You Gave Me The Answer - Jayne from the UK asks…


Generally speaking, a person may have one or more forenames and one surname. Many of us have nicknames our friends and family might use (some admittedly more embarrassing than others – we aren’t telling you ours!) and some others of us use only our surnames or middle name.

Paul’s full name is James Paul McCartney, and the reason why Paul calls himself Paul rather than James has been a cause for much speculation over the years.

We’ve heard this question asked on more than one occasion, so those of you who have been waiting for official clarification on this subject are in luck! Jayne from the UK has been in touch in to ask,

“Your given name is James Paul, why did your parents call you Paul rather than James, Jim or Jimmy?”

We spoke with Paul shortly before he jetted off to complete the recent North American leg of his ‘Out There’ tour. (Check out some highlights from the shows HERE!)

“Thanks for your question Jayne. It’s a strange story! I was told that it was because if letters arrived at the house for James McCartney, you wouldn’t know whether it was my Dad - that was James McCartney - or me, James McCartney. So that worked until they called my brother - whose name was Peter Michael McCartney - Michael!? And there was no Peter in the house to confuse him with! So I’ve ended up thinking it was rather Irish! I’ve no idea! My mum was Irish – and I don’t know, maybe there’s just some old thing where they call you by your second name. Nobody ever called me James, it was always Paul!”

Let us know the story behind your nickname or middle name in the comments below…