Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Xavier

When we first looked at the name Xavier, we assumed it might have evolved from some early medieval Spanish form of “savior” but we couldn’t have been more wrong. Nope, Xavier is actually one of the few Basque names in circulation outside of the Basque Country. The origin of Xavier comes from a medieval Basque surname which was derived from a place name, from the Basque “Etxeberri” meaning “the new house.” Indeed one might ask, “excuse me, but huh”? How exactly did “etxeberri” evolve into Xavier? Well, Xavier is a heavily mutated Spanish form of this old Basque name. The Basque language (also known as “Euskara”) is what linguists refer to as one of the few so-called “isolated” languages. In other words, while every other language in Europe derived from Proto-Indo-Europeans roots (and are therefore all ultimately related to one another), Basque is not related to any other language known to linguists. This fact alone makes the survival of the Basque language one of the most remarkable historical mysteries. The idiomatic phrase “It’s all Greek to me” would be even more appropriate if changed to “It’s all Euskara to me.” Other examples of Basque personal names: Iker, Oier, Unai, Amaia, Irati, Uxue and Haizea. By far and away, however, Xavier is the most common outside of Basque borders and here’s why: Saint Francis Xavier (1506-1552), one of the seven co-founders of the Society of Jesus (more commonly known as the Jesuits). Francis Xavier was born into a Basque family of nobility in the Spanish Kingdom of Navarre. Not only is he notable for the founding of the Jesuits, but he is also credited for his enthusiastic missionary work in the East. Due to Xavier’s stature within the Roman Church, the name has always been pretty much restricted to devout Spanish and Portuguese Catholics. However, Xavier is surprisingly popular in English-speaking nations, too (Australia, England and the United States).

All About the Baby Name – Xavier

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME XAVIER

The number Seven personality is deeply mystical and highly in tune with their spirituality. They operate on a different wavelength than the average joe. Spending time alone comes easily to Sevens, as it gives them time to contemplate philosophical, religious and spiritual ideas in an effort to find "real truth".  Sevens are wise, but often exude mystery as if they are tapped into something the rest of us don't understand. They love the outdoors and are fed by nature. Sevens are constantly seeking to understand human nature, our place in the universe, and the mystery of life in general. This makes them quite artistic and poetic, but they are also keen observers with high intellect - so they are equally scientific-minded. Sevens are charitable and care deeply about the human condition.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME XAVIER

Xavier did not really perform very well until the late 1940s. Its usage among American baby boys was low to moderate until the 1980s (pushed a great deal by the growing population of Hispanic-Americans). From this point on, Xavier took hold of the charts and showed steady growth. The name finally achieved Top 100 status in 2001 and appears to be settling in around an average position of #80 (pretty impressive). In fact, Xavier is currently the 3rd most popular baby boy name among Latino-Americans (after Angel and José). Xavier is distinctly Spanish with Basque roots and tied closely San Francisco Xavier – an important Catholic saint among Spanish-speakers. Given Xavier’s connection to the Jesuits (the highest teaching order within the Roman Catholic Church), the name conveys a quality of high intellect and strong moral values. Also, with very few “X” names on the charts, Xavier stands apart from the rest of the pack.

Quick Facts

ON XAVIER

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

Spanish

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

83

PRONUNCIATION:

ZAY-vyer or ehk-SAY-vyer

SIMPLE MEANING:

New house

Characteristics

OF XAVIER

Mystical

Wise

Eccentric

Intuitive

Imaginative

Philosophical

Solitary

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Xavier

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME XAVIER

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Xavier

Popular Songs

ON XAVIER

Xavier and Honor
a song by Gerry Rafferty

Xavier
a song by Paradise Lost

Famous People

NAMED XAVIER

We cannot find any well-known or significantly famous people with the first name Xavier.

Children of Famous People

NAMED XAVIER

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Xavier

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME XAVIER

Saint Francis Xavier was born into a noble and wealthy family in Xavier, Spain in the Basque Kingdom of Navarre. He was highly educated in Paris where he first met Ignatius of Loyola. Together with five others, the two would go onto found the Society of Jesus (known as the Jesuits), a religious order of men who followed the teachings of the Catholic Church which was recognized and approved by Pope Paul III in 1540. Xavier spent most of his life on missionaries spreading Catholicism in countries such as Mozambique and India, and stretching way out into Asia.