The name James is a variant of the name Jacob, Hebrew for "one who holds by the heel, outwitter".
James comes from the Low Latin Jacomus, a variant of the Latin Jacobus, which comes from the Hebrew Yakob. It came to English through Old French James, another form of Jacques or Jaques. Related names are the Italian Jacopo, Giacomo and Iago, the Spanish Diego, Jaime and Santiago, the Irish Sťamas/Seamus and the Hawaiian Kimo. Scotland is home both to the English form James and to Hamish, from the vocative (a Sheamais) of the Scots Gaelic Seamas.
Its hypocoristics are Jim and Jamie.