Meaning ‘appointed by God’ in Hebrew; it was borne in the Bible by a Hebrew prophet of the 7th–6th centuries bc, whose story, prophecies of judgement, and lamentations are recorded in the book of the Bible that bears his name. The Book of Lamentations is also attributed to him; it bewails the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by the Babylonians in 587 bc. Despite (or because of) the gloomy subject matter of these texts, the name enjoyed some popularity among Puritans from the 16th century onwards and later Christian fundamentalists, partly perhaps because Jeremiah also preached reconciliation with God after his wrath was assuaged. Since the 1970s it has found considerable favour in the United States.
Scottish, English, Dutch, German, Danish, Swedish, and Jewish (Ashkenazic): nickname for a tall person, from Older Scots, Middle English, Middle Dutch, Middle German, and Danish lang ‘long’, Swedish lång.