Let me first say this: thank you, Reese and Jim, for sharing your baby name promptly. Congratulations to you and your family!
The arrival of baby Tennessee James has prompted a flurry of articles about other celebrities who have used place names for their children. There’s Alicia Keys’ son Egypt, and Mike Tyson’s kids, daughter Milan and son Morocco.
But today’s Yea or Nay is about another place. Why aren’t we meeting more kids called Texas?
Texas comes from a word meaning friend in Caddo, the language of the Native American people who were there when the Spanish arrived. Austin has been huge for boys, and Dallas has been heard, too. Plus Texas is the kind of place name with plenty of positive associations. If Wyatt and other cowboy names are so stylish, why not Texas?
Songs and stories about the state are plentiful, and the short form Tex would fit right in with Rex, Max, Dex, and Pax, as well as Alex, Felix, and Axel.
Last year, just 7 boys received the name. Another 7 were named plain ol’ Tex. Neither name charted for girls, though the Dixie Chicks’ Emily Robison has a daughter called Juliana Tex.
So what do you think – Texas, yea or nay?
The Name Station says
I would say yes to Texas as a baby name, though I would add they should be prepared for some Texas-sized preconceptions that would go along with it. Texas doesn’t have the best reputation this far north 😉
I voted “maybe” because it could grow on me, but at the moment I agree with Megalady, Tex on its own seems more attractive, but also a bit fictional. My daughter used to read “High Five” which is “Highlights” but for little kids. There was a series in the magazine called Tex and Indi, about fraternal twins (Tex is the boy, Indi is the girl). That is my immediate thought when I hear Tex.
Texana/Texanna, Texie, and Exie are all interesting, but I’m unsure of how I feel about Exa.
I’m currently living in Texas and while it doesn’t make for a bad association, I’d probably not use it myself. Tex on its own is more attractive.
Perusing the 1881 U.S. Top 1000 list a while back I stumbled across Texas, Texana/Texanna, Texie, Exie, and Exa. So while Tex seems like a fun boy name, I’m also slightly drawn to Texana for a girl with Tex, Texie, or Exie as a short form.
Blue Juniper says
I quite like it! My brother (whose name is Kyle) likes to go by the nickname Tex. Maybe here in Australia it’s more user friendly due to the distance. It kind of makes it cool, and people don’t automatically assume you are from Texas, or have any preconceived notions about Texans.
I was also thinking about suggesting it as a Halloween name – from famous horror movie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 🙂
Texas is currently the name of a (female) character on TV soap Hollyoaks (which is aimed at teenagers and young adults): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Longford
She explains why, in England and Wales in 2011, 7 girls were called Texas, but the name didn’t chart for boys (exactly the opposite to the US!). The character has had a lot of screen time recently so I can imagine a few more girls receiving the name in 2012.
Wow – I’d be surprised to meet a Texas in the US, but stunned to meet one in the UK. Except that what you’ve said makes all the sense in the world – thanks!
I did do a double take when I first heard the name on the TV trailer. The character’s sister is called India — go figure! Mind you, the same soap has had an influence on other names. Sol, Warren, Mercedes, Carmel and Nancy all picked up usage when characters of the same name were introduced to the show.
They currently have a character called Mitzeee (yes, 3 Es) with a big storyline. There were 4 Mitzees (and 5 Mitzys) in 2011, but I’m waiting for the 2012 stats to see if the triple E manages to rank.
Surprisingly, Texas as a boys name pushes all the right cupcakes. 😀 Tex is friendly & appealling to me, so without much hesitation, I voted ‘Yea’! (although I would still use Rex first, kicking Tex out for me). I like Texas better as a personal name than as a state name!
I see quite a few babies called Tex or Texas in birth notices here; it doesn’t really seem that odd to me. There’s an Australian singer-songwriter called Tex Perkins (real name, Gregory Perkins), so maybe we’re used to thinking of it as someone’s name. Er, and not a character in an erotic romance novel!
Texas is a town in Queensland, and a country music star wrote a song about it, so it doesn’t necessarily even seem American.
The singer seems to be have branded it as male, and the first part does seem male, like Rex and Lex, although Texas doesn’t really seem too different from Alexis.
I kind of like it.
I lived in Texas and my brother’s family lives there still, so I really can’t imagine a little Texas. It just seems like the popular geographical names are all similar to other “accepted” names:
Savannah – Susannah
Austin – Justin/Dustin
Camden – Cameron
London – Landon
Devon – Kevin
Sydney – Cindy
Although now that I think about it, Texas “sort of feels” like Alexis so maybe???
I’ve mentioned before that there was a little Tennessey (sp?) who took piano lessons at the same music school as my teen. I always thought it was odd that he went by the full name and not something shorter.
Maybe the spanish pronounciation (Tejas) would have more currency?
That’s an interesting idea, Kara – I like it! But then you miss out on Tex …
British American says
Maybe the teasing potential if you emphasize and elongate the second syllable: TexAS? Though that doesn’t stop Aspen from charting!
Raquel Somatra says
The name Texas and Tex is used a lot in trashy romance novels featuring a no-nonsense, damsel-in-distress-saving, leather-chap wearin’, tough-guy, dirty cowboy… yeah, I went through a brief romance novel phase in high school. But the association remains. Thus it’s not a serious contender for me.
HA! You’re right about that, Raquel. Tex does sound a little bit like a fictional character of the ruggedly handsome variety …
That’s exactly it. It almost sounds like a character rather than a real person – regardless of the last name.
I finally remember the “Tex” character I was trying to remember yesterday… Tex is a S. E. Hinton YA novel (same universe as The Outsiders and Rumblefish.) Hinton’s characters have some of “best” names:
I think Texas would be cool as a name. I don’t understand the hesitance toward place names myself.