Sunday, April 6, 2014

10 Xcellent Underused Names for Boys & Girls


The letter X is bold and interesting. While there are attractive names that begin with the letter X, options are somewhat limited. There are, however, quite a few options that contain the letter X within the name. Let's take a look at some names that contain this letter and are not currently ranking within the top 1000 names. If you're looking for a unique and bold name, this list is for you!

Girls:

There are plenty of lovely X names for a girl. Many of these could be described as elegant with just a pinch of bad-ass thrown in. Here are five of my favorite, unranked X-names and a little bit of info about each of them:

Beatrix (#1332 - 175 births in 2014)
This name has been floating around the forums here and there recently. However, many parents seem to prefer Beatrice instead.  Do you like the bold and sassy Beatrix more? She certainly offers the same nickname of Bea, but she'll also give you Trixie which is adorable and playful.  She comes from the name Viatrix which is a feminine form of the Late Latin name Viator meaning "voyager or traveler". This name was later altered due to its association with the Latin beatus which means "blessed".  However, contemporary sources seem to insist that this name means "Bringer of Joy" or "She who brings happiness".  Either way, Beatrix is a playful, adventurous and happy name for a modern girl.

Calixta (6 births in 2014). A total of 30 births recorded since 2000)  
I have always admired Calixta and similar names like it but it seems as though I'm one of a few who do. Calista peaked in 1999 thanks to Ally McBeal's leading lady, but none of the other Cal- names seem to be loved. This includes the masculine Calix, Calixte and Calixto . I think it is a pity that these names haven't caught on. After all, they stem from the Greek Kallistos which means "most beautiful". I'd say that's a very desirable meaning. Some of the variations even belonged to popes and saints.  Calixta is listed as the Spanish and Portuguese form.

Lux  ((#1693 - 124 births in 2014. 27 male births.) 
Lux is the Latin word for "light". This could be used for both boys and girls but I chose to list it for a girl. This name has only been in use since 2001 in the US despite being rooted in ancient Latin. The Spanish form, Luz , is much more popular than Lux for a girl. I happen to like the quirkiness of the unexpected X in Lux a bit more. This would make for a very cool middle name to balance out a very long and feminine first name. Penelope Lux? Alexandra Lux? It is pronounced like "lucks".

Roxana (#1900 - 105 births in 2014) 
Before you yell at me for offering you a "dated" name, hear me out. I agree. Roxana is old. She dates way back to the ancient Roman and Greek era. She also saw lots of love in the 17th century, even inspiring a novel in 1724. It is the Latin form of Ρωξανη (Roxane), the Greek form of the Persian or Bactrian name روشنک (Roshanak) which meant "bright" or "dawn". I think this name could make a lovely and graceful come back someday. Many parents already love names with Ana- or -ana in them. Throw in the fun and spunky X and this name is even better! Plus it works internationally!

Xiomara (#1239 - 195 births in 2014)
Speaking of international names, the lovely Xiomara is most popular in Spanish communities. However, it comes from the name Guiomar which comes from the Germanic Wigmar meaning "famous in war". The masculine Guiomar has medieval, Arthurian roots as a cousin of Lady Guinevere. However, Xiomara is very feminine and well used in Portugal and Spain. It still resides outside of the US Top 1000 but it is far from unheard of.


Boys:

The boys' names were a bit more difficult to narrow down. There are certainly some interesting choices as well as some "re-spellings" of other names such as Jaxon for Jackson. I didn't want to feature those. I wanted to find some unusual but cool choices that you may have never considered before. Here are five interesting, unranked names for boys with the letter X in them:

Baxter  (#1932 - 74 births in 2014)
Baxter is interesting. It is used as a masculine name but it comes from an occupational surname that means "(female) baker" in Old English. However, it tends to commonly refer to a baker of either gender these days. The X in this name definitely jazzes it up and makes it that much cooler than just Baker as a name. Plus, Bax would fit in with all the boys named Max or Dax or Jax. An unusual but cool option! Win!

Huxley (#1358 - 125 births in 2014.  18 female births.)
Huxley is a very distinguished surname name. It most famously was worn by author Aldous Huxley who wrote the novel Brave New World.  Huxley is another spunky first name choice for boys that is still flying under-the-radar. It remains unranked but it would fit in well with many of the more popular choices today. Plus, the nickname Hux is cool!

Maxen (#2547 - 48 births in 2014)
Maxen is the Welsh form of Maximus which means "greatest" in Latin. It ranks on the unusual and unknown side of the plethora of Max- names but it is one of those "short and sweet" names. If Max is too short for you, Maxim is too related to the magazine, and other options like Maximilian are too long, Maxen is a great choice! It is bold, unique, to-the-point and very cool!

Theroux (Zero births on record in the US ever.)
This is a name that I cannot actually find in very many databases. It clearly exists but nobody seems to pay it any mind - at least not enough to write about it. Since information is limited, I can tell you that Theroux is most commonly a surname. Perhaps it just hasn't made the transition to a first name yet.  Ancestry sites classify Theroux as a French surname with an uncertain origin. It could be the plural variant of the Occitan name Théron which means "well" and refers to someone living near the wells. It could also simply refer to someone from Toulouse, France. I think Theroux could join the ranks of other surnames being used as first names.

Xanthus (5 recorded births in 2013. 6 births in 2004. That's it.)
This is a masculine name, brother to the feminine name Xanthe. It comes from the Greek Ξάνθος (Xanthos) meaning "yellow" or "fair hair". Xanthos is the Greek form while Xanthus is Latin; these are used rather interchangeably. It was worn by many characters in Greek mythology and it is also the name of an ancient city in present day Turkey. As a baby name, Xanthus strikes me as a very cool and unusual choice. It is bold, full of history and virtually unknown. I love the nickname Xan, which would fit in with any and all Xanders or Alexanders who also use it.

What do you think of these unranked and under-appreciated X names? Which is your favorite?

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