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The forename James is in itself interesting. It is one of two Latin forms of the name given in Greek as Ἰάκωβος (Iakōbos), from a Hebrew original, יַעֲקֹב, ya'akov : the Latin was Iacobus or Iacomus (later written as Jacobus and Jacomus). The development from Iacobus to Iacomus may be the result of nasalizing the '-o-' to link to the '-b-', producing a hypothetical *Iacombus, which then lost the '-b-'.
James is a name of great antiquity: the younger son of the Patriarch Isaac in the Old Testament bore it: he is known in the Authorized Version as Jacob. By convention, the two of his namesakes in the New Testament are written as James (see Saint James). This has resulted in the facts that in English-speaking cultures, the two names James and Jacob are seen as completely distinct; and that both are represented in some other European languages as independent names. In French, Jacques (from iacobus) has supplanted James (from iacomus), which existed beside it in Old French. In Spanish, it is Iago (Jaco or Jago are alternative forms) and Jaime; in Italian Giacomo (Iacomo) and Jacopo and Giacobbe. It is this confusion that leads to the fact that the adjective meaning 'to do with James VII and II' is Jacobite.
  • In English, the diminutives include Jamesy, Jim, Jimmy, Jimmie, Jamie, Jimbo, and others.
In other languages, James has appeared as Seumas, Seumus etc (and Hamish) in Gaelic, both Irish and Scots; Iago in Welsh; and Jaume in Dutch and Catalan. The Spanish for Saint James, Sant' Iago, which is also a place-name, the alleged burial place of Saint James the Greater and a place of pilgrimage, has given rise to Diego, and, through a corruption, to the offensive common sobriquet for a Spaniard, 'Dago'. In Arabic, the name remains يَعْقُوب (Yaʿqūb}}; like יַעֲקֹב (Ya'aqov) in the other current Semitic language, Hebrew, it retains an initial 'y-'.
The notorious outlaw in the Wild West, Jesse James (1847-1882) was shot by Frank Howard.
Sid James (1913-1976) was an English actor, best known for his comic performances in Hancock's Half Hour, on radio and TV, and the Carry On series of films, where the producer called him the 'anchor man'. He made many films, including Joe Macbeth, a modernized version of Shakespeare's Macbeth, set as a New York gangster movie where he played Banky, the echo of Banquo.
Alex James (born 1968) is an English bass player and occasional vocalist with the band Blur.
David James (born 1970) is a footballer, currently (2010) the goalkeeper for Portsmouth and England.

James are an English rock band from Manchester. They formed in 1981