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'Red Dead Redemption' Players Are Just Now Realising That Jack Marston's Name Isn't Jack

'Red Dead Redemption' Players Are Just Now Realising That Jack Marston's Name Isn't Jack

This naming convention was a common practice at the time that Red Dead Redemption is set.

Imogen Donovan

Imogen Donovan

People. Come on. You're pulling my leg here. Red Dead Redemption players among us: raise your hand if you knew that Jack Marston, son of John Marston, isn't actually called "Jack."

Ok. Judging by the traction that this post got in the game's subreddit, I'm guessing I'm going to have to explain some history in this article. In the Middle Ages, "Jack" was a word meaning "man." Think of the number of fairytales, nursery rhymes and proverbs that use the name, like Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack Frost, Little Jack Horner, and so on. In order to make a diminutive name, medieval English people would add "-kin" on the end of a name. "John" would become "Jankin," which turned into "Jackin" and then "Jack" became a name in its own right.

At the time that the Red Dead Redemption series is set, it was a common thing to name sons and daughters after other members of the family for inheritance and legacy. John and Abigail's son is named "John," too, however his parents and the gang refer to him as "Jack." "John" and "Jack" are historically connected names and the differentiation helps work out which John is where. So, Jack Marston is in fact John "Jack" Marston Jr.

Simple, isn't it? Just like throwing a tomahawk at a bridge and catapulting Arthur Morgan to Guarma. Check out our compilation of ridiculous wins and fails below.

So, the Red Dead Redemption community is torn on this post that reveals Jack's name to be "John" instead. Half of them aren't surprised and claim that they have family and friends who are legally named "John" but use the name "Jack", and the other half of them are cracking jokes about other nicknames like "Bill" and "Billiam", "Glen" and "Glenry" and "Jim" and "Jimothy."

"Would be confusing in a gunfight to yell out JOHN, and there be two of them," rationalised Nomad_Gui. "I think. I've never been in a gunfight." Some are positing that Abigail started calling baby John "Jack" after John Marston left the gang for a year because he didn't believe that the child was his. This is due to the fact that Abigail joined the gang in 1894, had sexual relationships with most of the members of the Van der Linde gang, and gave birth to Jack in 1895.

Arthur Morgan even has doubts over Jack's paternity. "You don't look much like a Marston... maybe a Williamson or an Escuela," he tells the boy in one scene. Ultimately, it doesn't matter because John is Jack's father as he is the one who raises him, teaches him how to survive in this world, and dies to protect him in the end.

Featured Image Credit: Rockstar Games

Topics: Rockstar Games, News, Red Dead Redemption