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Type Surname (from given name)
Usage Cornish
Pronounced Pron. JAY-goh  [key]
Other Forms FormsJagoe Jagow Jeago Jego

Meaning & History

A patronym, Jago is the Cornish for James/Jacob but is most commonly found as a surname. It’s use as a surname dates back to the early 13th Century.

We are on solid, consensual ground when we cite Jago deriving from Biblical Jacob but there has been some speculation whether Jago as a given name could predate the introduction of Christianity in Cornwall. One theory is that Jago derived from a proto-Celtic: “gago”, meaning spear. If this is true, this would make Jago cognate with “javelin”. Whilst this theory is a little fanciful, it is plausible that Jago had a Celtic origin which the Christians conveniently dovetailed into Jacob. However, we should take Geoffrey of Monmouth’s (c. 1100 – c. 1155) inclusion of an ancient King Jago in his annals of the Kings of Britain with a large pinch of salt since he was primarily a storyteller telling a good yarn.
Added 11/26/2014 by anonymous
Edited 4/10/2021 by HJJ