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Meaning and Origin of: Jay

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First name origins & meanings:

  • Hebrew : Supplanter, substitute; the patron saint of Spain
  • Old French : Jay bird
  • English : Supplanter; substitute

Last name origin & meaning:

  • English and French : nickname from Middle English, Old French jay(e), gai ‘jay’ (the bird), probably referring to an idle chatterer or a showy person, although the jay was also noted for its thieving habits.
  • The name is associated with a Huguenot family from La Rochelle, France, who settled in New Amsterdam. Peter Jay was the scion of the NY Jays; his son John (1745–1829) was a U.S. diplomat and first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.