Jynx: Baby Name of the DayInspired by a recent birth announcement, the completely unexpected Jynx takes center stage as today’s Baby Name of the Day.

Jynx: Is it even a name?

The NFL’s Antonio Cromartie welcomed twin daughters in May 2016: Jynx and J’Adore.

J’Adore comes from French, literally meaning “I adore.” The rarity has crept into wider use in the US since 2000.

Meanwhile, Jynx failed to chart in the US Social Security records.

Spell it Jinx, though, and back in 1926, five girls were given the name. It peaked in 1950, with 18 girls. After 1964, the name nearly disappeared, but then in 2011, six girls were named Jinx.

Jynx: To the Dictionary

Jinx means a charm or a spell. That sounds promising, but a jinx typically brings misfortune.

Theories abound regarding the word’s origins, from other slang terms like jyng and jink, to an  1860s American folk song.

Despite the negative meaning, the sound is light-hearted. If you engage in hijinks, you’re indulging in free-spirited – and harmless – adventures. Kids rush to say “jinx, you owe me a soda,” when they both say the same thing at once. And “Jinkies!” was Velma’s catchphrase on the Scooby-Doo cartoons.

Jynx: Bird

Since bird names appeal for girls, this name might be free from curses after all.

Known for their astonishing ability to turn their heads nearly 180 degrees, wrynecks are a type of woodpecker found in Europe and Africa. Wryneck comes from the Latin iynx – and predates the use of jinx to mean curse.

Or not …

Jynx: Iynx

In Greek myth, the nymph Iynx found herself in all sorts of trouble. One story reports that Iynx cast a spell to make Io fall for Zeus. As revenge, Hera turned her into a wryneck bird. Or maybe Iynx was boastful and attempted to beat the Muses in a contest. Either way, she ends up as a wryneck bird.

Once Iynx had joined Club Avian, the wryneck was used to cast spells, as in the story Jason and his ill-fated bride, Medea.

Jynx: Giacinta and Eugenia

At least two cats have answered to similar names: Mr. Jinx, of Meet the Parents fame, and Mr. Jinks, from a 1950s era cartoon.

But the only uptick in the name’s use comes from a comic book character. Li’l Jinx debuted in the Archie comics universe in 1947. At the time, mischief-making little girls were trending in comics. Jinx joined fellow Li’ls Lulu and Audrey. From 1956 to 1957, she headlined her own title. She was revived in the 1970s, and again as recently as 2013 – that last time as a teenager.

The story attributed her name to a Halloween birthday.

Early supermodel Eugenia Falkenberg was known as Jinx. With journalist husband John “Tex” McCrary, the glamorous couple hosted a successful radio, and later television, talk show covering current events of all kinds. The show’s signature opening featured Tex drawling “Hi, Jinx.”

How did Falkenberg get her unusual name? Eugenia comes from her dad, Eugene, while her mother thought Jinx would bring good luck.

This generation of parents probably first heard Jinx as a given name in 2002’s Die Another Day. Halle Berry played NSA agent and James Bond ally Giacinta “Jinx” Johnson. Agent Johnson told Commander Bond that she got her name thanks to her Friday the 13th birthday.

Jynx: Wearable

Rarely do I say parents should avoid a name. (Here’s one exception.)

I do think Jynx – or Jinx – deserves a yellow light, thanks to that meaning. But with an upbeat sound and some interesting namesakes, it could make a fun nickname for a longer name.

What do you think of Jynx? Would you use it as a nickname?

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. I was born in 1965 and my name is Jinx as well. My mother has always told me it mean “a lady of elegance and grace who is enchanting” . I have found that meaning in only one Baby Name book. The other meanings are not so kind.

  2. My name is Jynx. My LM got us out of a name dictionary and changed the spelling to this, this was back in the late 60’s when I was born. It’s has a positive nice meaning with that spelling. Granted through school I got some teasing but as an adult I love my name because it’s very unique and pretty much NO ONE has my name with some exceptions, ( NN’s, or lady names and those aren’t always spelled like mine). When I tell people my name they always try to guess the spelling and most always can not then when I tell them how I spell it. They just love it. So I’m as unique as my name ❤️

    1. The name since it’s first use was always predominantly a girls names, especially in Britain where it had a frequently been used more. But that doesn’t mean a few parents didn’t bestow it on a boy here and there.

  3. I think it is a cute NN. I have however already use this name for one of my cats.

    Of note is that this name has been used more recently as a character name:

    There is one teen novel by Meg Cabot (Princess Diaries author) called Jinx. Which is the NN for the main character (a girl) Jean Honeychurch.

    As well as the young reader series Jinx by Sage Blackwood, only Jinx is a young boy.

    There is an adult mystery series as well whose main character goes by that name.

    They all seem to have magic as a common theme. Perhaps at some point a popular book/series might sky-rocket this spunky name out of the bad luck basket.