Meaning of Scottish name Jock

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strozzi | 17:18 Sat 12th Jul 2003 | Phrases & Sayings
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I thought that the name Jock was a reference to someone from Scotland. I've read that Jock has equivalents in other countries e.g. Jacques (France), Giacobbe (Italy) and Yakow (Russia). My curiosity is aroused. So what is the meaning of the name Jock and where does it come from ?


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Looking at a couple of those names (Yakow and Giacobbe), I can see yet another Jacob-ean question looming. Wll the madness never stop?? ;o)
'Jock' is the Scottish form of 'Jack', which is itself just a by-form of John. It has been used since the 15th century at least. In the 18th century and later, it was often used to mean a member of a Scottish regiment, specifically. In America, of course, a 'jock' - with a small 'j' - just means an 'athlete/sportsman', as an abbreviation of 'jock-strap'.
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shybearuk and Quizmonster thanks for your answers. Yes there is a Jacob connection which I stumbled upon whilst trying to answer some of the Jacob questions from Drochit. I found two sites which suggested that Jock was a Scottish alternative to Jacob.
So Scottish are called Jock, and the English are called John, and the French are called Jacques (which is more or less the English and French version). However the Irish aren't particularly called Sean, so it doesn't always follow.
I don't believe I've ever heard of Englishmen in general being called 'Johns' in the same way as Scotsmen in general are called 'Jocks'. On the other hand, the nickname 'Taffy' for Welshmen is a form of 'Dafydd' - their version of 'David'. In the same way, we have 'Paddy' for Irishmen, a form of 'Padraig' - their version of 'Patrick'. Germans are often, usually unkindly though, called 'Fritz' - a form of 'Friedrich' - their version of 'Frederick'.

Re all four, the nicknames are simply 'pet' versions of one of each nationality's commonest male names. I don't believe there is any suggestion that all nationalities have to be based on one name common to all.

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