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).
French and English (also common in Ireland): ethnic name for someone from Lombardy in Italy. The region is named for the Germanic tribe which overran the area in the 6th century AD. Their name is attested only in the Latinized form Langobardi, but is clearly a Germanic name meaning ‘long beards’. Early immigrants from Lombardy to London were often involved in banking and moneylending, and the name came to be used from the 14th century onward as a generic term for a financier.