Short form of James, already recorded as early as the Middle Ages and now also used independently. Well-known bearers of the name have included the Scottish racing driver Jim Clark (1936–68), the British comedian Jim Davidson (b. 1953), and the Canadian actor Jim Carrey (b. 1962).
English: topographic name from Middle English atte bery. This generally denoted a servant ‘at the manor house’, but the Middle English word bery also meant ‘castle’ or ‘stronghold’. In form it is from Old English byrig, dative singular of burh ‘fortress’ or ‘fortified town’. (The nominative case gave rise to the Middle English word burgh ‘borough’, ‘town’; compare Burroughs and Bury.)