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Will Everyone Hate This Baby Name?

We are having a baby boy and my husband wants to call him Fox (middle name will be Nicholas). We like names that are a bit uncommon, but I'm worried that this name is a bit too unusual and that he will get the nickname "Foxy." I also think my family will hate it, give that foxes are pest animals here in Australia. I prefer the name Lex, but my husband hates it! What are your thoughts on the name Fox? Is it a bit too out there? Or am I overthinking it?

–X-hausted Mom-to-Be

In the United States today, Fox would be a bold choice. It would come across as a bit uncommon, as you prefer, but also as appealing to many with its confident sound and origin in a nature word. Short, brisk word names are on the rise, and Fox fits right in with them.

As you note, though, the word's meaning is very different in your country and among your family and friends. If you honestly think the name will play badly to your community, that's not a good sign. It's one thing to push people out of their comfort zone. Every generation does this, which is why I get so many questions involving grandparents not liking a prospective baby name (I advise that grandparents need to butt out). And convincing your nearest and dearest to warm to a name is certainly possible.

But this is more about how your son will be perceived for life. Would everyone meeting him or seeing his name for the first time have an uncomfortable association with a nuisance animal? (Americans, think about how you'd feel about a child named "Rat.") That's a red flag, and an indication that you and your husband should probably shelve this name and move on.

In fact, shelve Lex too, since your husband hates it, and start over with the goal of choosing a name you both like. Fox and Lex share so many characteristics that I'll bet you can find a new name you’ll both be happy with. Maybe one of the Fox-y names on this list would work, or an unusual ends-in-X pick such as Dax, Dex, Pax, or Rex. And of course, you can venture beyond X-endings for many more uncommon choices—one of which is bound to be the right pick for your new little one.

Comments

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January 3, 2017 1:28 PM
By Jay (not verified)

I'm Australian, and I would think Fox was a cool name - maybe it depends where in Australia you live. Great for a city, not so good if you live on a farm! I grew up in Melbourne, and there weren't any foxes where I lived.

January 3, 2017 3:55 PM
By M (not verified)

Other considerations:

- Fox Mulder from "The X-Files."

- that annoying "What Does The Fox Say?" song from a few years ago

January 3, 2017 10:45 PM
By Juli (not verified)

Reynard the Fox was a common character/hero of medieval fables, so you could do Reynard (or the German version Reinhard) as the "proper" name, with Fox as a family nickname.

January 5, 2017 8:12 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I'm an Aussie who lives in the bush. My son has a friend with the mn Fox. I haven't heard any negative reaction though foxes are a real problem here. I'd be more worried about being a fifty year old man with a beer belly whose mates call him 'foxy lady'. Better in the middle I think.

January 9, 2017 5:27 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I'm in rural uk so can't speak to the Aussie thing but I would totally name my son Fox if it wasn't already my cats name! Don't know if it's helpful as I'm talking about a cat, but our Fox does regularly get called Foxy.
Some names that remind me of Fox: Jet, Dexter, Kai, other nature names like River, Wolf, Oak.

January 9, 2017 11:41 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I'm in the US and I LOVE that name Fox. I'm a firm believer that if you both love the name, use it. My MIL didn't like our oldest sons name and even made fun of it but she couldn't see him named anything else now.

January 10, 2017 11:34 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I actually considered the name for my younger son, and I still like it (mainly for the "X-Files" connection!). However, I allowed my family's dislike of the name to dissuade me from using it. One of them even said it sounded too much like the F word! I think it's a cool name...just proceed with caution.

January 13, 2017 1:57 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

There is the Fox News association as well...and depending on your persuasion, that could be a serious negative.

January 24, 2017 12:23 PM
By Christina Williams (not verified)

I am in the US and one of my friend's named her son Fox, and I think it is a cool choice. Animal names are on the rise here... Wolf, Bear, Falcon, Hawk. If you don't like it, that is one thing, but if the reason you don't like it is because of potential family approval? Well, I wouldn't factor that into the equation. Everyone is going to have an opinion on every name. I didn't share the names we had picked for our kids for that reason--I didn't want their opinions.

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