Biblical name, borne by the father of Moses's wife Zipporah (Exodus 3:1; 4:18). It seems to be a variant of the Hebrew name Ithra, said to mean ‘excellence’, which is found at 2 Samuel 17:25. It was popular among the Puritans, but then fell out of general use. It was borne by the agricultural reformer Jethro Tull (1674–1741). In 1968 a rock group in Britain adopted the name Jethro Tull, and shortly afterwards the given name Jethro enjoyed a revival of popularity.