Thursday, August 20, 2009

Choosing Jareth's name

When we tell people what we are naming our son the response is generally a raised brow followed by a pause waiting for us to further explain our choice. Older people especially seem to be turned off by the name. I don't know how many times I have been told that he will be called Jared or Jarett all of his life. One person even said that the name sounded like a lisp. Younger people warm up to it quickly and of course for most of our family members the name sounds natural now. There have only been a small handfull of people who when I say "Jareth" know exactly where we got the name from and get excited about it.
Some may laugh but I initially fell in love with the name Jareth when I watched the movie Labyrinth. David Bowie plays the part of Jareth, the "goblin king," in this 1986 dark, family film. In the film a 15-year-old girl (played by Jennifer Connelly) wishes her baby brother away to the Goblin King Jareth who will keep him forever if she does not complete his Labyrinth within 13 hours. It was directed by Jim Hensen and the majority of the film's characters are puppets. If you haven't seen Labyrinth, I highly recommend it. David Bowie is fabulous.
Okay, back to choosing Jareth as our son's name. Jonathan told me in highschool that he wanted to give his son the initials JGA. These initials are shared by Jon, his brother, and a few of his cousins. I thought of the name Jareth immediately and he thought it was cool. The middle name, Grae, was just pulled out of Jon's head. He chose the name and the spelling. We kept this name in the back of our minds for several years.
Another name we considered for our little boy was Thomas Jettie. My grandmother's name was Tommie Jean and Jon's grandfather's name was Jettie Clinton. I was very close to my grandmother and wanted to name my child for her and Jon wanted to do the same out of respect for his grandfather. When we told our family's that we were thinking of this name we got mixed reviews. Jon's grandmother said she never liked the name Jettie (which made us laugh) and my sister named her son Thomas after his father. So we were torn. One name was already being used and the other wasn't liked by the one person who we felt we were choosing this name for. So, we pulled Jareth Grae back out of the hat.
After we chose the name Jareth I was interested in what the name meant. I have only been able to find Jareth in two places. Both say it is an invented name (but aren't they all?). One said that it is a blend of Jarah and Gareth. Jarah meaning "God gives sweetness" and was a decendant of Jonathan, son of King Saul. Gareth means "gentleness" and was the name of one of the knights of King Arthur's round table who was noted for his bravery. Perfect!
I do still plan to name a child after my grandmother. Whether we have a boy or a girl we will use a part of her name for our next child. If it is a boy his name may be Thomas or maybe even Campbell and if it is a girl, her middle name will be Jean.


Heather said...

I am so glad you blogged about this, because I was trying to tell Steven about the meanings you found online. :)

p.s. I've loved the name from the beginning ;)

hope said...

I love the name and I LOVE Labyrinth. Since I was a little girl. I used to pretend like I was Sarah and quote the lines while putting on lipstick :)...our kids have peculiar names too and are both named after 2 really cool villains. Lex Luther (and, of course short for Alexander too) and Cole, a great complex villain on Charmed (our secret guilty pleasure show...shh don't tell). It was not our intention to name them after villains but we thought they were cool names. So, there you go.