Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Seamus

Séamus is the Irish form of James. James is ultimately derived from the ancient Hebrew “Yaakov” which gave birth to the name Jacob. Yaakov is most likely derived from the Hebrew word "akev" (meaning "at the heel"). We learn from Genesis 25:26 that Jacob and Esau were the twin children of Isaac and Rebecca. At their birth, Jacob "came out with his hand holding Esau's heel, so his name was called Jacob." Hence the name’s etymology. In the story, the Lord tells Rebecca that the younger twin would be stronger, and that the older would serve the younger. As the Biblical story progresses, the cunning Jacob eventually supplants his older brother Esau by stealing his birthright and his father's blessing. "Is he not rightly named Jacob?" Esau asks in Genesis 27:36. "For he has supplanted me these two times." Therefore, the name Jacob is also associated with the verb “to supplant”. The Greek form of the name Jacob (Iakobos) was given to the Latin (Iacomus) which eventually got anglicized to James. After Ireland was Christianized, James became Séamus in the Irish-Gaelic tongue. Sounds strange, but this is how languages mutated over time and geographical space. Historically it was thought that James and Jacob were two distinct names, but most etymologists would now agree James came from Jacob (even though the New Testament features two Disciples of Christ with the name James). The usage of Séamus has generally been restricted to Ireland, but other English speaking countries eventually adopted it as interest in Irish/Gaelic names soared in the later 20th century. All things being equal, however, Seamus is still quite uncommon today.

All About the Baby Name – Seamus

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME SEAMUS

Romance is the hallmark of the Six personality. They exude nurturing, loving, and caring energy. Sixes are in love with the idea of love in its idealized form - and with their magnetic personalities, they easily draw people toward them. Like the number Two personality, they seek balance and harmony in their life and the world at large. They are conscientious and service-oriented, and a champion for the underdog. These personalities naturally attract money and are usually surrounded by lovely material objects - but their human relationships are always primary. They thrive in giving back to others rather than being motivated by their own desires. This is when they achieve great things. Sixes are natural teachers, ministers and counselors.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME SEAMUS

Seamus first appeared on the U.S. male naming charts in 1995, so it’s a very new entrant into the American repertoire of boy names. Furthermore, the name has remained at very low levels of usage during its short tenure. This is by no means a popular name in the United States, and is probably used almost exclusively among Irish-Americans. No more than 250 baby boys are named Seamus in any given year. In fact, there are probably more dogs in America named Seamus than Homo sapiens! Still, the name is distinctly Irish and quite charming in our opinion. Perhaps it may be just a little too Irish for some people. Parents in the United States are definitely drawn to Gaelic names, but they lean toward more Americanized renderings like Aiden and Katelyn. Names like Séamus, Sinéad and Siobhan may be just a tad too ethnically Irish for the fickle American palate.

Quick Facts

ON SEAMUS

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

Gaelic

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

865

PRONUNCIATION:

SHAY-mus

SIMPLE MEANING:

At the heel; The supplanter

Characteristics

OF SEAMUS

Humanitarian

Community-minded

Family-oriented

Loving

Affectionate

Compassionate

Sensitive

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Seamus

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME SEAMUS

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Seamus

Popular Songs

ON SEAMUS

You Should Be Ashamed, Seamus
a song by McLusky

Seamus
a song by Pink Floyd

Famous People

NAMED SEAMUS

Seamus Dever (actor)
Seamus Heaney (Irish poet/Nobel-prize winner)
Séamus Coleman (soccer player)
Seamus Mullen (restaurateur and author)

Children of Famous People

NAMED SEAMUS

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Seamus

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME SEAMUS

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Seamus