Jump to content

Casper (given name)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Casper (with the same sounding Kasper) is a family and personal name derived from Aramaic that means "Treasurer". The origins of the name have been traced as far back as the Old Testament and variations of the name have been adopted by a variety of cultures and languages.


The name is derived from Gaspar which in turn is from an ancient Chaldean word, "gizbar", which according to Strong's Concordance means "treasurer".[1] The word "gizbar" appears in the Hebrew version of the Old Testament Book of Ezra (1:8). In fact, the modern Hebrew word for "treasurer" is still gizbar (גזבר). By the 1st century B.C. the Septuagint gave a Greek translation of "gizbar" in Ezra 1:8 as "gasbarinou" (literally, "son of Gasbar"). The transition from "Gizbar" to "Caspar" and "Kaspar" can thus be summarized as: Gizbar→Gasbar→Gaspar→Caspar→Kaspar... with "C" being a misreading of the manuscript "G" and "K" having the same phonetic value as "C".

There are numerous modern variations such as Gaspar (Catalan, Portuguese and Spanish), Gaspare (Italian), Gaspard (French), Kaspar (Dutch, German), Kašpar (Czech), Casper (Dutch, English), Caspar (Dutch), Kacper (Polish), Kasperi (Finnish), Kasper (Danish, Swedish), Gáspár (Hungarian), Гаспар (Russian) and Kaspars (Latvian).

The Three Wise men in Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna (Italy)

By the 6th century, the name "Gaspar" was recorded in mosaic at the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy as one of the traditional names assigned by folklore to the anonymous Magi mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew account of the Nativity of Jesus. The letter "G" in the name Gaspar was clearly different from the letter "C" used elsewhere, suggesting that the name Gaspar preceded the name Caspar, and not the other way around as some have supposed.

The Western tradition of the name Gaspar also derives from an early 6th century Greek manuscript, Gaspar

Individuals named Casper[edit]

Fictional Characters[edit]

See also[edit]