Xanthe as a baby name - how many do you know?

(93 Posts)
VioletElizabethBott Thu 25-Apr-13 11:27:52

Having discussed ancient Greek names ad nauseam on various American naming sites/blogs (has everyone discovered Nameberry? Amazing place) I wondered if I could turn to Mumsnetters for an opinion on this name in England?

I really want an ancient Greek name (various reasons but also to go with my elder daughter's (Iris)) and have something of a hitch with my last name which has a vowel beginning (thus not ideal to have a first name ending in a vowel - rules out a LOT of girls' names!).

I always loved Xanthe, husband did not. We settled on Artemis but as due date is 1 month off we've both got slightly cold feet (feel it's a bit pretentious though I'd still use it as I love it) and he's coming round to Xanthe. BUT... but... I'm getting the impression that the name is really gaining popularity. I know it's not going to get to the next Ava, Olivia or Sophia level but what do you think?

I went round an expensive prep school yesterday and saw FIVE Ottilies (and there are two at my elder daughter's nursery) - a name that I know isn't going to be nation-wide popular but I can see similarities with Xanthe in being v. popular within a small part of society which, I have to confess, my daughter will probably move within being privately educated and living where we do.

Has anyone met a young or baby Xanthe? Anyone heard the name discussed a lot by expectant mothers?

Really grateful for your feedback!

MrsBucketxx Thu 25-Apr-13 11:28:59

I know one, she is about 3 months old now,

lovely name btw.

musickeepsmesane Thu 25-Apr-13 11:30:20

Sounds like the name of a food additive. Sorry.

VioletElizabethBott Thu 25-Apr-13 11:34:31

Sorry - that sounded a bit snotty at the end! I live in the middle of a fairly wealthy rural area where names like Jemima, Ottilie and Willoughby (for a boy) are oddly common. Just don't want to name our daughter Xanthe if it is going to be a posh girl cliche name...

I feel Iris avoids that by also surfing the vintage/botanical trend and being so widespread-popular for babies born in the 1920's-1940's.

VioletElizabethBott Thu 25-Apr-13 11:37:01

Thank you MrsBucketxx!
Sorry you don't like it musickeepsmesane - I know it might be a bit of a marmite name.
I'd pronounce it Zanthe (though this isn't the Greek pronunciation).

ChasingStaplers Thu 25-Apr-13 11:39:19

I know 3 in various parts of the country but think it's a lovely name.

I know none!

gazzalw Thu 25-Apr-13 11:41:52

Can think of other names which might be equally lovely but not as 'out there' - Helen, Hermione, Phoebe, Persephone, Penelope or even Hero?

Xanthe (like Jocasta) IMHO is one of those very 'posh' names that may raise eyebrows amongst other people as she grows up. Pukka names are fine but when they are perceived to be off-the-scale posh they cause as much prejudice as names like Jaden, Kayleigh, Ellie-Mae etc.....

At the end of the day it is wise to give your children classic names but ones that will take them thro' life in any social situation and culture - particularly if they are going to be exposed to the British class system in all its 'glory'.

The problem with names is that even the unusual ones can become popular. When we were considering names for DD, DW was extremely keen on Amelia - unheard of then, but now one of the super-popular ones.
It is impossible to determine which names will suddenly become 'de rigueur'. I would hazard a guess that none of the parents to the five Ottilies you came across would have expected their DD's name to be so popular!

Sorry, not sure I'm being helpful. Applaud that you are looking to Ancient Greece for inspiration though!

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 25-Apr-13 11:53:07

Sounds lovely, I don't know any adult or baby in rl with that name. Personally I'd prefer it to Artemis.

I don't know any! But, to me, it's too much like Xanthan, like xanthan gum, used in food production. Sorry.

Flobbadobs Thu 25-Apr-13 11:58:26

Don't know any but it's beautiful.

ProfYaffle Thu 25-Apr-13 12:01:04

My dd2 is Xanthe, we've met one other (with almost the same middle name too!). It's not a particularly 'new' name, there's Xanthe Clay the cookery book writer and another Xanthe whose surname I can't remember on History Cold Case, they're both adults.

Personally I think it's a nice level of popular, not very common but not unheard of either. I've never thought of it as posh (we most definitely are not) and no-one's ever commented on it in that way.

MummyBurrows Thu 25-Apr-13 12:01:52

I know a Xanthe,she's nearly 5. Only one of her in her school and nobody else I know (in RL) has ever mentioned it as a potential name for their dc (the xanthe I know only got given her name as mum didn't want to call her dd any name of the dads past conquests...and that ruled out a hell of a lot of names!).

Its an unusual name but it is growing in popularity,well on here at least anyway! Not entirely sure about RL as like I said,I only know 1 and doubt I'll ever know another!xx

amessagetoyouYoni Thu 25-Apr-13 12:03:13

I hVe only ever known one and she is my age (thirties).

Lovely name.

VioletElizabethBott Thu 25-Apr-13 12:04:31

gazzalw - I know what you mean re the class system! I read a piece on the Thatcher death party protestors in Brixton a few weeks ago and literally laughed when we heard from 22 year old Xanthe Bloggs (wasn't blogs, was Xanthe) because it was so patently obvious that however socialist she passionately felt herself to be, her name pointed squarely to a particular type of upbringing. Perhaps I should think of that more seriously.
On the other hand I do find more commonly used names a mite dull and have always liked having a really unusual name myself (so does my husband) which means I never have to use a last name! Really like your name suggestions and most have been on the list but ruled out for one or another reason (love Hero - definitely vetoed by my husband as strongly as I've vetoed his Daphne!).

chasingstaplers - are the 3 you know babies/v. young?

and thank you to those who said 'none'!

VioletElizabethBott Thu 25-Apr-13 12:06:47

MummyBurrowes - this made me laugh out loud! "(the xanthe I know only got given her name as mum didn't want to call her dd any name of the dads past conquests...and that ruled out a hell of a lot of names!)."

FoundAChopinLizt Thu 25-Apr-13 12:06:48

I know one, she's in her eighties, and an aristocrat. Lovely lady.

VioletElizabethBott Thu 25-Apr-13 12:07:26

Gosh - so thrilled with quick responses, can't keep pace...

VioletElizabethBott Thu 25-Apr-13 12:09:41

ProfYaffle - that's what I hoped re level of popularity. And re poshness I am not sure it if is posh per se (like Arabella or Jemima) more educated maybe? Could definitely be the daughter of a teacher, not so much the daughter of a hunting-shooting squire type.

Have you had good responses to your daughter's name? Pronunciation not a problem?

Trazzletoes Thu 25-Apr-13 12:10:32

I adore the name Xanthe and desperately wanted to call DD it. DH flatly refused on the basis that he thought it sounded chavvy. I was, like, seriously? No, Xanthe sounds like a privately educated successful woman who skis!

Anyway, I never got my way. But I still absolutely love the name.

One friend said it sounded too much like Zante (the Greek island) for her to like it.

I disagree.

WowOoo Thu 25-Apr-13 12:12:46

I love it. There is a young woman on TV (on History Cold Case) called Xanthe.

I know none personally.

I know one, just over a year old.

Sorry - off topic from Xanthe. But I had always thought of Artemis as a boy's name. I know the name is derived from a Goddess so should be a girl's name. But I have only every heard of boys called Artemis.

I hadn't really thought of it until reading this thread but I wonder why an originally female name would be most commonly used by males?

Jollyb Thu 25-Apr-13 12:17:56

I know of one. I agree it's a lovely name.

lydiajones Thu 25-Apr-13 12:18:02

I like it but I don't think it sounds posh.

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