Meaning: “treasurer; treasure bringer.”
Caspar, Casper and Jasper are Greek corruptions of an ancient Chaldean or Persian word, gizbar, which means “treasurer.” In modern Hebrew, gizbar is still the word for “treasurer.”
Traditionally, the name is attributed to one of the three Magi, or the Three Wise Men, who are noted for bearing the Christ child gifts. Gaspar is supposedly the one who brought frankincense.
The names of the Magi first appeared in Latin texts which date from the 9th-century C.E. Since then, the name has been in usage in Europe since the Middle Ages, and Gaspar/Caspar is attributed as a saint.
Currently, Jasper ranked in as the # 451st most popular male name in the United States. In Belgium, it is the 51st (2006) and in the Netherlands, the 35th (2008).
Casper did not make it into the U.S. top 1000, the name has not been in the top 1000 since 1933, when it came in as the 978th most popular male name for that year. Its disfavor may have been due to the popular children’s cartoon series, Casper the Friendly Ghost.
His rankings in other countries are as follows:
- # 77 (the Netherlands, 2008)
- # 86 (Norway, 2007)
- # 46 (Sweden, 2007)
Other forms of the name include:
- Karsudan (Amharic/Ethiopian)
- Kagpha (Armenian)
- Gasparu (Corsican)
- Kašpar (Czech)
- Jesper (Danish/Dutch/Norwegian/Swedish: YES-per. The 97th most popular male name in the Netherlands-2008, 56th most popular in Norway-2007 and the 74th most popular in Sweden-2007)
- Kasper/Kaspar (Danish/Dutch/German/Maltese/Norwegian/Swedish)
- Casper/Caspar (Dutch/English)
- Jasper (Dutch/English/German: pronounced YAHS-per in Dutch and German)
- Gaspard (French/Portuguese)
- Jaspert (Frisian)
- Gaspare (Italian: gahs-PAH-re)
- Gasparo/Gaspero (Italian)
- Gasparino/Gasperino (Italian)
- Caspar/Gasparus (Latin)
- Gaspars (Latvian)
- Kasparas (Lithuanian)
- Ġaspar (Maltese)
- Kacper (Polish: most common form)
- Kasper/Gaspar (Polish)
- Gašpar (Prekmurian)
- Chasper/Chispar (Romansch: diminutive is Chasprot)
- Hasper (Romansch)
- Papper (Romansch)
- Tgasper (Romansch)
- Aspano/Asparinu (Sicilian)
- Gašpar (Slovene/Croatian)
- Gaspar (Spanish/Basque/French/Occitanian)
- Gushnasaph (Syrian)
Feminine forms are the Dutch Jasperine, the French Gasparine and the Italian Gasparina.
The designated name-day is January 6th.