Fox: Baby Name of the Day


Fox: Baby Name of the Day

Fox combines the short, snappy sound of Max with the bravado of Leo.

Thanks to Linda for suggesting our Baby Name of the Day.

Fox: Mulder

This one might belong with in the nature name category, but a supernatural drama put it on the list of possibilities.

In 1993, we met Special Agent Fox Mulder.  Whip-smart, paranormal-obsessed investigator Mulder teamed up with the equally sharp, but skeptical, Dr. Dana Scully on The X-Files.

Some speculated that the character’s name came from the young network showing the series. If that were true, then Agent Mulder’s given name would have been a nod to William Fox, the early twentieth century entrepreneur who founded the studio.

Instead, series creator Chris Carter apparently knew a boy with the name years before he dreamed up the character.

Fox: Last Name First

The name wasn’t used in meaningful numbers until The X-Files hit it big. But nearly any surname can be found as a given name occasionally.

In English, it might have started out as a nickname for someone who resembled the animal. Or maybe someone considered devious. It absorbed plenty of similar sounding surnames over the years, too – Fuchs and Faulks and Focks, all separate names once upon a time.

Fox: Clever

The creature appears throughout myth and folklore. In some cases, he misbehaves. Think of everything from Aesop’s Fables to Dora the Explorer’s reliable villain, Swiper. As animals go, they’re known as clever and resourceful, if not always pure of heart.

In Japan, they’re called kitsune – magical shapeshifters. Mischievous, multi-tailed foxes appear throughout East Asian folklore. France gives us Reynard, a familiar character from the Middle Ages.

Foxy serves as a compliment of sorts, immortalized in plenty of pop songs. And to outfox is to outwit, another positive – of sorts.

Fox: Besides Mulder

New York Times journalist Fox Butterfield answers to the name. So did Major General Fox Conner, mentor to Dwight Eisenhower.

We find others, too, over the years.

Factor in the surname, and you might think of actors Michael J. or Megan.

Fox: The Trifecta

A trifecta of trends boosts this name:

  • We love nature names for our children, from gentle River and Willow to fierce Hawk. Parents are increasingly embracing animal names specifically, like Bear and Wolf.
  • We’re equally into ends-with-x names for boys.  Max is a retro classic and Jax a modern favorite, and let’s not forget Alex or Felix.
  • One-syllable boy names are having a good run, from classics like Jack and Luke to modern discoveries like Kai and Chase.

Layer in The X-Files, and it’s a wonder this name isn’t already heard everywhere.

Fox: By the Numbers

Instead, fewer than five boys were given the name most years. That changed in 1995, with 19 newborns. It’s climbed most years since. By 2015, the number reached 193 – less than a dozen births away from the US Top 1000.

For now, this name remains surprising. But it also feels very wearable today. If you’re after a daring name that’s easy to say and spell, Fox delivers. And if you happen to have a Fuchs or Faulks in your family tree, this counts as a heritage choice, too.

Chances are good this name will crack the US Top 1000 soon, but it remains a nicely distinctive name for a son.

Would you consider an animal name for a child?

Originally published on June 6, 2013, this post was revised and re-posted on May 10, 2017.

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27 Comments

We have an 13 month old boy and we named him Fox Tiberius!!!! My family fought us till the end on the name and now they love it and him!!! We’re huge x-Files fans and Star Trek fans!!!! The names just seemed perfect!!! I wanted a name that was something unique and meant something to us!!!!

I actually have a Leo (age 5) and a Fox (10 months). I get a lot of positive comments on Fox’s name! Not a lot of people catch on right away that Leo is also an animal name.

What a great duo! And you’re right – when I say them together, Leo and Fox seem matched without it being so obvious …

I would love to know the 2013 numbers— we had a Fox William early in August, and then foxes got really big!! We came to the name via the xfiles, of which my mom was a big fan and was our show… she died when I was 8 weeks along, and I re-watched all 9 seasons during the rest of my pregnancy. Fox is a perfect name for our guy with so much personality. 🙂

We have a Fox Benjamin of our own and he couldn’t match the name any more perfectly. He’s wild and fun and curious and we couldn’t be happier that we decided on Fox.

Our first boy is named Fox, and his little brother is Felix. We love the name Fox and have no regrets. He loves it to, and though we get the occasional raised eyebrow from adults, his friends love the name and think it is very cool.
If you are thinking of naming you son Fox, go for it!

I’m due with a boy in August and right now Felix is in first place for his name and I have been thinking that Fox might be a good nickname (or Fitz or Fix). Fox as the full first name isn’t for us, but I do think it’s cool.

My LN before I married was Fox. We keep teasing my brother and his wife that when they have a child, there are so many good first names they could use!

Stone Fox
Steel Fox
Forest Fox
Fire Fox (my favorite)
Star Fox

My brother and SIL aren’t planning to use any of the suggestions, though. I wonder why. 🙂

Fox is a great name. My siblings and I all had nicknames of Foxy or Big Fox and Little Fox at some point.

Our little one is due in October, and he will be named Fox. Our jaws dropped when we saw this post. It certainly doesn’t get much run, but 96 last year is more than I would have guessed. We have a long, complicated Italian last name, so we wanted to something short and sweet up front. Fox fits perfectly.

And, yes. We’re huge X-Files fans.

I like Fox. It’s tied to Saul in a lot of Jewish folklore/naming links (like lions and Judah or deer and Naphtali) and I like both Saul and Fox. Whether or not Fox Mulder was supposed to be a Jewish character was always a bit up in the air, wasn’t it? Or am I – and maybe Duchovny – reading that in?

I like it best as a first name than in the middle. Not sure what I’d pair with it though. Fox Tobias? Fox Alastair? Needs 3-4 syllables.

I’d always assumed that the elder William Mulder’s parents had converted to Christianity from Judaism to escape persecution [he was born in 1936, so the timing fits]. Therefore Fox Mulder could have grown up with Jewish culture/mannerisms without the religion.

As for the character being named for William Fox, Chris Carter denied this and said he had a childhood friend called Fox.

I do find it interesting that the character’s birth name was inverted — William Fox Lastname — this makes me think that the middle name was a family name [for the characters].

I love Fox. If Wolf wasn’t our first boy choice (it’s a family name for me) and our last name didn’t begin with S, Fox would probably be at the top of my list. I love short, succinct names like this that still somehow feel substantial enough.

I like Fox in theory, but not quite in practice, at least for a first name. I do think of the animals, but the television network is just too prevalent in my mind. It could make for a whimsically lovely middle with a built in nursery theme.

Fox is a family name for me (as a given name). I like the sound of it and it’s got spunk in a short package, but there are other family members I’m closer to, so I don’t know. It could be a great middle.

In so many ways I really like this; it’s short, funky and dynamic.

But foxes, whilst admirable in many ways, are real menaces. They steal chickens and there’s an increasing problem of urban foxes attacking sleeping children in the night. The characterisation in things like Fantastic Mr Fox makes them cunning and resourceful and appealing but the reality is not as lovely.

As a funny aside, however, my maiden name was Hunter. Years ago I remember watching the X-Files with my Dad who said “Fox. That is a cool name. We should have called your brother Fox.” “I think not, Dad,” I said. “Fox Hunter? Best not.”

That’s a nice point, Vicki.

I know a family with the LN Hunter. It really does rule out any noun name, doesn’t it? Violet Hunter, Star Hunter, Blue Hunter … they all sound off.

You know, my mom’s maiden name is Voss, and I’ve heard that that means Fox… I’ve always liked the thought of using it somewhere – maybe a spunky middle? – to honor her side of the family!