JARED: From the Hebrew for "descending." This name is pronounced "Jaor-ud" -- not "jarred" and it is finding a niche onthe popularity charts alongside Justin and Jason. Relatives: Jarrod, Jarrett. Namesakes: Keigh Jarrett, "Jared Barkley."
JARVIS: From the Old German for "true spear." Relative: Jervis. Namesake: Port Jervis.
JASMINE: From the Persian for a form of flowering olive. The jasmine flower is wonderfully fragrant. Relatives: Jasmin, Yasmin, Yasmine, Jasmina, Jessamine, Jessamyn. Namesakes: Ysmin Khan, Jessamyn West.
JASON: From the Greek for "healer" and possibly an early form of Joshua. Jason was a hero of Greek mythology. It seemed every other male child born in the 1970s was named Jason. Although it has slacked off a bit, this is still wildly popular. Relatives: Jayson, Jase, Jace. Namesakes: Jason Robards, "Jason and the Argonauts."
JASPER: Origin unknown; possibly form the Persian for "treasure." This stone is a type of striped quartz which, when polished, reveals miniature "landscapes." Relatives: Jaspar, Caspar, Casper, Cap, Kaspar, Kasper, Gaspar. Namesakes: Jasper Johns, Caspar Weinberger, Karl Jaspers, "Casper the Friendly Ghost," Jasper National Park.
JAY: Old French for "jay bird." The term "jaywalker" evolved from a slang term for a gullible person new to the big city. If Jay strikes you as too informal for a proper name, use James or Jason on the birth certificate. Relative: Jai. Namesakes: Jay Leno, Jay Rockefeller, "Jay Gatsby."