The usual English form of the name assigned in Christian folklore to one of the three Magi or ‘wise men’, who brought gifts to the infant Christ at his birth (Matthew 2:1). The name does not appear in the Bible, and is first found in medieval tradition. It seems to be ultimately of Persian origin, from a word meaning ‘treasurer’. There is probably no connection with the English vocabulary word jasper denoting a gemstone, which is of Semitic origin. The name was introduced into England from the Low Countries in the Middle Ages and, although it never became popular, continued to be widely used in parts of the north. Well-known bearers include British comedian Jasper Carrott (b. 1945 as Robert Davies) and the fashion designer Jasper Conran (b. 1959).