Javier (pronounced: ) is the Spanish spelling of the masculine name Xavier.
The name derives from the Catholic Saint called Francis de Xavier, where Xavier refers to the saint's birthplace. This birthplace name, in turn, has Basque roots, etymologically originating in the word etxaberri (etxe berri in standard spelling, meaning "new house"). The original place name went through a Romance phonetic change in Navarro-Aragonese, a Romance language spoken in the neighbouring Romanzado (cf. Leire) from the Early Middle Ages. Like examples can be found in Irunberri > Lumbier, Erronkari > Roncal. It was later borrowed by Castilian. Other variations of this name include Xaverius, Xever, Javiero, and Saverio. The feminine Javiera, Saveria, Zaviera, and Saverina are less common.
Etxeberria, Echeverría, Echevarría, Etxebarri, Chávarri are Basque surnames related to the name by etymology.
Its diffusion is due to the fame of Jesuit priest and missionary Saint Francis Xavier (Spanish: ). When he was canonized, places and people were named after him, which popularized the name.
Contemporary use of the name Javier is found in Spain, Equatorial Guinea and Latin American countries, where it is popular.
Portuguese kept the pronunciation of "x" as the English "sh". Therefore, in Portuguese the name is still spelled Xavier and maintains the original "sh" pronunciation.
"Javier" is pronounced "hab-YAIR".
In the English-speaking world, especially in the British media, the pronunciation of "Javier" is frequently confused with the pronunciation of French words or names ending in "-ier" such as Xavier or Olivier. The resulting pronunciation "HAV-ee-ay" is a hybrid of Spanish, French and English. In Spanish, correctly spoken, the final syllable sounds much like the English word "air", not the English word "eh".
English speakers, unfamiliar with names beginning with 'X', sometimes pronounce "Xavier" as "ex-avier". This pronunciation is sometimes used for fictional characters, such as Charles Xavier, leader of the fictional X-Men. Ironically though this is an error compared with Spanish pronunciation of the name it is close to the original Basque place name.