32 Beautiful Baby Names With an 'X' Factor

letter x

Not too long ago, the letter X was avoided like the plague when it came to naming babies. But no more: X is now the the letter many parents strive to include. And while Angelina Jolie is partly responsible,  -- with kids Maddox, Pax, and Knox -- the X trend has been slowing gathering steam since long before Brangelina's babies were born.


"Since the 1870s, the percentage of babies getting x-names has risen tenfold," says Laura Wattenberg, founder of the baby naming site Baby Name Wizard. "The overarching reason is that X is the letter of the alphabet with the most attitude."

Toss in the X-games, X-Files, and X-Men, and that only reinforces the idea that X is edgy and special, that something "x-tra" parents crave in a name. Here's how you can hop on this trend yourself. 

Baby names with an X

Boy names

Alexander: The ancient Roman conquerer Alexander the Great gives this name a noble ring; in the U.S., it's been one of the top 25 baby names since 1991. It's also spawned a ton of nicknames, like Alex, Zander, Xan, even Sasha (what parents Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber call their own Alexander).

Max: This name is often short for longer verions -- Maximus, Maximilian -- but is also a popular name in its own right, chosen by celebs from Cynthia Nixon to Christina Aguilera. Meanwhile skater Scott Hamilton doubled up on the X-factor by naming his son Maxx.

Xavier: Long popular as a middle name (often following Francis), Xavier is increasingly getting first name status (just ask Donnie Wahlberg and Tilda Swinton). The X-men comics also introduced a hip new spelling: Xzavier.

Jaxon: This name is part of a new trend where parents sub in "x" where it's normally not -- Jaxon instead of Jackson. In certain areas of the southwest, Jaxon has even surpassed the popularity of Jackson and becomea a top five baby name! Plus it comes with a cool nickname: Jax.

Axel: This name has that heavy metal rocker sheen, thanks to Guns N' Roses' Axl Rose. Will Ferrell picked this name for his third son; Tiger Woods chose it as a middle name for his son Charlie. And get this: in spite of its rock 'n roll roots, it means father of peace.

Dexter: This is the name of a serial killer in a popular Showtime series, but that dark reference only seems to add to this name's edgy appeal. Diana Krall and Elvis Costello named one of their twin boys Dexter, which can be shortened to Dex.

Rex: Natascha McElhone, Niki Taylor and Coldplay's Will Champion and have Rexes in their families, and for good reason: this name means "king" and carries a cool yet regal air.

Phoenix: Named after a mythic bird that symbolizes immortality, this name has the celebrity sheen via Joaquin and the later River.

Xerxes: If you want double the X-power, consider this name, which means "hero of heroes" and once graced not just one, but two Persian kings.

Maddox: After Jolie chose this masculine name for her adopted son in 2003, Maddox has skyrocketed in popularity. It's also fueled the craze for all names with 'x,' in both Jolie's family and in general.

Pax: Jolie's Vietnamese-born son was given this name, which is Latin for peaceful.

Knox: Jolie and Pitt (whose great-great-grandfather was named Hal Knox Hillhouse) gave their son this name, wich is Scottish for "round hill," althoug you're probably more familiar with the more modern reference of Fort Knox.

Bronx: This rough-n-tough borough of New York made baby name fame when Rockers Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz named their son this.

Lexington: This is a "place name" (a town in Massachusetts and Kentucky), but also has a cute nickname, Lex. 

Baxter: It means "baker" but sounds so much cooler.

Felix: Latin for "happy and fortunate," this name was picked by Gillian Anderson and Elizabeth Banks for their baby boys.

More from The Stir: Quiz: What's Your Perfect Baby Name?

Girl names

Alexandria: This turned the ho-hum Alexandra into a more distinctive "place" name, after the ancient city in Egypt. David Bowie and Iman named their daughter this name, which was shortened to the sweet nickname "Lexi."

Alexis: This name shot to popularity with Dynasty's Alexis Carrington in the 1980s, and has had staying power ever since as a sleek, sexy name. One popular variation is Alexa.

Maxwell: Long considered a boy name, Maxwell has become equally popular among girls after Jessica Simpson and Lindsay Sloane chose this name for their daughters.

Maxine: A more feminine "Max" name with political clout, thanks to California Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

Moxie: Penn Jillette named his daughter Moxie Crimefighter... which is a bit much, but Moxie has, well, a lot of moxie in its own right. 

Beatrix: It's "Beatrice" with an edge, with respectable roots thanks to children's book author Beatrix Potter. It also doesn't hurt that Quentin Tarantino's trendy Kill Bill movies starred Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman) kicking butt.

Bellatrix: J.K. Rowling gave this name to an evil witch played by Helena Bonham Carter in her Harry Potter books; plus it means "female warrior" and is one of the stars in the constellation Orion. Plus you can shorten to Bella.

Pixie: So cute -- and it's also Swedish for sprite or fairy.

Roxy: Also spelled Roxie, this name has showgal glam (think Roxie Hart from Chicago) but has also appeared in kid shows like Hannah Montana and Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

Xena: It's TV's famous warrior princess! It's also Greek for welcoming.

Dixie: This sassy name is also a "place name" for the states south of the Mason Dixon line, but it's more than that going for it: Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill and wife Lily Aldridge named their daughter Dixie Pearl in 2012.

Oxsana: A snazzier spelling of Oksana, the name came into our consciousness due to Ukrainian figure skater Oksana Baiul. It's also Russian for "praise to God."

Calixta: A more exotic form of Calista -- and also a character in the short story "The Storm" by Kate Chopin, so it has some literary appeal.

Lux: It means "light" in Latin... and also just begs for this baby to be pampered with cashmere booties and jewel-encrusted pacifiers.

Roxana: She was the wife of Alexander the Great, and the name is Persian for "little star."

Nyx: In Greek mythology, Nyx is the goddess of night... and a very daring name for a girl.

What do you think of baby names with an 'X'?

For more great baby name ideas, visit BabyNameWizard

Image via KuKanDo/shutterstock

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