Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum

Have any of you seen or heard about the new PBS Kids show Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum? It premiered this week; it’s “[b]ased on the children’s book series Ordinary People Change the World by New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer and illustrator Christopher Eliopoulos … [and] will introduce kids to inspiring historical figures and the character virtues that helped them succeed.” (This was a pretty interesting article about it, which focused heavily on the need for kids to have good heroes today [secular, of course, I didn’t see any Saints in the lineup! 😀 ], and this quote was interesting: “where do you draw the line between someone whose flaws are flaws in a good person, and someone whose flaws are disqualifying for a kids’s how [sic]?” I’m glad that’s something they’re wrestling with! So far they seem to have done a good job — my kids have seen a couple of episodes and like it well enough, and I haven’t seen anything objectionable in it.)

Anyway, what made me sit up and take notice is how they said Xavier’s name: ex-ZAY-vyer! (You might remember that I have strong feelings on the pronunciation of Xavier.) I tried to find more info on the selection of Xavier as the protagonist’s name, and hoped that someone might have written about the pronunciation, but didn’t find anything — if you do, please share!


My book, Catholic Baby Names for Girls and Boys: Over 250 Ways to Honor Our Lady (Marian Press, 2018), is available to order from ShopMercy.org and Amazon — perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

8 thoughts on “Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum

  1. Xavier!!! Yay!!! Thanks for passing this along.

    I might have reasons for loving that name. Like silly toddler who only runs, never walks, but might answer to that name kind of reasons.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My kids love that show! I was also struck by the unusual names. Xavier’s sister is named Yadina, which I think is a variation on Adina/Adine, a n Arabic name. “Xavier” is an Arabic name originally too–maybe they are Middle Eastern? Maybe it is more traditional to pronounce the “Ex” in those cultures? Totally guessing here, I have no idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting! I’d assumed Yadina was Spanish — I looked it up previously and couldn’t find anything on it but this bit “According to a user from California, United States, the name Yadina is of Spanish origin and means “Beautiful and Loyal”” from https://www.names.org/n/yadina/about, and that it’s a surname that’s most prevalent in Russia (https://forebears.io/surnames/yadina). I wouldn’t have thought of the Adina connection … I thought the Spanish connection felt right because of St. Francis Xavier being Spanish, but maybe you’re right! Though I thought Xavier was originally Basque? https://www.behindthename.com/name/xavier Oh! I just googled Yadina and came up with girls with that first name and the last names Sanchez and Salinas … I’m definitely intrigued by this name now!

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  3. I think Xavier is actually Basque, not Arabic. The two English pronunciations have different images for me. Zavier sounds trendy because it has been a fairly fashionable name. Eggs-zavier reminds me of The Avengers. And Havier is Hispanic.

    Liked by 1 person

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