Category: X names
The stars, they’re just like us. They shop for groceries. Run out for coffee. And celebrity parents love names with vibrant, exciting letters like V, X, and Z – just like the rest of the world.
Names featuring V, X, and Z aren’t novel. One hundred years ago, parents were naming their daughters Evelyn and Virginia. Melvin, Marvin, Vernon, and Alvin were all up-and-comers circa 1914. Max, Felix, and Hazel have had good runs before, and rarities like Zenobia and Zola aren’t quite as rare as you might guess.
The list of nominees for the 83rd Academy Awards came out last week. Even though the only category in which I’ve actually seen all the contenders is Best Animated Feature Film, I’ve been digging through the nominees to find the most intriguing name options.
Here are my picks for the most award-winning names from this year’s list of nominees:
- Atticus, as in Atticus Ross, Trent Reznor’s long-time collaborator. The duo is nominated for their work on “The Social Network.” (Hat tip to C in DC for pointing him out!)
- Jem, the unusual nickname for James favored by Jeremy Renner’s character in “The Town.”
- Laser, the given name of the younger Hutcherson kid in the much-nominated “The Kids Are All Right.” (shown in illustration)
- Aron, the slimmed-down Scandinavian variant of Aaron worn by real life mountain climber Aron Ralston. James Franco could win Best Actor for his portrayal of Ralston in “127 Hours.”
- Bastien, from French filmmaker Bastien Dubois, nominated for “Madagascar, a Journey Diary.” Best Animated Short Film doesn’t get much press, but Dubois’ given name – a short form of Sebastian – could catch on.
- Hendrix, from Guy Hendrix Dyas, nominated for production design on “Inception.” If x-names from Felix to Jaxon can catch on, why not Hendrix? Dyas isn’t exactly a household name, but there’s Jimi Hendrix, too.
- Leonardo DiCaprio is a household name, and his character from “Inception” – Dom – could fit right in with Jack and Cole.
- Lastly, there’s a pleasing pair of English appellations from “The King’s Speech.” Geoffrey Rush played Lionel Logue, speech therapist to King George VI. There’s also Cosmo, as in the given name of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Lionel and Cosmo strike me as quite stylish names for small boys, even if the characters are rather serious.
Other famous babies making their debuts this week include Mike and Lahika Tyson’s son Morocco Elijah and Coco Reese Lakshmi, a daughter for No Doubt bassist Tony Kanal and girlfriend Erin Lokitz. We also learned that model Doutzen Kroes and DJ Sunnery James gave their son Phyllon a happy middle name – Joy.
Next week we’ll look at the Girls’ List of Oscar-inspired names, and find out if Best Actor nominee Javier Bardem and equally talented wife Penélope Cruz reveal the name they’ve chosen for their little star.
The nameberry contributor known to us as “Auburn” ruminates here on that most powerful and mysterious initial: X.
We all know this naming business is tricky, especially if your aim is to find unusual monikers which still have history — and if you’re browsing Nameberry then it probably is. You think you’ve found one, you get excited … and then you meet five Violets in a day and realize that perhaps #141 is too popular for you after all.
The letter Y has lost some of its magic after various incriminations recently, involving either the addition of Y’s to perfectly Y-free names (looking at you, Addysyn), or the apparent abhorrence of Y’s by others (Ashleigh). What about its generally ignored neighbor, though? Every time I see an X name it catches my eye. I think “Wow, X? Crazy!” X is daring and attention-grabbing; it’s a shortcut to awesome in the baby naming world.
The Jolie-Pitts clearly realized the power of this not-so-humble letter when they used it to round off their three sons’ names: Maddox, Pax and Knox. In the same vein, Max is hot at the moment, but it is X in front that is still that Holy Grail of naming: rare.
According to the site http://yournotme.com, which searches the records to find people in Britain aged over 18 with a certain name, the top 10 X names include 7 Chinese names (Xiao, Xin, Xuan, Xiu, Xue, Xiang and Xing, for the record). The others are Xavier (795 of them), Xenia (330), and Xanthe (309). In contrast, the top A name, Andrew, can boast 508,320 bearers across the British Isles.
Due to the large Hispanic population of North America, Ximena and Xiomara also chart at #311 and #909 respectively. Ximena is the feminine version of Ximeno, a Spanish name alternatively claimed to be a version of Simon or from the Basque for son, seme . Xiomara is the Spanish version of Guiomar, a name for either gender that belonged to a male character of Arthurian legend who was banished for his affair with Morgan le Fey.
The UK has its own pretty, feminine X name, Xanthe, which currently stands at #778. It should be noted that that means it was only given to 44 babies, though, due to the relatively small size of Britain. Xanthe is a lovely Greek choice meaning ‘fair hair’ and can also appear in the variation Xanthia.
Strangely enough, the US can also claim many a little Xzaviers, which comes in at #586. In my opinion it’s preferable to use unusual letters in moderation, readers. Just one in a sea of A’s, E’s, and R’s looks so much more striking than Xyzvyq, which gives the impression you were leaning on the keyboard.