Etymologically speaking, Jett is based on the word "jet." Not jet as in the aircraft, or Jet as in the football team, but jet as in the type of coal.
That's right -- coal. Jet is a variety of coal that has long been valued as an ornamental stone. It's been carved into beads and other types of jewelry for thousands of years. In fact, jet's deep color is what gave rise to the common description "jet black."
The rock's name can be traced back to the Greek phrase gagates lithos, which means "stone of Gages." Gages was a place in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) where jet was mined in ancient times.
So, in essence, Jett is a nature name. But while most nature names immediately remind you of their sources, the meaning behind Jett has been obscured by a slew of modern associations. For instance, names like Jade, Pearl and Ruby were obviously inspired by the gemstones -- but when people hear the name Jett, they think of jet airplanes, jet engines, the New York Jets, and other things that have nothing to do with coal. (Jett's feminine form, Jetta, almost certainly brings to mind the Volkswagen Jetta.) These associations give Jett (and Jetta) a certain contemporary edginess, but belie their organic origin.
Jett is not very popular in the United States right now, but has been picking up steam since since debuting among the top 1,000 baby names in the nation about a decade ago:
These numbers -- plus Jett's similarity to trendier names like Jade, Jace and Brett -- suggest that Jett will continue to climb the charts.
(Jetta hasn't ranked at all for baby girls during the last century, but this may soon change based on the growing popularity of Jett.)
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