Matt B.’s excellent post requires, I believe, a footnote on the name “Jimmer.” Inasmuch as that proper name has now invaded the lexicon, being used as noun, verb, adjective and even adverb, surely interested persons are going to come looking here, in the Mormon blogosphere, for a lexical treatment of the word.
The name “Jimmer” ultimately derives from the Hebrew name Ya’akov (= Jacob), Abraham’s grandson who would be given the new name Yisrael (= Israel) and whose twelve sons would become heads of the twelve tribes of Israel. The name means “to take by the heel,” and thus has the connotation “supplanter.” Just as the younger twin Jacob would supplant his elder brother Esau, so Jimmer would eventually supplant his elder brother TJ.
In the New Testament the name Ya’akov is transliterated into Greek as Iakobos. English translational tradition represents this name in the NT as “James,” even though it is really the same name as Jacob in the OT. Greek Iakobos becomes Latin Iacobus, which becomes late Latin Iacomus, which then comes into the romance languages in various ways, such as Italian Giacomo and Spanish Jaime. In French the name splinters into two: Jacques and Iames. This latter name gets anglicized as “James” in English. The rumor that James was used to represent Jacob in the NT so as to honor King James is not true. Similarly, the rumor that Jimmer is related to Lebron, the other King James, is also not true.
James has a number of diminutives, one of which is Jimmy, and Jimmer is simply the diminutive Jimmy replacing the -y with -er. Although Jimmer is 6’2″, he too is considered diminutive on the basketball floor.
The Prophet Joseph foretold all of this in the King Follet Discourse, where he stated “Now, if Jimmer had the keys you might talk about James through all eternity and never get the keys.” By “keys” he was of course referring to a three pointer, say ten feet beyond the arc at the top of the key.
Note: Sports journalists are free to copy this entry verbatim as a sidebar in their published stories. You’re welcome.