[ 4 syll. a-le-xan-der, al-exand-er ] The baby boy name Alexander is pronounced as aeL-ahG-ZAEN-DahR in English, aa-LahK-SAAN-DahR in Dutch, or aa-LehK-SAAN-DehR in German †. Alexander is a Dutch, English, German, Hungarian, and Slavic name of Old Greek origin. The name is of the meaning defender of men. It is derived from the elements 'alexein' meaning to ward off, to defend ; 'aner' man. Alexandros (Old Greek) is an older form of Alexander.
The name was first borne by Paris the prince of Troy, who was given the nickname by herdsmen whom he had defended. It later appeared in the Macedonian royal family, who alternately named their kings Alexander and Philip. The most famous bearer was Alexander III, better known as Alexander the Great (356-323 BC), the King of Macedonia who in his twenties conquered most of Asia Minor, Babylon, Egypt, Persia, and Syria. Through his conquests and widely translated accounts of his life in the medieval 'Alexander romances', the name came into widespread use throughout Europe. At least twenty saints, three Russian emperors and eight popes later bore the name. The name was even adopted in Hebrew after his benign reign over Palestine.
English speakers adopted the name from the 12th century. It was especially popular in Scotland after it was borne by three Scottish kings, starting from Alexander I, who was given his name by his mother, who was partially of Hungarian descent. The name was popular in Hungary, but it was not formerly used in Scotland. In literature, Alexander has appeared as the name of the servant to Cressida in William Shakespeare's play The History of Troilus and Cressida (1602).
Alexander is a variant (Dutch, English, German, Hungarian, and Slavic) of the name Alexandros (Greek).
The name Alexandra (Czech, Dutch, English, German, Greek, Hungarian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Scandinavian, Slavic, and Spanish) is the female version of Alexander.
Alexander is a widely used name; it has 137 variants that are used in English and other languages. Variants used in English include Alasdair (also used in Scottish), Alastar (also used in Irish), Alaxander, Aleczander, Alejandro (also used in Spanish), Alek (also used in Russian), Aleks, Aleksandar (also used in Slavic), Alekzander, Alessander, Alessandro (also used in Italian and Spanish), Alessio, Alexan, Alexandr (also used in Czech and Russian), Alexandra, Alexandre (also used in Catalan, French, Galician, Hungarian, and Portuguese), Alexandro (also used in Esperanto and Spanish), Alexsander, Alexxander, Alexzander, Aliks, Alisander, Alissander, Alissandre, Alistair, Alix, Alixander, Alixandre, Allejandro, and Allessandro. Other English forms include the contractions Al, Alec (also used in Greek, and Scottish), Aleck, Alex (also used in German), Alexi, Alexis (also used in Greek), Alexy, Alic (also used in Spanish), Alick, Alik (also used in German, and Spanish), Lex (also used in German), Lexus, Sander (also used in Dutch, German, Scandinavian, Slavic, and Spanish), Xan, Xander (also used in Dutch, German, and Greek), and Zander (also used in Greek, and Slavic), the pet forms Allie, Sanders, Sandy (also used in Scottish), and Sawnie (also used in Scottish), and the variant spellings Alexandar, Alexandor, and Alyxander.
Foreign variants of Alexander include Alastair (Scottish), Aleixandre (Catalan), Alejandrino (Spanish), Alejo (Spanish), Alekanekelo (Hawaiian), Alekko (Slavic), Alekos (Greek), Aleksander (Albanian, Armenian, Estonian, Polish, Slavic, and Yiddish), Aleksandr (Russian), Aleksandro (Esperanto), Aleksandur (Slavic), Aleksanteri (Finnish), Aleksy (Polish), Ales (Czech), Alesander (Basque), Alesandro (Spanish), Alesandros (Spanish), Alesi (Spanish), Alesio (Spanish), Alesis (Spanish), Alessandre (Brazilian), Alessandri (Chilean), Alexandros (Greek), Alexandru (Romanian), Alexio (Portuguese), Alister (Scottish), Aljoscha (Russian), Alsandair (Irish), Alsandare (Irish), and Alyksandr (Ukrainian). Specific foreign variants include the contractions Aleksei (Russian), Alexei (Russian), Sandro (Italian and Spanish), Santeri (Finnish), and Sándor (Hungarian), and the pet forms Alechjo (Esperanto), Aleko (Slavic), Leka (Albanian), Leks (Estonian), Lexo (Slavic), Olech (Polish), Olek (Polish), Oles (Polish and Russian), Olexa (Czech), Olés (Polish), Santtu (Finnish), Sanya (Russian), Sascha (German), Sasha (Russian), Sawney (Scottish), and Shura (Russian).
See also the related categories, prince (king), life, medieval, slavic, defender (protector), europe (continental), man (humanity), servant (helper), greek, hebrew, macedonia, russian, dutch, saints (catholic), german, literature, and hungarian.
Alexander is very popular as a baby name for boys. The name's popularity jumped from the 1950s up to the 1990s. At the height of its usage in 1993, 0.994% of baby boys were given the name Alexander. Its ranking then was #21. The baby name has since experienced a fall in popularity. In 2018, its usage was 0.622% and its ranking #11, but it was nonetheless the most popular within all boy names in its group. In 2018, Alexander was thrice as popular as the next most popular name, Axel. Alexander has predominantly been a baby boy name, though in the past century it has also been used for girls. In 1992, baby boys named Alexander outnumbered girls by 91 times.
Baby names that sound like Alexander include Aleksander, Alecander, Alecsander, Aleczander, Aleksandar, Aleksandr, Aleksandro, Aleksandur, Alekzander, Alesander, Alesandro, Alessander, Alessandri, Alessandro, Alexandr, Alexandra, Alexandro, Alexandru, Alexjandro, and Alexsander.
† Pronunciation for Alexander: AE as in "at (AE.T)" ; L as in "lay (L.EY)" ; AH as in "mud (M.AH.D)" ; G as in "grin (G.R.IH.N)" ; Z as in "zoo (Z.UW)" ; N as in "knee (N.IY)" ; D as in "day (D.EY)" ; R as in "race (R.EY.S)" ; AA as in "odd (AA.D)" ; K as in "key (K.IY)" ; S as in "see (S.IY)" ; EH as in "ebb (EH.B)"
Details of famous persons named Alexander:
Bacteriologist Alexander Fleming, born 6 August 1881 - 11 March 1955, Lochfield, Aryshire, Scotland.
Baseball Player Alex Rodriguez, born Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez, 27 July 1975, New York, New York.
Emperor Alexander the Great, born 356 B.C.323 B.C., Pella, Macedonia.
Explorer Alexander MacKenzie, born 1764 - 12 March 1820, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland.
Inventor Alexander Graham Bell, born Alexander Bell, 3 March 1847 - 2 August 1922, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Military Leader Alexander Haig, born Alexander Meigs Haig, Jr., 2 December 1924, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Poet Alexander Pope, born 21 May 1688 - 30 May 1744, London, England.
Poet Alexander Pushkin, born Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin, 6 June 1799 - 10 February 1837, Moscow, Russia.
Politician Alexander Kerensky, born Alexandr Feodorovich Kerensky, 22 April 1881 - 11 June 1970, Simbirsk, Russia.
Politician Alexander Lukashenko, born 30 August 1954, Kopys, B.S.S.R., U.S.S.R.