Huxley: Baby Name of the Day


Huxley: Baby Name of the Day

Huxley fits in perfectly with current trends, and it attracts plenty of attention on Appellation Mountain.

Could this Baby Name of the Day be the next big thing?

Huxley: Famous Family

I suspect you’ve heard of at least one member of the oh-so-very accomplished English Huxley family. It includes:

  • Thomas, known for his work as a biologist, especially promoting Darwin’s theory of evolution
  • Aldous, author of Brave New World
  • Julian, co-founder of the World Wildlife Fund
  • Nobel Prize winner in physiology/medicine Andrew

The list continues, a mix of accomplishments across many fields of endeavor.

But they’re not the only ones. As a surname, it carries a curious meaning. While the -ley refers to a clearing or a wood, the first syllable seems confusing. It might come from an Old English given name, like Hucc. Or maybe it comes from an Old English word meaning “to insult.” Did some snarky ancestor of all future Huxleys inspire the name?

A tiny village in Cheshire still bears the name, so I’m inclined to think of this one as Hucc’s wood.

Huxley: The X Factor

Parents love surname names, probably because they sound fresh and familiar at the same time. But Huxley offers more than just surname style. It also claims plenty of X factor, just like names from Xavier to Axel to Felix to Jaxon.

Huxley: H is for Hot

Or maybe the magic comes from the letter H. Fast-rising H names range from classic Henry, to more modern picks like Hendrix, Harrison, Harris, Hayes, Holden, Houston, and Hudson.

The numbers bear this out. Back in 2006, just eight boys received the name. By 2010, that number surged to 42. In 2014, it reached 126. And in 2016, just a decade later, 257 boys were named Huxley. It’s entered the US Top 1000, and continues to climb.

Huxley: Huck

Huck – as in Finn – is having a moment, too. 99 boys received the name in 2016, a new high. Brad Paisley has a William Huckleberry; Bear Grylls went with just Huckleberry. And I’ve heard Huck suggested as an unconventional Henry nickname, too.

Huxley feels like a grown-up way to get to Huck.

Now, of course, there’s also Star Wars baddie General Hux, played by Domhnall Gleason. Five boys were named Hux in 2016. And with Kylo and Anakin in the US Top 1000, it feels safe to assume that the villain didn’t hurt the name at all.

Huxley: The Next Big Thing?

Ends-in-y surname names for boys like Riley and Brady have fallen from use, but the sound remains powerfully appealing.

Huxley splits the difference between the invented and the established. While it’s no longer among the truly undiscovered names, it remains relatively uncommon, especially compared to many other surname choices.

If you’re looking for a cool name with history to spare, Huxley might be the choice for you.

And if this name seems almost-but-not-quite the right name? Check out the other quirky favorites for boys.

Would you consider this name for a son?

First posted on July 28, 2010, this post has been revised and republished on October 11, 2017.

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70 Comments

My youngest son is Cy Huxley. We love it even when our more traditional families wondered where in the world we came up with it!

Whenever I have a little girl, I want to name her Huxley Ambrose. She can always go by Rose if she doesn’t like Huxley. I just think it’s a beautiful name. I fell in love with it the minute I said it and Ambrose just rolled off my tongue after. It’s different but I think it’s adorable.

Oh, it happens! 🙂

And Huxley is SUCH a great name – my nephew’s middle, actually. Happy to hear it used more!

Well you can add another author to that list, my name is Michael Huxley and I’m a published author, blogger and also a nurse with 2 degrees, just to follow in my forefathers scientific and medical footsteps. But can you really use a surname as a first name as so many seem to be suggesting?

I named my precious baby boy James-Huxley Rolston Piper on 7/5/12. I wrote this name down 10 years ago in my journal.

Our little girl will be born any day and she will be Huxley Anne Hommel. We are naming her after the character in Tom Robbin’s Jitterbug Perfume, which was a very formative read in both my and my husbands lives back in our 20s (we are both in our late 30s now). We are bringing along the nod to Aldous but are more attached to his last novel, Island, than his more famous work. The deal-sealer was that my husband was told while traveling in Europe that Hommel means ‘bee keeper’ in the Alsace-Lorraine region where his family is from. At the end of Jitterbug Perfume, Huxley Anne inherits a magical swarm of bees.

We named our son Huxley! It was the only name we heard that my husband and I both liked immediately. He has a bunch if nicknames including Hux, huckleberry and hucklebug (he’s only one and a half and there’s a great children’s book with the same name 🙂 ). I adore this name and get compliments on it all the time.

Huxley is a great name! Before, I envied a lot of kids for having such popular names.
But now i’m 23, i enjoy it because no one else in my place is called by “Hux” or “Huxley”. It feels great to have a unique name. Paired with my 2nd name “Cain”, i realized then that my parents really did a lot of research for this.. haha.

well 0n the 20th november 2012 their will be a little baby boy entering this world and his name will be..huxley steve carter, and i cant wait…

We used Huxley as my son’s middle name. My husband loves brave new world. I thought it was a little too unique for a first name living I’m Arkansas. The only name we could agree was Oliver Huxley. Everyone calls him Ollie except my grandpa (he calls him Hux). I didn’t love the name Huxley at first but now I love it. It goes perfect with his first name. We wanted something unique but not weird bc my husbands last name is super common. Some people didn’t like his name at first but now everyone says they love it! I have no regrets about his name!

So, I love this article and the thought of my ancestors hurling insults at people from a forest! I am a Huxley, and with an impending marriage and the thought of losing my relatively unusual but identifiable last name, I am in quandry. I love my name, I love the fact that my nan still lives close to the village of Huxley, and imagining the history of those that have led to my existence. Having been referred to as Hux, or Huxley, by my friends throughout my teenage years, I do sense a feeling of loss, an urge to hold onto my heritage. Becoming a Miller officially will bring a great smile to my face. My compromise, if I ever have a little, he will be Huxley Miller. I might give him a more ‘normal’ middle name in order to reduce any sort of childhood trauma! But I will do it!! I love being a Huxley.

I think that using a mother’s maiden name for a child’s given name is the kind of tradition that trumps many other considerations – and Huxley Miller sounds great! Congratulations on your upcoming wedding.

Have been reading this with a big smile! Our younger son is Huxley and we love it! Our older son is Miller! So yes Huxley Miller sounds perfect to me!

I’m due on Monday and we decided in December we were naming our son Huxley the minute I found it in our baby book. I love it – can’t wait to welcome our little Hux into the world.

We named our son Huxlee. I had never heard it before and I just fell in love with it the first time I heard it. I had originally picked cooper but then realized I knew far to many people with children called cooper, then I heard Huxlee and it was stuck in my mind for good lol. I also choose not to tell anyone till he was born cause the reaction I got from my mother when I told her was just like…..what? Lol but now she tells me she couldn’t imagin him being called anything else and just loves it 🙂 people still today ask me twice when I say his name but I don’t care. We all like and hate different names so it really doesn’t matter as long as you love it I believe. His nickname is hux. Anyway I just thought I’d share my bit too for anyone thinking about this name. It’s a beautiful name and people do come around to it and end up telling you that they really do love it hehe

I am so chuffed you have replied and really
Appreciating your thoughts. Rocco is about to turn
2 years old so the boys will often share birthday parties.
My husband is a hard house Dj so both comfortable
With The rock and rye connotations. We have a 3 year old girl called milia (
Mums Cypriot village). Certainly not up for another son – if an accident happened- he would have to be Rio 🙂 Anyway – please, please give me your
Gut instinct – Rocco and Ryder parties or indulge in the intellectual depths of
The inspiring Huxley?

Wow! What an amazing thread. I’m due in
Two days and can’t sleep due to naming our son
Either Huxley or Ryder. Our other son is Rocco
and is the coolest name for our 2 year old. Love reding all the assosiations
With Huxley but also love the Rocco and Ryder combo.
So confused with such a big decision on such quirky names.
Is this thread done or have you a moment to share your wise words
On this choice?

Are you planning more kids? (Or even think that a third child is not completely out of the question?) If so, I think that makes the decision easy – Rocco and Huxley. They’re equally energetic names that stand up to each other, but they’re distinct. I can’t imagine naming a sibling for Rocco and Ryder … Rex? Regis? Rufus? Okay, I can imagine it. But the list of options, especially for a third son, would narrow with big brothers Rocco and Ryder.

If you’re absolutely certain that #2 is The Final Child, then I share your affection for Rocco and Ryder – though it is the tiniest bit boozy, isn’t it? I can’t help but think of rock and rye … Still, I love the sounds together.

We are considering this name for our son due in August. I really wanted my husband to read the article but it’s no longer here, where did it go? 🙁 Is there any way I can get a copy?

It will be back soon! I’m working in chronological order, but give it a day or so and it will be back – promise.

We named our son Huxley after reading about Julian (he was the founder of the world wildlife fund) and saw that Thomas Huxley (Darwin’s bulldog) was the grandfather of Aldous Huxley (A Brave New World) and it sort of all ran together into this wonderful name with a rich, manly, intelligent heritage that I’ve also read is old English for “outdoorsman” as well as “Hugh’s meadow” or “meadow for the mind”. We call him Huckleberry, Hux, Huck, Huckster, and Huxley. A name that has connotations of a rambunctious boy with heart, adventure, wit, intelligence and a sense of adventure. It all combines into a wonderfully curious manly little boy and I can’t wait to read him Mark Twain when he’s older. Everyone (in the past 2 years since he’s been worn) who has heard it always comments on what a fantastic name he has and how lucky he is to have such a monniker. We never told anyone what his name was until he was born. Do NOT ask people what they think of names. Ultimately it is your choice and it doesn’t matter what other people think.

Just found out I’m getting another grandson! They plan on naming him, Huxley. I had NEVER heard the name before tonight and was quite surprised by the choice. His big brother is Oakley. So I’m sure Huxley will grow on me! Nice to see the lovely comments about the name…reassuring me. LOL

england calling
boy born 14-09-10 we call the little monkey, huxley hunter young we love the name so do all our friends,as for the numpty who left the reply “i would never call a child huxley as it was a tv character” good luck finding a name that has not been used in a tv show or cartoon!!!! anyway whats wrong with using a name which has been on tv???

My son’s name is Huxley and it is so perfectly him. We call him Hux, and he’s a bright, beautiful flurry of wonder and I can’t imagine him being named anything else. He’s five now, going into K and I’m hoping he doesn’t get teased for myself following my heart. But, I’m in Los Angeles as there are scores of little trundlers with kooky names. Everyone just do your thing!

We are going to use Huxley for a boy and the other day I got the dreaded mother judge. She hates the name. This threw me for a while and really upset and tore me in two. But after finding this page I am back on track and loving the name again. Thank you for this page xx

I found this blog after searching for Huxley as a baby name. I’m pregnant with our second son and I absolutely LOVE the name Huxley (we would pair it with August). I completely agree that it follows the current trends without being common. But everyone I talk to about the name hates it and I don’t want to straddle my son with a name that people are going to “roll their eyes at.” This is the only name I have found that I like and I don’t like any variations of it. I have no idea what to do.

You use the name that you love.

Okay, it is ultimately up to you. Me trying to bully you into using Huxley because I love it is no better than the eye-rollers trying to talk you out of it. But here’s what I always think when I hear names criticized for reasons like these:

We judge names based on what is familiar to us. I was born in 1973. Jason wasn’t just a normal name, it was an epidemic. I guarantee that some parents got a negative reaction to Jason in 1973. (“What about Bob? It’s a nice, normal name. He’ll never be taken seriously as a Jason.”) None of the predicted ills came to pass, and suggest using Jason now – a friend of mine did – and the reaction she got? “Jason? Isn’t that more of a dad’s name?”

Sigh. You cannot win. Normal names change with the times, but most people don’t recognize that their so-called normal names – Linda and Randy, Crystal and Clarence, Elmer and Connie – all go in and out of fashion. Even the classics change – Cathy was eclipsed by Kate, John lost ground to Jack, and Elizabeth was Lizzie or Libby in recent years, not Betty or Betsy – except that’s changing now, too.

When you read Huxley with lists of names that are popular now – Logan, Henry, Jackson, Riley, Max – there’s no reason Huxley couldn’t be on that list. He just isn’t.

So Huxley’s classmates won’t think his name is at all out of the ordinary. (Though Riley will envy him because there won’t be girls called Huxley. And Max will be jealous because Max will share his name with half the class!) And if Logan’s parents indulge in some eye-rolling, rest assured that their kids’ names are equally eye-roll worthy. They just don’t know it.

Good luck & congratulations on son #2!

*really* late to the party here, but I adore this name. We briefly considered it for our first daughter. I love Aldous, AND there’s also the character in Jitterbug Perfume, by Tom Robbins, Huxley Anne! She’s named after Aldous. There’s a whole lot of awesome in this name!

My SO tossed this one at me the other night. It had never really crossed my mind, but I love it. I only have one problem with the name. The EE ending sounds very feminine to me. I did grow up in the 90s, so I guess that would have something to do with it. So as of now, I’m searching for names with the nickname Hux. Any ideas?

Er … Huxtable? Huckleberry? No. I don’t think that works. And Huxton sounds forced.

You could use Hux as a short form of Hunter, Henry (okay, it’s a stretch), or another H name, maybe …

Along the vein of H names – I could see going for Hux as a nn for Hugh or Hugo (not that either one is terribly long and in need of a short-form, but I could see going for it)…

BTW – I could also see calling an Aldous “Hux” as an alternative to Al or Aldo. And I do like Aldous a lot… It has crept back up my personal (never to be used) list.

Hugh and Hugo do make sense for Hux! As for Aldous, there’s the actor Aldis Hodge – I came across him while researching Parker on girls. (Beth Riesgraf plays fellow Robin Hood-esque character Parker on TNT’s Leverage.) I find myself really liking Aldis.

Huxley is a rare Gem of a name! Huxley is adorable on a young boy, distinguished on an older man & Hux, Huck or just H are very cool nn’s in the teen years. I just read that Huxley is old English for “Hugh’s meadow” and the meaning of Hugh is “mind, spirit & intellect” therefore his meaning is “intellectuals meadow” Huxley does have a very expansive and beautiful meaning after all!

Sorry, Abby, I hate to say anything that would make you feel bad about your choice – and until now didn’t have to, as your kids have beautiful names and nicknames – but I don’t like this one at all. As you said, it could fit with current trends, but that would just make it…trendy. I don’t like the sound, and would probably roll my eyes at the pretentious mommy who did choose this one. Your other two have such pretty names; Huxley doesn’t fit, imo.

Forgive me!

You don’t need to ask for forgiveness! And you’re right – Huxley would be the odd one out.

I love him still. 🙂

If you have ever watched “Elmo in Grouchland,” then you will know Huxley was the name of the villian. While watching it, I wondered to myself why the name wasn’t more popular, lol. I can see the appeal and how it fits into current naming trends. It’s not one that I would use personally, but I can see it being a nice way for the right family. It’s cute, and has good nickname potential.

It’s a natural villain choice – it’s so choice to huckster. I did see Elmo in G-land, with Mandy Patinkin, right? Gosh, I’d blocked that one out …

Yes, that’s the one! I can understand why you would block the movie out—good message, but hard to watch! It was my first introduction to the name…

I really love Huxley. Huxley made the long list (along with so many names, including the above mentioned Hugo and Aldous) during my pregnancy with Oliver. I once pitched Hugo Huxley as a combo (Lost, Brave New World and a quiet nod to one of my all time favorite novels, Lolita); needless to say, it did not win out. Not that it will ever be an issue, but those names would definitely crop up (for the obligatory veto by husband, again, just like so many other names) on any boy names list of mine. Hux and Huck make for great nns… For me, it would be hard to go wrong with Huxley.

I don’t think we would ever use it, especially since we’re going with Stanley for our baby boy, but I really do love the sound of Huxley! It’s super spunky and cute.

I know you mentioned those 28 little Hurleys may be surfers-in-training, but I have to wonder if at least some of them weren’t also influenced by the lovable “Lost” character.

Hurley made me think of Lost too. 🙂 I’m not familar with the surfer reference. I suggested Hugo to my husband but he’s like “No, that’s a fat guy.”

D’oh. Of course Hurley is about Lost! Well, and I think the surfer gear, too. But mostly Lost.

I’m now a fan of Huck/Huxley. And OMG, “copse” just tossed into a sentence? SO impressed! I’ve always loved your writing, and your vocabulary continues to impress.

I had certainly never considered Huxley before seeing you, Abby, comment on him some months ago. It’s an interesting choice that certainly does fit in with the current trends without being too popular (yet). However, although I’ve read A Brave New World and thought it quite brilliant, the Huxley that immediately comes to mind when I hear this name is he of Darwinian fame — also, incidentally, the inventor of the term “agnosticism”.

When I typed in “wiki huxley” into my browser I was redirected to a webpage dedicated to Huxley: The Dystopia, which makes me wonder whether some of the little Huxleys born last year had parents (or at least a father) inspired by the game.

Ah, Charlotte, I think you’re in the minority to even have a glimmer of clue about TH Huxley – here’s betting you’re right that the video game inspired at least some of those 28 kiddos. More than thought of the patriarch, at least …

Hmm, yes, I minored in Religion and Theology and majored in English with an emphasis in Victorian Literature, so T.H. Huxley gets mentioned occasionally.

‘zactly! I know someone who named her daughter Ariel, thinking Shakespeare and the Bible. And she gets Disney.

While I loved _Brave New World_, I think I prefer Aldous as a way to honor that masterpiece.

However, the nickname Huck completely sells me on the name. I’ve encountered a lot of parents interested in Huck but not wanting to go all the way to Huckleberry. Huck does feel a bit abrupt to use in full, and Huxley there is a stroke of genius.

I agree that he straddles various trends nicely. A great compromise choice if mom wants Jaxon as you said, and dad wants Frederick.

OMG – there he is! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqPuTL77KfE

Still, if Olivia can have a spokespig and still be a super popular name, why not Huxley? I just saw Olivia tees in Target – they’re quite cute.

Bears aren’t as problematic as pigs, I think. I’ve met a little Theodore who goes by Teddy.

totally not for me for one huge reason, in britain in (i think) the eighties and nineties there was a childrens tv show called huxley pig. the theme tune was literally just ‘whats it all about huxley pig’. it’s not really the nicest acosiation though there was nothing bad about the programme (interestlingly my current favourite boys name, rupert, is also linked to a british children’s character, though i don’t have as much of a problem with rupert the bear as i do with huxley pig!)

As a Huxley, I can say I was never once embarrased as a child of the 80s to be associated with Huxley Pig. I still sing the themesong every now and then. Even better for me, my best mate in primary school (elementary) was called Sam, same as Huxley Pig’s Seagull friend. Still called piglet by my older sister as a result of this programme.