For many years, this one had gone to the dogs. But something makes us think that today’s choice might not be confined to the kennel much longer.
Thanks to Lola for suggesting our Name of the Day: Rex.
We all know that Rex is from the Latin for king. There’s the violent dinosaur, the Mardi Gras rex, Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex. Little wonder that many parents shied away from using such a regal moniker for their sons.
But today, Rex has a lot in his favor. Consider:
- The boom in King names for boys includes straight-up King (#722) and starbaby-inspired Kingston (#355), as well as surname spins like Kingsley. They make Rex feel downright subtle – and wearable;
- Our love of the letter x, from Alexander to Felix;
- The trend towards single-syllable boys’ names, like Gus, Cole, Jack and Max – there’s that x again!
Rex is helped by his history of use as a given name. Compared to newcomers like Kingston and Cole, he’s positively traditional. We can trace Rex back to those wacky Victorians. They were unpacking classics like Homer and Virgil for their sons during the 1800s. Rex was part of that trend. By the time the US first collected data in 1880, Rex ranked #519 for newborn boys. That made him about as common as Logan, Rodney or Aloysius.
Among our favorite bearers of the name is the dashing actor Rex Harrison, who starred opposite Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, as well as appearing in Cleopatra, The Great Game and Anna and the King of Siam. As it happens, this Rex was born Reginald.
There have been a few notable Rexes born with the name: early 20th century author Rex Beach, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation commentator Rex Murphy, former Pantera bassist Rex Brown and former Brooklyn Dodger-turned-sportscaster Rex Barney.
Of course, we’re more familiar with Rex, the sheepdog from the pig flick Babe and the claymation pooch starring in Rex the Runt.
But Rex has been used with some frequency for men born in the US. In 1951, he charted as high as #171. While he fell out of the rankings from 1999 through 2002, he’s been back ever since. Today, Rex charts at #870.
With the Jolie-Pitt boys answering to Maddox, Pax and Knox and boys everywhere answering to Max, we can imagine this one wearing well on a modern child. Or if you have an ancestral Reginald on your family tree, use that as the formal name and adopt Rex as a spirited pet form.
Either way, we suspect there will be more two-legged Rexes in the future.