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.
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.