Name of the day: Jasper

As a traditional male name, Jasper is a variant of Caspar or Gaspar (the name of one of the biblical Magi).

But it can also come from the name of an opaque variety of quartz that is often polished and used as a gemstone. In this sense, the word jasper ultimately derives from the Persian word for the stone.

Jasper was only the 566th most popular name for boys in 2006, but it does seem to be an up-and-comer (judging by the number of people I’ve seen talking about it online). What do you think?

Update 1: Jasper has indeed been trudging up the charts in the years since I first published this post. In 2007, it ranked 465th. In 2008, it was 449th. Care to guess how high it’ll go?

Update 2: Here are the most recent #s.

  • 2009: 940 baby boys (337th) & 31 baby girls
  • 2010: 1,177 baby boys (286th) & 12 baby girls
  • 2011: 1,240 baby boys (282nd) & 28 baby girls

57 thoughts on “Name of the day: Jasper

  1. This makes me sad. I really want to name our son Jasper and the thought of it being so popular makes me want to go with another name. Please tell me this number is going down.

  2. Our son was born in 2004. His name is Jasper and we LOVE it! I loved the stone and it is a bit of a family name.

    He is a wonderful child!

  3. We’re naming our son Jasper in November because it is a cool and unusual name!! I don’t think it will be in the top 20 any time soon! When we tell people, they either love it or hate it. Good luck with your Jasper….

  4. Jasper is in our top 3 baby names for our son due in March. Whenever I tell people the names we are thinking of using, they alwasy like this one best. I do too, which probably means it will become more popular. It has a little bit of old school air about it, and it’s a little artsy and sounds a lot like other popular names these days. I figure we can call him Jazz for short. My partner is Italian though and prefers the Italian version Gaspardo. Ugh, He’d probably end up being called Gas or Gassy! Caspar is also a good version but will people just think of the ghost?

  5. Jasper is very cute, I am going for Gaspar (in french) because I am in a french speaking place, and it sounds so cool. And I noticed some really good, or really bad reaction in ppl. But I am sticking to it.

  6. We considered naming out son Jasper, but found out it was related (or a least sounds like) Casper. The thought of our son being called Jasper the Friendly Ghost really got us so we went with Herold and call him Hal.

  7. My 24 year old son (25 in Janurary) is named Jasper. I don’t think he has ever met anyone else named Jasper but her usually gets a lot of comments. Many people comment on how old fashioned it is and want to know if he is named for a grandfather. I was always surprised it did not become more popular. It sounds like the kind of name that people would go for. I still love this name!

  8. My name is Jasper, and after 15 years I’m beginning to like it. Most kids nowadays won’t recognize Casper the friendly ghost. People still call me Jasper the friendly ghost now, and I don’t really care anymore =).

  9. Hey
    We mixed it up a little and called our little girl, Jasper, as my husband liked it better as a girl’s name than a boy’s name. We have had mixed reactions. They seem to be very generational though with the great grandparents asking if we were serious, to the grandparents asking why we decided on that, to our own generation that went with it and seemed to like it for the most part. She is now a year and a half and it so suits her. I think you grow into a name and soon it seems to fit. We gave her the middle name of Amelia so when she gets older if she doesn’t like Jasper she has a more feminine option. I’m still glad we named her that although we do have to deal with lots of people assuming she is a boy when we make appointments etc., but as my name is Malina I am used to having to clarify spelling and gender.

  10. Me and my wife are expecting a baby soon may be tomorrow but we are not sure whether he or she. regarding the name we decided to name him or her Jasper in Ethiopian word Eyaspid. what do u think if it is she it doesn’t go with this name? I like it when I read it from Bible Exodus 28:20 Revelation 21:11 (It is spotted stone)

  11. Malina (and others), we have a 22-year-old DAUGHTER named Jasper. I was 13 years old when I saw the name on a road map and thought it sounded “pretty” and by the time I found out many years later that it was a masculine name, it was too late as I was attached to it for a girls’ name. She (still) has the same problems about calling for appointments and people assuming she’s a boy…she gets mail addressed to “Mr. Jasper Smith” etc. but the name really suits her. Her middle name is feminine, but she stuck with Jasper. (When reading the Disney book “101 Dalmations” to her as a child, we always skipped over the one bad guy’s name as they were Horace and Jasper and I didn’t want her associating it with a bad guy. LOL)

  12. I named my now 9 year old daughter Jasper. She likes her name alot . She also has a rather traditionally feminine middle name. For her nickname, though I call her Jasper Lily.

  13. We’re due to have our baby girl any day now and have decided to name her Jasper Clove. We also like the name as a girl’s name and have found strong reaction one way or another to it. People love it/hate it, but we love it, and that’s all that counts. Years ago, when we first got married we liked the name Jasmine. That was before it soared in popularity and my sister named her baby Jasmine. Now she says there’s about 4 Jasmine’s everywhere she goes. I expect our daughter will be the only Jasper around, and I agree with the person who said most kids these days won’t even know about Casper the Ghost. If they do, and that’s the worst anyone can come up with, a “FRIENDLY” ghost, then I’m ok with that. We’ve been talking about Jasper since I was about 4 months pregnant and there’s just no changing it now. Its beautiful!

  14. I adore the name Jasper. I am Italian and my husband is Greek. It’s of Greek origin and in Italian, it’s Giaspare, I love it!! That is what I will hopefully name my son.

  15. We are now 18 weeks along, and right from the start we have decided on Jasper, also whether our baby be a boy or a girl. My great uncle’s name was Jasper, but we love it as a girls name too. We definitely aren’t telling anyone the name, although they do know it is a name that can be for either girl or boy. No one has come close to guessing it yet, probably because it is still quite unusual.

  16. If you google an image search of Jasper National Park, you will see why Jasper is a most approprite name for anyone who loves the outdoors. Ten or so years ago we were pregnant and looking for a wild oudoor kind of name for our upcomming addition. We went to an atlas and found Jasper. After researching further we discovered that the Bible reveals Jasper as a lucky stone and even as the foundation of heaven. As an eastern heaing stone it is a calming influance and can be curitive for digestive disorders.
    Our little girl has carried her name without teasing, and to many admiring name seekers.
    She really is a little gem.

    We also have a special interest in names with the letter J… goes well withe Jade. A cool combination for girl twins.

  17. We had our little boy in September and named him Jasper. We have four other children and they all have Biblical names that begin with a “J”, or at least the J sound, our daughter is named Genesis. I don’t think anyone has mentioned yet the Biblical references of the word, but I fell in love with Jasper as a name b/c of the Biblical references from the book of Revelation. In these scriptures, John is taken in the spirit to heaven where he sees Jesus sitting on the throne and having the awesome appearance of beautiful Jasper. Also the holy city is described as having walls and foundations made of precious stones, one of them being Jasper. The priests in the old testament also wore Jasper as one of the 12 precious stones on the breastplate of decision. Very very cool!

  18. @ Angela: Years ago when I was studying the Book of Revelation I too fell in love with the word/name Jasper and I made a quiet promise to myself and God that if I ever have a son, his name will be Jasper. In the Bible it doesn’t just mean a precious stone (some suggest that it actually refers to diamond…) but it symbolizes holiness. It definitely has a beautiful sound and meaning. Anway, my firstborn son does bear this name and I cannot say it is too popular! We’ve lived in the UK for a few years now, and I have not yet met another child called Jasper! :-)

  19. We called our little girl Jaspa – We initially had it spelt as Jasper – but when the nurses at the mothers hospital kept referring to her as him I changed the spelling!…. She’s 5 now and it really suits her… She often get Jazzie as a nickname…

  20. I am 21 weeks pregnant and we have found out we are having a boy. I have loved the name Jasper for a long time, but my husband hasn’t been so keen, it has now grown on him, after referring to my bump as Jasper for a while. People either love it or hate it, but I have found that the people who hate it are generally chav’s!!!! So there is no hope of Jasper ever reaching the top 100 let alone top 20!!!

  21. We are having our second baby in October, and we both like the name Jasper – especially because of its biblical links. Can anyone tell me where exactly in the book of Revelation Jasper is featured? Thanks.
    The only thing that started to concern me was, that there is a character named Jasper in the popular vampire book series (soon to be movies) Twilight. He is not a main character, but since these books have been released in Australia, the name Jasper has skyrocketed into the top 100 baby names (it was 99 last year, 2008). I truely hope this trend does not continue as I’d also hate to see the name become popular!

  22. My daughter was born in 2005 and we named her Jasper Elizabeth. I think it is a great name. I was “Sam” my whole life and actually enjoyed having a boy’s name. If she decides Jasper is to masculine, she always has “Elizabeth” to fall back on.

  23. I am pregnant with our second child, a little boy, who is due at the end of August. I have loved the name Jasper since watching the movie “The Holiday” but hubby has not been too keen. As my mothers day gift he gave me a card which read, “lot’s of love Charli (our daughter) and Jasper. I cried and cried, so Jasper Mathew it is. I have had more of a negative reaction from people with this name but i dont really care as i love it. I too think it’s popularity will go up. I remember people reacting the same way to the name Hunter when it first started becoming a more common name. Fingers crossed Jasper doesn’t get TOO popular though. I just love it!!

  24. My son is 6yrs old and i named him Jasper. at first i did not know the meaning but named him after my Pastors’ son Jasper but more so i liked the names which begin with ‘J’ because even the greatest name in the whole world begins with J that is the name Jesus. Now that i know the meaning i have come to like it the more. i almost named my 2nd son Jasper though some times i call him Jasper his name is Joel. if you are sure you are going to have a boy then Jasper should be the first name to consider but at the end of the day the 2 of you have agree.
    Best wishes

  25. I want to name my little GIRL Jasper too – I think it’s just gorgeous for either sex, and I’m not usually a fan of masculine names for girls but I think this one is very feminine! I was keen on the name Jasper for a son for years, and then one day I saw it in a baby names book listed as unisex. At first I laughed and thought that was ridiculous, but about five minutes later I couldn’t get the nagging thought out of my mind that I just had to have a little girl named Jasper. I think it’s just darling, and I’m SO glad to see that other people have chosen this name and it has worked. Of course Jasper will have to have a very feminine middle name and so she can choose – but it seems from these stories that girls will like having that name!

  26. I’ve been a “Jasper” since 1982, and aside from one old man at a campsite (when I was about 4), I have yet to meet another Jasper in person.

    Though I do live in Northeast Wisconsin, which I’ve been told makes a big difference. Apparently it’d be easy for me to meet a bunch of them down South (in the U.S.A. that is…).

    For those considering the name… I’d say go for it. Nobody forgets my name. Pretty girls seem to find me interesting and slightly more attractive because of it. And I’ve actually grown proud of it myself, if only because it makes me feel unique.

    Just some insight from a long time Jasper.

  27. Hey!
    I’m a 19 year old GIRL named Jasper, and I seriously love my name!
    I’ve yet to meet another female Jasper, but that’s one of the things I like.
    My parents based their decision on the reference made to “Jasper” stone in the Bible. I do have a more traditional female middle name, but I honestly prefer my first name 100%.
    So, to anyone considering naming their new daughter Jasper, go for it!

  28. Ick! Another great boys name ruined by people using it to name their girls. This name was our first choice for our next son, but I guess I may have to change it if too many people are naming their girls Jasper. I don’t want people having to ask me if my child Jasper is a boy or a girl. Ridiculous!

    Seriously, people, what is wrong with giving kids names that make their gender plain? It’s like you’re ashamed that you have daughters. That’s the only explanation I can think of, since you never here of people naming their sons traditionally feminine names.

  29. I think its lovely as a boys or girls name….by the way Michelle F…are you aware that your name in fact is frequently used as a boys name in france without the double “L”. Michel, Michele….look it up hun.

  30. Jasper is a horrible name. Everyone stop calling your newborns Jasper. Especially Australians bereft of imagination – stop using this name immediately you isolated bores.

  31. I love Jasper. It’s what I’m going to name my next son if I have one. We named our son Nathan which was the only name we could agree on, my partner didn’t like Jasper, so hopefully next time around I can convince him.

  32. Jasper? That name rings right up there will Billy-Bob, Billy-Ray, Bubba, Duke, Otis, Jim Bob, Jed, Eustice, Cleavon Cletus, Cooter, Junior, and Lynn. Well, if I ever feel like moving to Alabama or Mississippi, I will definitely consider those names as I want our child to blend in.

  33. I live in Finland. Here it’s known but not that much I think…Well apart from one actor I don’t think I’ve ever heard another person called like that in here.
    I am 31 weeks pregnant with our son (it’s our 2nd child). He was supposed to be called Daniel until I had a revelation for the name Jasper. Daniel was way too common for me…Althought my husband loves it and wanted to call our son like that real bad. I finally won and our son “should be” called Jasper Daniel. I’m hoping my husband would grow into it before the baby is born…He likes it but not as much as Daniel!

  34. whatever…Kelly, Leslie, Kim, Carol,…all traditionally girls names but are also used for boys.

  35. if you knew about arts and literature you would associate the name Japer with a more cultivated crowd…

  36. NO WAY my names jashper, the random H was put in there for some random reason (thnx mom) but i love having my name jashper your suposed to emphasize the sh sound. ive never met any jasper’s though and ill probably never meet any jashper’s but i think that this name holds creativity and brings something original
    id definitely call my son jasper with out the H, just so its diffrent ;)

  37. I am a 27 year old woman named Jasper. Jasper comes from greek Iaspis (and further down into Hebrew yashp but I don’t know hebrew so I can’t make any calls there) but in greek it is a feminine noun for “spotted or speckled stone”! So really, it is the boys named Jasper who should feel embarassed, not the girls :)

    I do get a lot of emails and mail with Mr on it but I just shrug. It doesn’t bother me. Besides, brown is pretty genderless so I feel that my name is earthy. The earth is mother and father. I have no qualms being part of something like that.

  38. I absolutely love my name. Most people I run into think it’s a bit odd initially, or they love it right off the bat. Most people do agree that it really suits my polite personality. It’s also a family name, so it’s been passed down quite a few times. I plan to name my own son Jasper, though I’m 20 now, and I don’t think I’ll be having a kid any time soon.

  39. I’ve been a Jasper 4 68 years and have never liked the name! I grew up being called Casper the friendly ghost, sandspur, ass burn, etc. So as soon as I was old enough 2 have a say, I started using Jay. Unfortunately, I’ve never been able 2 afford 2 legally change it. If I could I would change my entire name 2 just the letter J. No last name, just J. But it doesn’t matter any more now, most of my life is gone, so who cares! It’s sad 2 think that there were 3 other idiots in our Italian family named Jasper!! My grandfather, my dad, me and a 1st cousin, all of whom r long since dead. And when I’m gone so, thankfully will b the name! My original name was Jasper Andre Ottovegio the 3rd. Thank god, even though I don’t believe in one, my father had the good sense 2 legally change our name 2 Jasper Otto Andre, and mine 2 Jasper R. Andre, b4 I entered school. People were unable 2 pronounce our last name. And yes, when I actually tell anyone my real name, they do think it’s cool. I even have 2 friends that named their dogs Jasper after me!! Isn’t that special?!!!! DON’T NAME YOUR SONS, AND DEFINITELY NOT YOUR DAUGHTERS JASPER!!!!!!! You should never do that 2 a child. If u do u should b reported 2 Child Services, 4 child abuse!! That’s all; good luck and have a nice life. This is Jsy NOT JASPER!

  40. My name is Jasper and I’m 14. I used to think that I was the only girl named Jasper in the world. I’m sooooo happy I’m not. I love seeing on a sign or hearing on tv or being read. I used to get mail that said Mr. Jasper Jone. They left the s off Jones. LOL :) I love anyone who thinks that Jasper can be a girl name. <3

  41. My Lord !!! i cant imagine not loving the name Jasper!!! We named our precious bundle of joy Jaspa in 2002!! She is now nearly 9!! I have always loved the name and on seeing my Jaspa for the first time thought she looked like a punjabi princess with thick black hair and the longest lashes!! I read a baby book that said the spelling Jaspa was feminine and a punjabi name??? i cant find the book or meaning anywhere but she loves the story of how i named her!! She is the only girl Jaspa i know apart from a FRIEND?? of ours who named their daughter Jaspar??? apparently they loved it to… I love the fact she has a different name and haven’t had anyone in nearly nine years say they didnt like it… Jas has an older brother called Milo… people dont get that??? go figure i thought it was more normal??

  42. I’m a 15-year-old girl named Jasper.
    Personally, I adore my name.
    Though, my mother was also concerned about me not liking it & what not, so she gave me a more fiminine name to ‘fall back’ on when I get older: Nichole.

  43. I was surprised to see I got all the way down to #34 before someone mentioned the derogatory spin on Jasper… I’ve always heard it as meaning kind of a dufus, inexperienced, not too bright, or just annoying. they used to use it in Westerns a lot, so maybe it’s not a common reference anymore. I’ve never met anyone actually named Jasper, but have heard many people refer to some “Jasper” that did this or that. Not really a reason not to use the name, but FYI to parents just so you know. It’s also has a couple of meanings in computer science… a type of motherboard? And there’s at least one Athletic team names the Jaspers…

  44. To Michelle #30… you’re kidding right? I suppose you think no one should name their kids Frances, Chris, Sandy, Kerry, Carol, Robin, Gene, Gerry, Connie, Gail, Dale, Lee, Pat, Dana, etc. Some of those have gender specific spellings, but that won’t help you in conversation. All those poor parents having to explain the sex of their children. As you can see, there are apparently just as many parents embarrassed they had boys as girls… since there are many names that are more commonly thought of as Female today, but are also used for boys…. It isn’t a new thing – There were as many if not more common dual-gender names in 1800’s as there are now… back then there were plenty of male and female Billies, Cecils, Odells, Alvas, Lonies, Merles, Marions, Fays, etc. In fact back then Marion and Shirley were more commonly a man’s name… Times change… Why does our gender have to be the first thing anyone knows about us anyway?

  45. Hi there! So interesting to read so many opinions about the name Jasper! We named our son Jasper who turns 5 in March and we loved it from day one! We have never bumped into another Jasper. The only problem we have now, is we’re pregnant again and are struggling to find a name which is as unique! Would love to hear from other parent’s/Jaspers of you have any siblings xxx

  46. i don’t see using male names for girls are being ashamed of daughters, it’s more likely the opposite, to prove they are equals. personally i love the name Jasper. didn’t realize it was used as a feminine version. i love names that can be feminine/masculine. i named my second daughter jamee, it was a mix between a male family name and my middle name. later on i found out it was the french version which made me love it all the more. her ‘girly’ name to fall back on is elektra, probably more unusal. my name is also used for males too. i like names that aren’t too common but not way too unusual either. another name i love for a boy is gabriel – i’d probably shorten it to gabe. known mostly as a females’ name it is actually originally a males’ name, as in the arcangel. it doesn’t really matter these days as there are so many versions of names that you have to ask how to spell them anyhow and most names will recieve some sort of nickname. as to males with femine names, my grandfathers’ name was vivian! ohh and i have nicknamed my friends’ daughter charlotte, charli. if you love the name, stick with it, there are way worse names around. i read an article a few weeks ago on names that countries have banned. most people choose their childrens’ names for a specific reason. i did. instead of being rude, why don’t you ask what made them choose the name/spelling – usually their is an interesting story to the choice!

  47. Our son Jasper was born 2008 and since then we have meet at least 4 other Jaspers in person (young children and one Doctor). We really liked the biblical references mentioned above. We also liked the connection to the stone itself (solidity and preciousness), the Arts (Jasper Conran, Jasper Johns, etc) and the National Park. After we named him I found out I had a Dutch ancestor with that name and that the name Jasper (pron. Yasper) has always been quite popular in The Netherlands.

    Re: Jay Andre (18 Nov. 2010)- You said not to name children Jasper from your 68 year experience with that name. I think people’s approach to names from ‘other countries/languages’ has changed a great deal since you were young due to globalization & political correctness. From my own family experience I know that many people changed their names to fit into the ‘dominant’ culture in the post war period because they did not want to be shunned by people ceased by the zenophobia that festers in wartime. If you introduced yourself to me and peers of MY generation, your name would be more likely to be associated it with rich and wonderful European heritage.

    To Jimmy Rowe (25 June 2010) :
    You said Australians are bereft of imagination & that they are isolated bores. Everyone knows how easy it is to make a ‘throw away’ comment without a reason for the sake of ‘one-up-manship, ‘ but I wonder if you have ever visited Australia?
    I think it is self-evident that ‘Jasper’ is an uncommon name and therefore it would take people with a bit of IMAGINATION to think outside the square of popular names. In terms of ‘bores’- the 100 most popular names lists are often the most BORING because of the sameness of them. If you are the kind of person that makes such ridiculous comments, I am sure that no one who reads this would care what you or like-minded people think.

  48. I always wanted to name my son Jasper but my husband would’nt allow it because he did’nt like the name Jasper.

    I am divorced now and both my son’s are grown, I got my self Long Hair Silver dapple minature duchshund and I named him Jasper.

  49. I named my daughther Jasper just from the purity of the name also this beautiful stone is mentioned in the bible as a stone in Gods body….its a precious stone like a diamond, emerald, ruby etc.

    To me its a very soft and graceful name my daughter represents it well it also brings alot of positive attention to her.

  50. I have a 1 year old boy called jasper I knew as soon as I was pregnant that if I was having a boy jasper would be his name ;-) people were horrible why would you call a child that horrible name blah blah, I stood my ground and he 100% suits it, it can’t be shortened its unusual without being stupid! Sometimes I don’t like saying his name in public because people who I tell his name too say oooh what a lovely name I like it, I picked his name because it was different and when he went to school I didn’t want loads of jaspers so when people say they like the name and they want a baby I hope that they don’t pick jasper :-) I have yet to meet another jasper and that’s the way I like it! Although people do say did u name him after jasper carrot??? Seriously

  51. I am a 68 year old woman who probably doesn’t think “old.” I have always thought of Jasper as a name for either a boy or girl/man or woman. I adopted a female kitten who was named Jasper. So strange that two women I know, one my age, and one much younger want me to change her name because they think it is masculine. I think it a fantastic name for her. So does my 15 year old granddaughter, so Jasper she is!

  52. My youngest daughter name Jasper! Suit her well, her bright eyes and personality is treasured the most. I love the name same as her. There is no right or wrong is naming your children. It’s about the meaning and the hope and wishes they will be when grow up.

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