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).
German and Jewish (Ashkenazic): occupational name for a tailor, literally ‘cutter’, from Middle High German snīder, German Schneider, Yiddish shnayder. The same term was sometimes used to denote a woodcutter. This name is widespread throughout central and eastern Europe.