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 (mainly Yorkshire): habitational name from any of various places, for example in Durham and Yorkshire, so called from Old English scīr ‘bright’ + burna ‘stream’. (In southern English dialects, burna became modern bourne, and Sherborne in Dorset is one of several places so called.)