Jem!

I love [name_u]Jem[/name_u]! I was wondering if anyone knows anything about the history of use of the name. Was it used as a standalone name or nickname prior to To Kill a Mockingbird? [name_u]Or[/name_u] did [name_u]Harper[/name_u] [name_u]Lee[/name_u] invent it as a nickname for [name_m]Jeremy[/name_m] for the book? TIA :slight_smile:

1 Like

I don’t know the exact history, but it was used as a nickname for [name_u]James[/name_u] in [name_u]Anne[/name_u] of [name_u]Green[/name_u] Gables (from a quick search), and the books he’s in came out before TKAM.

1 Like

I checked the Wikipedia list of famous male Jems and the earliest one I see is a [name_u]James[/name_u] ‘[name_u]Jem[/name_u]’ born in [name_f]England[/name_f] in 1781. I assume he wasn’t the only one, so it’s probably been a [name_u]James[/name_u] nickname for quite some time. Maybe [name_u]Harper[/name_u] [name_u]Lee[/name_u] was the first to do [name_m]Jeremy[/name_m] ‘[name_u]Jem[/name_u]’, though, because I only see Jems with the full name [name_u]James[/name_u] before that.

3 Likes

Jem (or [name_u]Jemmy[/name_u]) has traditionally been used as a nickname for [name_m]Jeremiah[/name_m], which [name_m]Jeremy[/name_m] is the anglicized form of.

2 Likes

I can’t add any extra info (other than to agree that it’s been in use since long before TKAM), but I love [name_u]Jem[/name_u] so much. It’s high up my own list, so sweet and warm.

3 Likes

Love [name_u]Jem[/name_u]. I’ve been trying to convince DH for ages of its charms, boy or girl. Lately, I’ve been liking it as an alternative nn for [name_u]Benjamin[/name_u].

1 Like

I only know [name_u]Jem[/name_u] from the 80s cartoon, and it’s heavily connected to that for me so I only see it as a female fictional name. I can’t see it on a boy. Maybe a different generation who wasn’t a kid in the 80s wouldnt have that connection.

I don’t have anything to add, since @EagleEyes basically said everything, but I adore [name_u]Jem[/name_u] as [name_f]Ann[/name_f] for [name_u]James[/name_u]! So cute.