Name Bank

Behind the Name: Casper

You know him as the Friendly Ghost, etymology knows Casper as “treasurer” in Persian.

Finding the perfect name for a character is a common plight for writers, and while we can’t end your search completely, Plan Your Muse can add this name and its history to the back of your mind for the next time. More importantly, we recommend that you use this as inspiration for writing prompt, make it a brief character study. Get into their head and show us who they really are.

MEANING & HISTORY

Casper is actually the Dutch and Scandinavian form of Jasper, which means “treasurer” in Persian. And while most people might associate Jasper with its more recent namesakes like the character from Steven’s Universe, a vampire from the Twilight series, or an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. called Jasper Sitwell, the name was assigned to one of the three wise men, who visited the baby Jesus. You won’t find names of the three kings/ wise men/ Magi in the bible, but you can find them within Judeo-Christian Legend. According to Western tradition, Caspar, also known as Gaspar, Gathaspa, or Jaspar, was an Indian scholar or sometimes a king of India. He is often portrayed as a young beardless man, who brought frankincense.

Variants of the name were commonly used in the English-speaking world during the Middle Ages and during the 1890s, Casper and Jasper saw a spike in popularity in the United States. Both, died off by the 1940s until Stephenie Meyer brought back the name Jasper in 2010. Although, I like to think that everyone was just super into naming their children after the gemstone instead of the vampire.

RELATED NAMES

Variant: Caspar; Gaspar; Gathaspa; Gazsi; Jasper; Jesper; Kasper;

Nickname: Cas – This is also a diminutive name for Castiel. Thanks, Supernatural!

Looking for another Behind the Name prompt? Check out Agatha.

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