[ 2 syll. al-fred, alf-r-ed ] The baby boy name Alfred is pronounced as AEL-FRahD in English, AAL-FRahT in Dutch, aeL-FREHD in French, or AAL-FRehT in German and Polish †. Alfred is largely used in the Dutch, English, French, German, Polish, and Scandinavian languages, and it is derived from Old English origins. The name's meaning is inspired advice; old peace. A two-element name, it is from the elements 'aelf' meaning elf, supernatural being ; 'raed' counsel, advice. The name could be derived from Aelfraed (Old English), meaning 'inspired advice', or Ealdfrith (Old English) or Alfrid, meaning 'old peace'.
It was rather common before the Norman Conquest, and was borne by Alfred the Great (849-899), King of Wesse; he was widely respected for his inspiring rule, for driving the Danes out of England, and for his patronage of learning and culture. After the conquest, it was adopted in different forms by the Normans, and was one of the few Old English names that became popular beyond England and across the continent.
It later fell into disuse by the end of the Middle Ages before experiencing a revival among other medieval names in the 19th century. The form Alured was first coined in the 19th century, from a misreading of 'u' for the 'v' in the Latin form Alvred; 'v' was the transcription used for the alphabet 'f'. In literature, the name has appeared in the Charles Dickens novel Pickwick Papers (1836-1837) as Alfred Jingle. The form Alfie was popularized in England by the fictional young boy named Alfie in childrens' books written by Shirley Hughes in the mid 20th century, and later by the character Alfie Moon in the television soap opera East Enders (1985-). The name Alfreda (English, German, Italian, and Polish) is the female equivalent of Alfred.
The name Alfred is used to a great extent; it has 34 variants that are used in English and other languages. Variants used in English include Aelfraed, Ahlfred, Ailfred, Ailfryd, Alfea, Alfee, Alfeo, Alferd, Alfey, Alford, Alfre, Alfredas, Alfredo (used in Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish as well), Alfredos, Alfredus, Alfrey, Alfrid, Alfried, Alfryd, Elfrid, Freddie, and Freddy. Other English variants include the short forms Al, Alf, and Fred (used in German as well), and the diminutive forms Alfie, Alfy, and Allie.
Foreign variants of Alfred include Ailfrid (Irish), Alepeleke (Hawaiian), Alfréd (Hungarian), Alured (Latin and Latinized), and Fredo (Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish). Another foreign variant is the short form Fredi (German).
Alfred is a classic favorite. Currently it is still somewhat popular as a baby name for boys, though to a lesser extent than it was previously. At the height of its usage in 1928, 0.546% of baby boys were given the name Alfred. It ranked at #33 then. The baby name has since substantially fallen in popularity, and is of occasional use in recent years. In 2015, its usage was only 0.011% and its ranking #920, but it was nonetheless the 3rd most popular after Avery and Alfredo, within all boy names in its group. In 2015, Avery was used 10 times more than Alfred.
Baby names that sound like Alfred include Ahlfred, Albert, Alberte, Albirt, Albrecht, Albret, Alburt, Albyrt, Alford, Alfrid, Alfried, Alfryd, Allford, Ulbrecht, Ulfred, Alberto, Alfredo, Alpertti, Ulfreid, and Ulfrid.
† Pronunciation for Alfred: AE as in "at (AE.T)" ; L as in "lay (L.EY)" ; F as in "fee (F.IY)" ; R as in "race (R.EY.S)" ; AH as in "mud (M.AH.D)" ; D as in "day (D.EY)" ; AA as in "odd (AA.D)" ; T as in "tee (T.IY)" ; EH as in "ebb (EH.B)"
Details of famous persons named Alfred:
Activist Al Sharpton, born Alfred Charles Sharpton, Jr., 3 October 1954, Brooklyn, New York.
Actor Alfred (Alfie) Bass, born Abraham Basalinksy, 8 April 1921 - 15 July 1987, Bethnal Green, London, England.
Author Damon Runyon, born Alfred Damon Runyan, 4 October 1880 - 10 December 1946, Manhattan, Kansas.
Cartoon Character Alfred E. Neuman, New York, New York.
Comedian Benny Hill, born Alfred Hawthorn Hill, Southampton, England.
Filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock, born 13 August 1899 - 28 April 1980, London, England.
Footballer Alf Ramsey, born Alfred Ernest Ramsey, 22 January 1920 - 28 April 1999, Dagenham, London, England.
Industrialist Alfred Nobel, born 21 October 1833 - 10 December 1896, Stockholm, Sweden.
Journalist Alistair Cooke, born Alfred Cooke, 20 November 1908 - 30 March 2004, Salford, Lancashire, England.
Mathematician Alfred North Whitehead, born 15 February 1861 - 30 December 1947, Ramsgate, Isle of Thanet, Kent, England.