Hi Duana
We are pregnant, and while I would love to find out the gender ASAP hubby would love it to be a surprise until birth, so I will do that for him. I figure between conceding that PLUS giving birth he will owe me big time!  We are lucky to have agreed on both a girl's name *and* boy's name. So what's the problem?

I am having MASSIVE doubts about our name for a boy - Saxon. I have loved it since first hearing it about 20 years ago. Hubby loves it too which is great as I thought his other suggestions were.....questionable. We immediately agreed it was fantastic, uncommon and flows well with our surname (two syllables, rhymes with quicksand). BUT! It then dawned on me that the format of this name is essentially...well...Jaxon. Or Braxton. Or whatever other common/made-up names with "x" in the middle that are out there at the moment. I can't bear the thought of little Saxon being continually misheard as Jaxon/Braxton et al.

I would love to hear your thoughts on whether the "x" is more like a cross indicating "no", we shouldn't use this name. Is Saxon distinctive enough to be separated from the others? Perhaps you have some other similar suggestions that we might like instead? For reference one or both of us have vetoed Hunter, Oscar, Sebastian, Jude and Elliot. We are not due until January but hubby is leaving in August (military) and won't return until a few weeks before my due date - I really don't want to finalise our future child's name via sporadic and unreliable emails, so am anxious to resolve this one way or another before he goes.

Thanks for any advice you can offer!


Wow, I’ve really never gotten a question like this before, and I have to commend you because this is very thoughtful. Also, I should give you a bit of reassurance; 99% (numbers not scientific) of people who write to me saying ‘we only have trouble with a name for with one gender’ inevitably write back saying ‘Hey, don’t worry about it, we had the other one!’ So maybe the answer is ‘don’t stress so much, you’ll have a girl’.

But let’s say that’s not the answer. Here’s what I did when I read your letter: “Oh, Saxon, eh? Okay, so what, was it her uncle’s ….oh – oh. Oh yeah. Wow.” Translated, that means that I never would have thought of Saxon as one of those names, but I recognize that I have the benefit of having seen it in print. 

But Saxon is, if not a common name, definitely a word. Outside of history books, you’re rarely going to hear it, and even more rarely without ‘Anglo’ in front. So this is one of those things where in the actual letter of the law, yes, you’re in the right.  But will that matter when Jaxon and Saxon are best friends in first grade with Grayson and Easton and Braxley? The question isn’t whether or not it would be a great and distinctive choice for your son, but whether it will feel that way for a baby born in 2016 – and whether you’ll hate it as a result. 

So I’m leaning towards no, or towards ‘put it in the middle’. I’m sorry – I know. So for ideas, I wonder if you want to step a popularity level down from where you’ve been. What about Gideon? What about Cyrus? Dashiell? Ezra? Jonah? Pavel, which I heard at the park yesterday? If you’re missing your ‘n’  at the end, how about Finnegan or Dean or Solomon? Or if these are too out there, let me know – we can always do an emergency round before your husband leaves. I’m sorry!

Note: Please send your name emails, once only, to [email protected] - duplicates or those sent to Lainey ‘just in case’ will be deleted.