Its source is Iason, a Greek name meaning "Healer."
The Greek mythical hero Iason led his famous Argonauts in pursuit of the Golden Fleece. Later, Greek Biblical translators applied this name to the Hebrew character Yehoshua (known to English speakers as Joshua).
Father and son actors both named Jason Robards gained reknown in the early and mid 20th century. Add to this Jason's strategic use on popular television shows such as Room 222 and Here Come the Brides, and we understand why its use soared among modern Americans.
A reaction has set in, however. Jason's image changed somewhat when an unkillable monster with that name terrified movie-goers in the Friday the 13th series of films. Also, a popular naming book has suggested in its title that Jason (along with Jennifer) is a name we should get ''beyond.''