X Is For Xena, Xylina, And Other Xceptional Ladies


If you’re blessed with an X name, you’re probably pretty fierce — because you have to be.

Like Q names, X monikers are pretty uncommon. If your name is Xena, the Warrior Princess is probably the only other one you know. And if you’re Xylina, you’re probably always explaining, “It’s a Greek name that means ‘of the wooded land,’ and just because it sounds like a Star Trek character doesn’t mean it’s not awesome.” Just as Q names spur their bearers to acknowledge their own uniqueness, X names can force girls to assert that they’re not weirdos — or that it’s fine if they are. And this process can turn a kid into a badass.

Lucy Lawless’s Xena obviously knew how to kick ass and take names. And X is also the initial commonly bestowed on women too evil or scandalous to name. Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus named the self-absorbed villainness of The Nanny Diaries Mrs. X, leading to a flurry of speculation over who her real-life inspiration might be. In the underrated So I Married An Axe Murderer, Mrs. X is a woman who murders her husbands — and who may threaten the hapless Mike Myers. The subject of John Singer Sargent’s Portrait of Madame X isn’t a secret, but Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau sounds like every bit the femme fatale. Wikipedia describes her as a “professional beauty” who used her, um, “personal skills” to rise to the top of Parisian society, and who “wore lavender powder and prided herself on her appearance.” I can only imagine the trail of lavender and men she left in her wake — a Madame X, whether mother, lover, or murderess, is someone to watch out for.

Some X names are even rarer than Q names — while Quinn enjoyed a moment in the sun in 2006, neither Xena nor Xylina has never appeared in the top 1000 names. The awesome-sounding Xiomara did crack the top 1000, but its peak of #769 in 2005 still makes it pretty uncommon. This is bad news for X ladies who are sick of always spelling their names for people, but good for those who prefer to be women of mystery. And it may be good for us ordinary folk, who still have relatively few Mrs. Xs to fear.

Xena [Baby Name Wizard]
Xylina [Baby Name Wizard]
Xiomara [Baby Name Wizard]
Baby Girl Names – X [2BabyNames.com]

Earlier: W Is For Wendy, Who’ll Soothe Your Wounds
V Is For Valerie, A Hot Valentine
U Is For Ursula, Who’s Due For A Comeback
T Is For Taylor, A Trend That Should Die
S Is For Samantha, A Soccer-Playing, Hair-Modeling Ninja
R Is For Rachel, From Routine To Rad
Q Is For … Um …
P Is For Paula, Who’s A Little Bit Nutty
O Is For Olivia: Precocious, Passionate, & Up For A Lesbian Cruise
N Is For Natasha, A Femme Fatale
M Is For Michelle, An Elegant Mystery
L Is For Lisa, Whose Looks Are Deceiving
K Is For Kate, Who Kicks Ass, Takes Names
J Is For Jennifer, The Vanilla Of Names
I Is For Isabel, Who’s Snooty, But Earns It
H Is For Hillary, A Barrel Of Laughs
G Is For Grace – What’s That Up Her Sleeve?
F Is For Francesca, And I Wish I Were Her
E Is For Emily, Who Seems Sweet (At First)
D Is For Danielle (Or Dani, Who’s Apparently Kinda Judgey)
C Is For Courtney, Who’s Too Cool For School
B is for Beth (And Barack! And Bandana!)
A Is For Anna: What My First Name Says About Me

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin