Couple Use Variations of the Same 4 Letters to Name Their 11 Children

A couple in Belgium has become famous for giving their 11 children first names based on different variations of just four letters from the alphabet – A, E, L, and X.

Gwenny Blanckaert and Marino Vaneeno are the proud parents of eleven children – seven girls and four boys – all of whom have four-letter names, the same four letters, in fact. Despite having 26 letters in the alphabet to work with, after making their first to children Alex and Axel, the two parents had a revelation and decided to use just the letters A, E, L, and X to name their other kids. And because they both wanted a big family, they ended up having to use variations of those four letters to name their next nine children as well, and plan to do the same when their twelfth child is born next year.

Photo: Brett Jordan/Unsplash

“We thought Alex was a great first name and then we called our second child Axel,” Gwenny said. “We realized that they were the same letters, so we decided to continue like this.”


Even though the Belgian couple’s children are named Alex, Axel, Xela, Lexa, Xael, Xeal, Exla, Leax, Xale, Elax and Alxe, the two parents claim that getting their names right is not that hard. It’s a different story for the teachers, though, especially with five of their children studying at the same school.


In April of next year, Gwenny and Marino will be welcoming their 12th baby into the world, and plan to uphold the same naming tradition as before. Since the four letters allow for 24 different first names, they have 13 variations to choose from.

Gwenny and Marino’s bizarre baby naming tradition first made news headlines a couple of years ago, when they had nine kids. They’ve been keeping busy since then, and now they are in the news again.

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