• 190k Jay
First Name
190k
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
10k
in the U.S.
in 2010
Girls
Boys
First
Last
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How to Pronounce Jay

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Jay mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Jay

"Jay" is a name of Latin origin, and it means "A Bird in the Crow Family". It's a name commonly given to boys.

Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Jay
Any one of the numerous species of birds belonging to Garrulus Cyanocitta, and allied genera of the family Corvidae. They are allied to the crows, but are smaller, more graceful in form, often handsomely colored, and usually have a crest.

Note: ☞ The European jay (Garrulus glandarius) is a large and handsomely colored species, having the body pale reddish brown, lighter beneath; tail and wing quills blackish; the primary coverts barred with bright blue and black; throat, tail coverts, and a large spot on the wings, white. Called also jay pie Jenny jay, and . The common blue jay Cyanocitta cristata.), and the related species, are brilliantly colored, and have a large erectile crest. The California jay (Aphelocoma Californica), the Florida jay (Aphelocoma Floridana), and the green jay (Xanthoura luxuosa), of Texas and Mexico, are large, handsome, crested species. The Canada jay (Perisoreus Canadensis), and several allied species, are much plainer and have no crest. See Blue jay, and Whisky jack.

Etymology: F. geai, OF. gai jaj, perh. fr. OHG. gāhi. Cf. Gay

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. Crested largely blue bird
  2. United States diplomat and jurist who negotiated peace treaties with Britain and served as the first chief justice of the United States Supreme Court (1745-1829)
Wiktionary
  1. A nickname for James, Jason, or for any male name beginning with a "J"; also used as a formal given name.
  2. A nickname of female names beginning with a "J".

Notable Persons Named Jay

Jay Z is a rapper, entrepreneur, and investor. He has had major accomplishments since 1986. Jay was given the name Shawn Corey Carter on December 4th, 1969 in Brooklyn, New York, U.S.

Popularity:

Jay Leno is a comedian. Jay was given the name James Douglas Muir Leno on April 28th, 1950 in New Rochelle, New York, United States.

Popularity:

Jay Hernandez is an actor. He was most active from 1999 to present. Jay was given the name Javier Manuel Hernandez, Jr. on February 20th, 1978 in Montebello, California, United States.

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Jay Cutler is a football player. He was most active from 2006 to present. Jay was born on April 29th, 1983 in Santa Claus, Indiana.

Popularity:

Jay Chou is a pop music, rock music, contemporary r&b, pop-rap, and mandopop musician. He plays Piano, Cello, Guitar, Guzheng, Dizi (instrument), Drum kit, Beatboxing, and Vocals. He holds the title Chrysanthemum Terrace and Nunchucks. He has been prominent since 2000. Jay is also known as Director Chou () and Nan Quan ()(high school pen name).

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Jay Baruchel is an actor, writer, and comedian. He was most active from 1995 to present. Jay was given the name Jonathan Adam Saunders Baruchel on April 9th, 1982 in Ottawa.

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Notable Persons With the Last Name Jay

John Jay was a Delegate to the Second Continental Congress, from New York, Delegate to the First Continental Congress, 1st Chief Justice of the United States, United States Secretary of Foreign Affairs, United States Minister to Spain, 6th President of the Continent. John was born on December 12th, 1745 in New York City. He breathed his last breath on May 17th, 1829.

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Bailey was born on November 5th, 1988 in Richmond, Virginia.

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Jam Master Jay was a hip hop music, golden age hip hop, and rap rock disc jockey, producer, and hip hop production. He was most active from 1983 to 2002. Jam was given the name Jason William Mizell on January 21st, 1965 in New York City, New York, U.S. Jam is also known as Jam-Master Jay, DJ Jazzy Jase, Jam Master Funk, and Jam-Master Jay (stage name). He passed away on October 30th, 2002.

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Tony Jay was an actor, voice actor, singer, voice acting, and singing. He was most active from 1966 to 2006. Tony was born on February 2nd, 1933 in London, England, UK. He died in 2006.

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Anjali was born in Bangalore.

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Ricky Jay is a magician, actor, and author. Ricky was born in 1948 in Brooklyn, New York. Ricky is also known as Richard Jay Potash.

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How popular is the baby name Jay in the U.S.?

Click Here to Show Chart Data
Year Total Babies Born Girls Born Boys Born Ranking
1880 103 0 103
1881 96 0 96
1882 80 0 80
1883 97 0 97
1884 110 0 110
1885 91 0 91
1886 107 0 107
1887 106 0 106
1888 122 0 122
1889 104 0 104
1890 108 0 108
1891 99 0 99
1892 111 0 111
1893 105 0 105
1894 96 0 96
1895 91 0 91
1896 83 5 78
1897 82 0 82
1898 85 0 85
1899 63 0 63
1900 107 0 107
1901 96 0 96
1902 89 0 89
1903 82 0 82
1904 95 0 95
1905 99 7 92
1906 87 0 87
1907 91 0 91
1908 98 9 89
1909 98 0 98
1910 128 8 120
1911 131 5 126
1912 325 7 318
1913 364 15 349
1914 394 15 379
1915 553 16 537
1916 666 26 640
1917 670 27 643
1918 726 20 706
1919 648 11 637
1920 683 17 666
1921 845 17 828
1922 795 15 780
1923 846 16 830
1924 869 16 853
1925 810 20 790
1926 868 41 827
1927 907 37 870
1928 802 34 768
1929 870 28 842
1930 912 21 891
1931 884 17 867
1932 957 25 932
1933 969 21 948
1934 963 29 934
1935 1,090 23 1,067
1936 1,126 23 1,103
1937 1,172 27 1,145
1938 1,206 25 1,181
1939 1,162 16 1,146
1940 1,318 24 1,294
1941 1,440 25 1,415
1942 1,620 20 1,600
1943 1,703 27 1,676
1944 1,584 30 1,554
1945 1,799 40 1,759
1946 2,240 41 2,199
1947 2,473 36 2,437
1948 2,303 31 2,272
1949 2,496 39 2,457
1950 2,613 32 2,581
1951 2,674 37 2,637
1952 3,070 44 3,026
1953 3,283 47 3,236 #99 boy name
1954 3,427 57 3,370
1955 3,444 46 3,398
1956 4,175 57 4,118 #92 boy name
1957 4,681 50 4,631 #88 boy name
1958 5,066 46 5,020 #86 boy name
1959 4,986 49 4,937 #88 boy name
1960 5,428 44 5,384 #78 boy name
1961 5,164 45 5,119 #81 boy name
1962 5,219 59 5,160 #80 boy name
1963 4,765 41 4,724 #85 boy name
1964 4,606 36 4,570 #84 boy name
1965 3,977 32 3,945 #90 boy name
1966 3,620 22 3,598 #91 boy name
1967 3,656 40 3,616 #87 boy name
1968 3,463 31 3,432 #87 boy name
1969 3,218 30 3,188 #94 boy name
1970 3,460 38 3,422 #97 boy name
1971 2,889 22 2,867
1972 2,484 38 2,446
1973 2,251 34 2,217
1974 2,394 28 2,366
1975 2,216 37 2,179
1976 2,124 19 2,105
1977 2,116 20 2,096
1978 2,172 24 2,148
1979 2,172 22 2,150
1980 2,011 22 1,989
1981 1,799 17 1,782
1982 1,689 18 1,671
1983 1,560 20 1,540
1984 1,567 18 1,549
1985 1,538 20 1,518
1986 1,496 17 1,479
1987 1,500 14 1,486
1988 1,377 15 1,362
1989 1,452 12 1,440
1990 1,412 14 1,398
1991 1,277 10 1,267
1992 1,224 7 1,217
1993 1,121 19 1,102
1994 1,115 14 1,101
1995 1,022 11 1,011
1996 951 9 942
1997 953 7 946
1998 841 8 833
1999 863 9 854
2000 873 5 868
2001 899 12 887
2002 825 0 825
2003 822 13 809
2004 825 7 818
2005 854 6 848
2006 874 7 867
2007 762 13 749
2008 758 0 758
2009 724 11 713
2010 687 6 681
2011 713 0 713
2012 770 5 765
2013 767 7 760
2014 860 17 843
2015 805 8 797
2016 806 6 800

Explain the Trends

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Where is the name Jay popular?

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Popularity of Jay as a first name

The map shows the relative popularity of the name Jay as a first name in each of the states. See other popular names in North Dakota, Idaho, or Montana.

Popularity of Jay as a last name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Jay as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in California, New York, or Texas.

Common last names for Jay

  • Smith
  • Johnson
  • Miller
  • Brown
  • Williams
  • Jones
  • Davis
  • Clark
  • Wilson
  • Martin
  • Thompson
  • Taylor
  • Thomas
  • Moore
  • Jackson
  • White
  • Robinson
  • Gould
  • Hall

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Jay U.S.
  White 78.60% 64.26%
  African American 9.22% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 4.35% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 2.04% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 2.77% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 3.01% 16.26%

Of Last Name Jay

People with the last name Jay are most frequently White

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Jay

  • How Popular is the name Jay? Jay is the 380th most popular name of all time. As a last name Jay was the 3,604th most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name Jay have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2016, the Social Security Administration has recorded 190,403 babies born with the first name Jay in the United States. That's more than enough people named Jay to occupy the country of Samoa with an estimated population of 186,340 (as of November 7, 2011).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Jay? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1880 when it was given as a first name to 103 new born babies.
  • When was Jay first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Jay is Thursday, July 12th, 1866.
  • What year had the most people named Jay born? The highest recorded use of the first name Jay was in 1960 with a total of 5,384 babies. That's a lot of babies named Jay!
  • Random Jay Factoid: According to the 1966 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Jay ranks 60th in popularity as a baby boy's name in Massachusetts. Imagine that, 114 babies in Massachusetts have the same name as you in 1966.
  • Weird things about the name Jay: Your name in reverse order is Yaj. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Jay. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Jay? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 9,852 people with the last name Jay.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Jay? If you manage to meet 100,000 people in your life, chances are that 3 of them will have Jay as their last name.

What Jays Have Visited This Page?

Name poster for Jay

Name poster for Jay(click to save the high quality version)

Most Popular Names

All Name Lists

  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.