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!

thermalsinapril Thu 25-Apr-13 12:18:32

I've only ever heard the name on MN. Never met a real Xanthe.

VioletElizabethBott Thu 25-Apr-13 12:25:28

clarabellabunting - Artemis is the goddess of the hunt (the Greek original for Diana) but I think the name has been masculinised in the past as Artemas. I suspect it is the Artemis Fowl books (protagonist a boy) which have muddied the waters for many but really calling a boy Artemis is something akin to calling him Sue!

FingersCrossedLegsNot Thu 25-Apr-13 12:44:04

Love love love this name....if I'm pronouncing it correctly as Zan tay?? I'm not so keen on Zan thee as its sounds like a little kid saying santy as in Santa Claus!

BerryLellow Thu 25-Apr-13 12:46:28

I don't know any, but I think it is lovely. And so is Ottilie, but then there are none of those here either.

willyoulistentome Thu 25-Apr-13 12:47:57

Hmm not sure if I like it. Don't know any inn real life.

looki Thu 25-Apr-13 12:54:06

I quite like it but to be perfectly honest I veer towards thinking it is at the other end of the posh scale.

gazzalw Thu 25-Apr-13 13:04:31

Well when I read your post OP I was considering suggesting Achilles grin! Artemis is a lovely name too.

It's a difficult one! Can't believe someone thought it sounded chavvy??? WTF!

Yes, I get where you're coming from with the educated/learned type of family rather than the hunting/shooting/fishing type aristocracy! It strikes me as the name of parents who've been Oxbridge educated and/or studied History/Classics! However, there might be some overlap.

Know it's not Ancient Greek but Clemency has sprung to mind!

The problem with some names is in the pronunciation issues - a Year 6 schoolchild reading a story to DD's class pronounced Perseophone as Pursephone!!!

Scoobyblue Thu 25-Apr-13 13:08:19

I know two. Both are nightmare children - but that has nothing to with their name, obviously!! I agree that it sounds very posh!

Thurlow Thu 25-Apr-13 13:13:38

I know one, just over a year old now. Her mum very much falls in to a yummy-mummy, competitive parenting cliche, I think that's put me off it!

looki Thu 25-Apr-13 13:13:45

I don't think it sounds posh at all.

What about Helena?

VioletElizabethBott Thu 25-Apr-13 13:32:29

gazzalw - "Purse-phone" is exactly why Persephone is out (a friend dissuaded me, it's her own name). I still love Artemis but feel it might be more pretentious than Xanthe (being an actual goddess rather than a simple sea nymph!) and with 3 syllables doomed to nicknamehood.

I'm thinking the levels of Xanthe-spotting are acceptably low from this fairly unscientific (!) poll... Glad it isn't screamingly posh in everyone's minds. Oddly some Americans think it sounds sci-fi... Expect it is the X.

looki - like Helena (Shakespeare and Greek - lovely) but 'a' endings don't work with our surname sadly. I loved Claudia but rejected on this basis (Cloud-ia) err and the fact it means 'lame'. The 'e' in Xanthe isn't ideal either but better. A proper consonant - Kate, Iris, Violet - is best.

VioletElizabethBott Thu 25-Apr-13 13:34:05

thermalsinapril - does Xanthe get discussed a lot here then? (ps great username... don't we all have to wear them in April nowadays?!)

ProfYaffle Thu 25-Apr-13 13:36:43

Violet - It's mostly fine, she's 6 now but when she was smaller people found it harder to understand when she said her name and it was mis-heard as 'Nancy' a lot which annoyed dd2. Her swimming teacher constantly calls her Xanthia (and wonder why she doesn't respond!) but it's not a frequent thing.

Trazzletoes Thu 25-Apr-13 13:39:56

gazzalw I KNOW!!!!!!!!!

EldritchCleavage Thu 25-Apr-13 13:45:41

I know one. She is posh, and about 18. I've always liked it. It means 'yellow-haired', doesn't it?

Xan for a boy is nice too.

EldritchCleavage Thu 25-Apr-13 13:46:41

If you don't want posh, just spell it 'Zan-thee'.

Heh heh.

WadsCollop Thu 25-Apr-13 14:01:58

The only one I've ever heard of was the posh girl on Brat Camp on TV.

treaclesoda Thu 25-Apr-13 14:04:11

I've only ever met one Xanthe, I think its lovely.

Not a baby though, she is in her thirties.

Laquila Thu 25-Apr-13 14:07:03

I know of one, who's very normal/not posh, so don't think of it as particularly posh - just unusual. Lovely name.

fuzzywuzzy Thu 25-Apr-13 14:11:14

I knew one, she was american. Loved her to bits so I love the name too.

NKinDXB Thu 25-Apr-13 14:19:30

My sister in law is only one I've ever met with this name and Is not particularly posh. Only heard of one baby Xanthe in recent years. I think it's a lovely choice. I love Greek names and DD ended up as Zoe. I'm not so keen on Artemis though. It's not as pretty to say and somehow it sounds a bit more pretentious. Not sure why. Maybe because I have never heard of anyone with the name, so sound like you're trying too hard?

We really liked Claudia too but all our English family and friends clealy didn't like it (whereas Aussie or Us friends loved it.)

Stick to Xanthe!

littlemissnormal Thu 25-Apr-13 14:21:15

I know a 30ish year old one and a 6 year old one. Never heard anyone with problems saying it.

looki Thu 25-Apr-13 14:47:40

The Americans might think its sci fi as Xanthe Terra is an area on Mars?

Birdies Thu 25-Apr-13 15:15:33

I have a baby Xanthe. So I love the name! Have Greek family so wanted a Greek name and I thought it was the nicest one. Some people do struggle with pronouncing it which always surprises me.

Oh, and I'm not posh (but not chav either smile )

I would hate for it to become too popular!

VioletElizabethBott Thu 25-Apr-13 17:42:50

V glad re not-too-posh vote (husband in particular is worried it is Sloane-ville). Agree Artemis is a great deal more pretentious though I still like it a lot - it's a tall order of a name to carry off too. What if you were a sweet girlie sort of a girl and had such a stern, strong goddess name to live up to?

My Greek friends say Artemis is fairly common in Greece? Problem with lots of goddess/god names is the brand name thing! Athena (poster shops), Ajax (cleaner), Clio (car)...

I also like Calliope which after Grey's Anatomy I thought might be less strange but again, husband vetoed.

Yes, Xanthe = yellow haired or golden one. We're all blonde so unless she inherits mother-in-law's red gene (!) it should suit.

Do you know what I'm really scared of? That the scanner got the gender wrong and here am I angsting about girl names and with a lovely pink nursery...

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