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10 Xcellent Underused Baby Names

Dynamic names with X at the beginning, middle and end.

posted by: karacavazos View all posts by this author

By Kara Cavazos, The Art of Naming

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 that contain this letter and are not currently ranking within the Top 1000. If you’re looking for a unique and bold name, this list is for you!

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

Beatrix (Number 1332 – 175 births in 2014)

This name has been floating around the Nameberry forums here and there, though many parents seem to prefer Beatrice.  Do you like the bold and sassy Beatrix more? She certainly offers the same nickname of Bea, but will also give you Trixie which is adorable and playful.  Beatrix 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 an adventurous and happy name for a modern girl.

Calixta (6 recorded births in 2014)

I have always admired Calixta and similar names but it seems as though I’m one of the 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.  These names deserve more attention. After all, they stem from the Greek Kallistos which means “most beautiful,” which is a very desirable meaning. Some of the variations have belonged to popes and saints.  Calixta is listed as the Spanish and Portuguese form.

Lux  (Number 1693  – 124 female 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. It has only been in use since 2001 in the US despite being rooted in ancient Latin. The Spanish form, Luz is much more popular for girls. I 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 long and feminine first name. Penelope Lux? Alexandra Lux? It is pronounced like “lucks.”

Roxana (Number 1900 – 105 births in 2014)

Roxana 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. Roxana is the Latin form of the Persian or Bactrian name Roshanak which meant “bright” or “dawn.” I think this name could make a lovely and graceful comeback someday. Many parents already love names containing Ana– or -ana; throw in the fun and spunky X and this name is even better! Plus it works internationally!

Xiomara (Number 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 stems from the Germanic Wigmar, meaning “famous in war.” The masculine Guiomar has medieval, Arthurian roots via a cousin of Lady Guinevere. Still, 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, which I didn’t want to feature. I wanted to find some unusual but cool choices that you may have never considered before. Here are five interesting, unranked names for boys containing the letter X:

Baxter  (Number 1932  – 74 births in 2014)
Baxter is interesting in that it is used as a masculine name but comes from an occupational surname meaning “(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. Plus, Bax would fit in with all the boys named Max or Dax or Jax. An unusual but interesting option!

Huxley (Number 1358  – 125 births in 2014, plus 18 female births)
Huxley is a very distinguished surname name. It was most famously worn by Aldous Huxley, author of  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 (Number 2537  – 48 births in 2013)

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” examples. If Max is too short for you, Maxim too related to the magazine, and other options like Maximilian are too long, Maxen is a great choice! It is bold, unique, and to-the-point.

Theroux (Zero births on record in 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 attention – at least not enough to include it. Since information is limited, I can tell you that Theroux is most commonly a surname, which perhaps just hasn’t transitioned 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.)

Xanthus is brother to the feminine name Xanthe. It comes from the Greek 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 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 share it.

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

 

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About the author

karacavazos

Kara Cavazos is a mother of two, a blogger and a baby name enthusiast. She loves ancient and vintage names most of all but she regularly features a variety of names on her blog The Art of Naming.
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6 Responses to “10 Xcellent Underused Baby Names”

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smartie352 Says:

July 1st, 2015 at 4:17 am

I was surprised by Xanthus’ extremely low popularity. Because the funny thing is, I have heard of it before now. I think Xanthus deserves some serious attention!

sanctanomina Says:

July 1st, 2015 at 5:38 am

Beatrix and Maxen are my faves from your lists. I also love Xanthe and Xenia for girls.

greenypots Says:

July 1st, 2015 at 6:50 am

These are all lovely but my favourite unusual x name is Maxine, I’m obsessed with it!

senseandsensibility Says:

July 1st, 2015 at 9:20 am

I really really like Xiomara! 🙂

samilb Says:

July 15th, 2015 at 2:46 pm

I LOVE the name Xael/Xaelle (pronounced Zay-elle). Seems so powerful- nice middle name for a girl in my opinion.

vintageisfave Says:

August 31st, 2015 at 2:54 pm

I can’t believe you didn’t have Xanthea, or even Xanthe, although I prefer the first one. Seriously! I LOVE Xanthea!!!!

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