Sunday, January 19, 2014


Photo Courtesy of  Caroline Ghetes

At first glance, you wouldn't be alone in thinking that Daxos is a Greek name. This is probably because there was a character with this name in the movie '300'. Yes, Daxos was the name of one of the 300 Spartans that fought off Xerxes and his army of thousands. And the name certainly sounds right at home in this movie next to fellow Spartans Leonidas, Stelios, Dilios and Astinos. Admittedly, my knowledge of ancient Greek names is not extensive. But from the lack of history or references to this name on the Internet, I'm guessing that Daxos is an invented name.

Stylistically, it works well as a Spartan character. It's tough and cool sounding, and manages to feel ancient yet dramatic and fantasy-like. This is very much in keeping with the look and feel of the Frank Miller 1998 graphic novel that the movie '300' is based on. And it seems that Frank Miller wasn't the only one who perceived Daxos this way. George R.R, Martin also created a character named Xaro Xhoan Daxos for his 'Song of Ice and Fire' series (otherwise known to television viewers as 'Game of Thrones') and in 2013 it was announced that Daxos of Meletis is one of the new "rare legendary creatures" for the trading card game 'Magic: The Gathering'. On his card, Daxos of Meletis is a strong looking man swinging a sword, his appearance reminiscent of the portrayal of the Spartans in '300'.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Daxos appearing in birth announcements soon, as it contains a few elements that are appealing to parents at the moment. For one, boys names containing "X" are very trendy. Double "X" names (Maxx, Jaxx, Paxx) and names with the sound element of "xon" or "xton" are appearing everywhere. Think Jaxon, Braxton, Paxton, Jaxton, Maxton etc. It's possibly not long until people look for a different ending to add to their one-syllable, ends-in-"x" names. Especially if they are also into ancient civilisation type names such as Maximus, Julius, Titus and Darius, all of which were in the U.S. top 500 boys names in 2012.

Dax itself and it's related names are also getting their fair share of attention these days. In 2012 Dax was ranked #634, Daxton #620, Daxon #2399, Daxtyn #6024, Daxson #6354, Daxten #7617, Daxx #7618, Daxtin #8996, and Daxter #9864. Dax is a place name, after a region in south-western France that is famous as a spa. It's also thought it could possibly mean 'badger', coming from the German word 'dachs' which is often pronounced daks, just as Dax is. That's possibly stretching things a bit far though.

Daxos has a super cool sound that could appeal both to people who love a fantasy reference (or two) and historical feel but current look. Perhaps between 'Game of Thrones', the new MTG character/card and the upcoming release of the sequel '300: Rise of an Empire' Daxos will garner some attention this year.

Daxos of Meletis
by Karla Ortiz for 'Magic: The Gathering'

1 comment:

  1. I can only guess it's a created name too - it looks like a cross between the French town Dax and the Greek island of Naxos. If so, you could translate it as "the waters of sacrifice" in a mixture of Latin and Greek.

    It's very sci-fi cool, and can't believe it isn't seen more often. Maybe in the future.