Hi Duana,

My husband and I are on child number three and we are totally stumped on a name - somewhat due to our other children's names. We have a boy and a girl: Baxter and Margeaux. Those were both names we heard and were instinctively drawn to, oddly without realizing the 'x' similarities.

I'm not sure if we should go with our trend (continue with names that have an x) or continue with a completely different route. I don't want to be "that family" that has a thing with their children's names (all starting with the same name) but we can't think of anything that fits with what we have now - different and unusual in our area. We don't know whether the baby is a boy or a girl. I've toyed with Saxby, but it seems too... much?

Our due date is mid-October. Please help!


Welcome back, Margeaux! This column just can’t seem to quit you—deep devotees will remember a long debate about this name in late May.

I know that’s not the name up for debate, but it is the reason this question is going to work out in your favour. Here’s what I mean. Margeaux is, of course, only one of a few accepted spellings. I don’t automatically hear that name and think ‘oh, there’s an x’ the way I do with yes, Baxter, or Paxton or whatever. They sound like equally unique names but not two that are super ‘matched’ or part of a must-adhere-to set.

So given that, the only person you need to satisfy in this situation is child number three—who may or may not be annoyed with being the odd one out who doesn’t have an ‘x’. My guess is that he or she won’t be, because you’ll be calling them by name much more often than you’ll be writing all three names together and showing them to your kids, you know what I mean? And in the situations where they are all written together—on Christmas stockings, for example, if that’s your thing—I don’t really think it’s going to matter, because… Christmas stockings.

However, there are great options either way, and that’s because you’ve chosen great names that open you up to a world of possibilities. So first, with the ‘x’, I would think about names like Felix – I know, and of course, but it does fit in with your kids and it is still a great name, popularity aside. There’s Beatrix. There’s Calixto, which I think I recommended to someone once and Lainey yelled at me. (Lainey: true story) There’s Drexel, as in Farley Drexel Hatcher. Lennox? Knox, to borrow from the Jolie-Pitts? I’ve considered Maxime as I think the style works, but Max and Bax is too close for comfort. There’s Xavier, of course, which is one of those names that everyone talks about liking but very few use. Actually, that could work really well here. And there’s my Kimmy Schmidt-beloved Xanthippe – I know you probably won’t, but you could.

For all the people who will write to me all ‘what about Alex?’, I feel confident in saying Alex, whether from Alexei or Alexandra, is going to be too common for this family. I feel very confident.

If none of these names appeal or the idea just seems too twee for you, the world outside of ‘x’ is endless. I immediately thought Fergus would be a great third to Margeaux and Baxter. So would Alonzo, or Judah, or Cecily, or Cyrus, or Leona, or Ambrose, or Ramona, or Duncan, or, Greta.  Wow, I love all of these names, and would like you to consider four middle names so we can get all of them in some use here.

Let me know what you think! Oh, and everyone else—which name do you think Lainey will yell about in this letter? I think the last one that really got her blood pressure going was ‘Larkspur’…

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