X Marks the Middle Spot


X is an undeniably cool letter when it comes to baby names, but names that start with X are limited – Xavier, Xanthe, and, uh… — and names that end with x such as Max and Alex have become overused in recent years.

The solution, for the x-loving baby namer, may be to find a name that carries an x in the middle.  Here, a wide range of choices to consider:

Abraxas – This unusual and powerful name is derived from Persian mythology, and dates back to ancient Egyptian Gnostics who worshiped Abraxas as the Supreme Being.

Alexa and Alexis – Among the most popular names on this list, these creative and sophisticated-sounding names are variations of the Greek Alexander family and mean “defending men.”

Alexander and AlexandraEloquent, regal, and timeless, these historically rich names offer short forms that either start or end with x: Xan for boys, Xandra for girls, Alex for either.

Axel – This German name meaning “father of peace” is packing a heavy metal punch since the popularity of Guns N’ Roses’ front man Axl Rose. Yet it is also the Scandinavian form for Absalom, a son of King David.

Baxter Baxter is a surname-name derived from the English occupational name Baker. Peaking in popularity in 1886, this traditional name is prime for a comeback.

Braxton – Sitting in the Top 200, this English name has steadily climbed the popularity charts with the premier of singer Toni Braxton’s Reality TV Show Braxton Family Values.

Calixta and Calixto – These Greek names meaning “beautiful” also have spiritual appeal; in Spain Calixto was the name of three popes, one of whom was Calixtus I, a martyr and a saint.

Dexter Jazzy and full of spark, this Latin name also delivers the effortlessly cool nickname Dex. In the past year it’s jumped 70 places in popularity thanks to the inspirational television serial killer, landing at Number 384.

Dixie, Pixie, and Trixie – Three adorable choices, Dixie means “tenth”, Pixie means “fairy” and Trixie is short for Beatrix, which means “she who brings happiness”.

HuxleyHuxley honors the author of “Brave New World” Aldous Huxley, with wonderfully majestic sounding Hux for short.

Jaxon – Adding the x-factor to the alternate spelling of Jackson bumped this trending name into the Top 100 in 2011. Amplifying the cool even more, Sons of Anarchy character Jackson Teller goes by Jax.

Maxon, Maxwell, Maxfield, Maximilian, Maxine – Why stop at Max when you can go all the way to one of these x-in-the-middle variations?  Well, we can think of a lot of reasons, but for the parent who prefers a more elaborate proper name, these elaborations offer a range of styles, from the modern Maxon to the ancient Maximilian.

Paxton – This name meaning “peace town” is predominantly used for boys but sometimes for girls too, with the short form Pax.

Praxis – Though this rare mythological name sounds masculine, it is actually another name for the Greek goddess Aphrodite.

Roxane and Roxana – These Persian names derived in Persia have impressive historic and literary pedigrees: Roxana was the wife of Alexander the Great and Roxane was the heroine of Cyrano De Bergerac. Modern forms include Roxanna and Roxanne.

Texas – The place-name Texas derives from a Caddo Indian word meaning “allies” or “friendship.”  Texas is one of a new generation of place-names ready to rise.

Xerxes – It starts with an x but it’s got an x in the middle too.  This male name meaning “monarch” is best known as the leader of Persia during the Battle of Salamis in 480 B.C.E.

Thanks for research help for this blog to new Nameberry intern Denise K. Potter.

About the Author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry. The coauthor of ten bestselling baby name books, Redmond is an internationally-recognized name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show,, CNN, and the BBC. Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its new sequel, Older.

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