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James

James VI

James (m) From a Hebrew word of uncertain meaning,
which developed into Latin Jacobus or Jacomus, or Jacob and James. In the English translation of the Bible Jacob was used as the name of Isaac’s son, while James was used for the Apostles. In Scotland Jacob is rarely used, whereas James has long been outstandingly popular.
James has many historical associations in Scotland, es-
pecially as a name of Scotland’s kings. In 1858 it was
being used very nearly as often as John. In 1958 James
again ran second to John: 4780 Scottish Johns were named that year, and 4181 boys were called James. This means that one boy in ten became John, one in twelve James. The Gaelic vocative form of the name, Hamish (from Seamus), was also used in 1958. The diminutive forms include Jim, Jamie and Jaime (occurring as independent names), and Jem, Jemmy. Jimmy is also used in Glasgow, especially as a vocative to a stranger. A survey of name usage in 1975 indicates that James has now probably overtaken John in Scotland, but both names have lost considerable ground.

Jamesina (f) A feminine form ofJames used in Scotland,
usually pronounced Eye-na rather than Eena. In Georgy
Girl, a novel by Margaret Forster, occurs the passage: ‘he
couldn’t call a girl Jamesa or even Jamesina. It sounded
heathen.’ In recent times, especially since the arrival on
British television screens of The Bionic Woman, alias Jaime Somers, Jaime and Jamie have been used far more
frequently as feminine forms of James. Jacobina is another feminine form of James which is occasionally used in Scotland.

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