)

Idaho (ID) flagIdaho (ID)#92021#42022#52023

Delaware (DE)

Delaware (DE) flagDelaware (DE)#52021#42022#102023

New Hampshire (NH)

New Hampshire (NH) flagNew Hampshire (NH)#162021#92022#62023

Hawaii (HI)

Hawaii (HI) flagHawaii (HI)#122021#262022#262023

Nevada (NV)

Nevada (NV) flagNevada (NV)#172021#152022#192023

Vermont (VT)

Vermont (VT) flagVermont (VT)#382021#222022#152023

Wyoming (WY)

Wyoming (WY) flagWyoming (WY)#92021#82022#272023

Alaska (AK)

Alaska (AK) flagAlaska (AK)#42021#32022#82023

Popularity Rankings for James in other Countries and American Territories

(From the Most to Least Popular, Based on Rankings)

Popularity in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland flagNorthern Ireland#32021#12022#32023

Popularity in Ireland

Ireland flagIreland#32021#32022#32023

Popularity in Scotland

Scotland flagScotland#82021#92022#122023

Popularity in Philippines

Philippines flagPhilippines#82020#82021#92022

Popularity in Australia (NSW)

Australia (NSW) flagAustralia (NSW)#182021#172022#122023

Popularity in Canada

Canada flagCanada#142021#122022#132023

Popularity in New Zealand

New Zealand flagNew Zealand#152021#162022#152023

Popularity in Quebec, Canada

Quebec, Canada flagQuebec, Canada#192020#162021#202022

Popularity in England and Wales

England and Wales flagEngland and Wales#222019#242020#302021

Popularity in Other American Territories

American Samoa flag American Samoa
Guam flag Guam
Northern Mariana Islands flag Northern Mariana Islands
U.S. Virgin Islands flag U.S. Virgin Islands

Other American Territories flagOther American Territories#672017#222018#342019

Popularity in Greenland

Greenland flagGreenland#352019#452020#382021

Popularity in Belgium

Belgium flagBelgium#872020#842021#1112022

Popularity in Switzerland

Switzerland flagSwitzerland#1452020#1212021#1072022

Popularity in Argentina

Argentina flagArgentina#1651923

Popularity in France

France flagFrance#1862019#1792020#1792021

Popularity in Austria

Austria flagAustria#1992014

Popularity in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico flagPuerto Rico#2002017#3042018#2902019

Popularity in Sweden

Sweden flagSweden#2252022#2322023

Popularity in Germany

Germany flagGermany#3532021#2942022#3422023

Popularity in Norway

Norway flagNorway#3882021#3552022#3102023

Popularity in Poland

Poland flagPoland#3122021#3482022#4462023

Source: Social Security Administration (SSA) and Other National Sources

Is James a Name for Boys or Girls?

James is primarily used for boys, although it is sometimes used as a gender-neutral name.

Variants, Nicknames, Diminutives, and Ideal Middle Names for James

James in Famous People Names, Pop Culture, and Places

  • James Madison (4th U.S. President, 1751–1836): An American statesman and Founding Father who served as the fourth President of the United States.
  • James Dean (Actor, 1931–1955): An American actor and cultural icon known for his roles in "Rebel Without a Cause" and "East of Eden."
  • James Brown (Singer, 1933–2006): An American singer, songwriter, and dancer known as the "Godfather of Soul."
  • James Cameron (Director, born 1954): A Canadian filmmaker known for directing blockbuster films like "Titanic" and "Avatar."
  • James Joyce (Writer, 1882–1941): An Irish novelist and poet, renowned for his groundbreaking works like "Ulysses" and "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man."
  • James Baldwin (Writer, 1924–1987): An American novelist, essayist, and social critic known for his works on race, sexuality, and class in America.
  • James Franco (Actor, born 1978): An American actor and filmmaker known for his roles in films like "127 Hours" and the "Spider-Man" trilogy.
  • James Hetfield (Musician, born 1963): An American musician and lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Metallica.
  • James Harden (Basketball Player, born 1989): An American professional basketball player known for his time with the Houston Rockets and the Brooklyn Nets.
  • James McAvoy (Actor, born 1979): A Scottish actor known for his roles in films like "Atonement" and the "X-Men" series.
  • James Earl Jones (Actor, born 1931): An American actor known for his deep, resonant voice and roles in films like "Star Wars" and "The Lion King."
  • James Stewart (Actor, 1908–1997): An American actor known for his distinctive drawl and roles in classic films like "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Vertigo."
  • James Watt (Inventor, 1736–1819): A Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer whose improvements to the steam engine were fundamental to the Industrial Revolution.
  • James Cook (Explorer, 1728–1779): A British explorer, navigator, and cartographer known for his voyages to the Pacific Ocean.
  • James Bond ("James Bond," 1962 Film Series): A British secret agent known for his suave demeanor, advanced gadgets, and iconic catchphrase "Bond, James Bond."
  • James T. Kirk ("Star Trek," 1966 TV Series): The captain of the starship USS Enterprise in the original "Star Trek" series and subsequent films.
  • James "Sawyer" Ford ("Lost," 2004 TV Series): A con man with a troubled past who becomes a key figure among the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815.
  • James P. Sullivan ("Monsters, Inc.," 2001 Animated Film): A large, furry monster known as "Sulley" who works at Monsters, Inc. and befriends a human child named Boo.