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The first name 

James is a first name typically given to boys, but in rare cases also used as a girls name.

James is a very popular name!

In the US, James is one of the most popular names ever. In the SmartGenius ranking recently, it has regularly been among the top 10 most common boys names and is currently in place 5. In fact, one out auf 300 boys under the age of 10 is named James. In total, there are currently 5,033,057 people – children, adults and seniors – named James living in the United States, which is approximately 1.5 % of the entire population.

You won't believe all there is 
to discover about the name

What does the name 
James mean?

The name James has become established in English as a variant of the name Jacob. It is first recorded in the Bible and originally means ‘may he (i.e., God) protect’ or ‘to follow’. In popular parlance, the name is also often translated as ‘he deceives’ or ‘to supplant’.

By the way… Jacob is also the name of the German philologist and author Jacob Grimm, who together with his brother Willhelm Grimm collected and published folk tales such as 'Little Red Riding Hood' and 'Snow White.'

Many popular people are called James

A fictional character

James Bond
James Bond, Agent 007, is a secret agent invented by author Ian Fleming who works for the MI6. The character has also been adapted for television, radio, comic strip, video games and film. He was played by Sean Connery and Daniel Craig, among others.

Theater and film actor

James McAvoy (*1979)
Scotsman James McAvoy is a British theater and film actor - widely known for his roles in 'Narnia', 'X-Men' and 'Split'. He also portrayed Lord Asriel Belaycqua in the fantasy series 'His Dark Materials'.

An astronomer

James Bradley (1693 - 1762)
He was an English clergyman and astronomer and is considered a pioneer of accurate astrometry, proving for the first time the motion of the Earth around the Sun with the annual aberration of the stars. In addition, he calculated the speed of light of almost 300,000 km per second.

Basketball player

LeBron James (*1984)
LeBron Raymone James Sr. is an American basketball player who has played for the Los Angeles Lakers in the North American professional league NBA since the 2018/19 season. Nicknamed 'King James', he is widely considered one of the greatest players ever.

4th president of the U.S. and Founding Father

James Madison (1751-1836)
James Madison was a US politician and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was the fourth president of the United States and served in office from 1809 to 1817. Madison played an important role in the constitutional debate and was one of the principal drafters of the U.S. Constitution.

A space telescope

James Webb Teleskop
is a space telescope which conducts infrared astronomy. It is the largest optical telescope in space, and its high resolution and sensitivity allow it to observe objects that the Hubble Space Telescope can no longer detect. The telescope was named after James Edwin Webb, the second Administrator of NASA.

Go on a journey to places 
with your name

When you hear the name James, you might first think of people. But did you know that there are also places with the name James? Are you also called James? Maybe one day you will visit the places that are named just like you...


There are two mountains named Mount James: one is in Victoria Land, Antarctica and the other is in Glacier National Park, Montana.

Kap James...

is a cape that forms the southern tip of Smith Island in the archipelago of the South Shetland Islands.

An asteroid

(2335) James is an asteroid of the inner main belt, named after astronomer James G. Williams and discovered by U.S. astronomer Eleanor Helin.

James Bay...

is the southern part of Hudson Bay in Canada. Its coast borders the provinces of Quebec and Ontario.

James -
a number 1 name of the past century!

14 - this is the count with which the first name James has reached the top position, i.e. rank 1, of the most popular first names for boys in the USA. Admittedly, the last time was a while ago, in the year 1952, when 87,323 newborn boys were given this beautiful name. And even if it wasn't on top in the recent past, it has been given by new parents to their sons every year since first name statistics began in 1880, putting it in the exclusive circle of only 442 first names for boys that are given at least 5 times a year in the USA. This makes James a classic first name and a part of the traditional American identity.

In years where the graph has no value, the name James was given less than five times or even none at all in the entire USA.

2022: Position 4 for the first name James

In 2022, the first name James was given 12,112 times to newborn boys, ranking it #4. The name was given least in the year 2010, where it ranked #19 – only 13,917 newborn boys were given this first name then.

James -
the number one in Mississippi

James is one of the most common names in the U.S. – in all states combined, 5,033,057 people would currently turn around if you called out JAMES really loud. Across all states and age groups, this lands James on position 1 in our SmartGenius ranking of the top male names – of course, the current popularity as a baby name for newborns looks somewhat different, as you can see from the statistics above. With so many people named James it’s no surprise that the name is widely used in every single state in the U.S., but would you have guessed that James is especially popular in Mississippi? Here, James is the most widespread of all male names. A total of 115,266 men and boys called James currently live in Mississippi – which is 5,76% of all male residents. No other state has as many men named James in relation to its population.

James has 5 letters 
and begins with a J

Well, you might say, you probably figured that out yourself! But what you might not know is: The letter J is the most popular first letter for boys’ names. 10.1% of all common boys’ names in the US start with this letter. The second most common first letter in boys’ names is A.

With five letters, the name James is comparatively short. In fact, 17.0% of all common first names in the US consist of exactly five letters. Only 7% of all first names are even shorter, while 75% have more than five letters. On average, first names in the US (not counting hyphenated names) are 6.5 letters long. There are no significant differences between boys' and girls' names.

That means that if 10.1% of all boys’ names start with a J, this initial letter occurs nearly three times as often as all other letters on average. And, by the way, of all the boys’ names that begin with the letter J, the name James is the most common.

Other names with 
J, a, m, e and s

If you take all the letters in the name James – J, a, m, e and s – and put them together again, you can form other names, such as Jaems or others.

With hands, flags and sounds 
How to say James

If your name is James and someone asks after your name, you can of course just tell them what it is. But sometimes that isn't so easy - what if it's too loud, and you don't understand them well? Or what if the other person is so far away that you can see them but not hear them? In these situations, you can communicate your name in so many other ways: you call spell it, sign it, or even use a flag to wave it...

This is how you spell the name James

So that everyone really understands you when you have to spell the name James, you can simply say:






This is how the name James is spelled in the NATO phonetic alphabet

The NATO alphabet often helps people spell words on the phone or radio when there are communication problems.

How do you write James in Braille?

Braille is made up of dots, which the blind and visually impaired can feel to read words.



You want to tell a deaf person that your name is James

Just use American Sign Language!

The name James is particularly colorful in the Semaphore flag signaling system!

These flags are used for maritime communication - each flag represents a letter.


Have you ever waved the name James

In the navy, sailors of two ships might wave flags to each other to send messages. A sailor holds two flags in specific positions to represent different letters.


Beeping like crazy...

In Morse code, letters and other characters are represented only by a series of short and long tones. For example, a short tone followed by a long tone stands for the letter A. James sounds like this: