Meaning and Origin of: Alexander

Boy name origins & meanings

alexander baby name

  • Greek : Protector of mankind

Syllables: 4

Family name origins & meanings

  • Scottish, English, German, Dutch; also found in many other cultures : from the personal name Alexander, classical Greek Alexandros, which probably originally meant ‘repulser of men (i.e. of the enemy)’, from alexein ‘to repel’ + andros, genitive of anēr ‘man’. Its popularity in the Middle Ages was due mainly to the Macedonian conqueror, Alexander the Great (356–323 bc)—or rather to the hero of the mythical versions of his exploits that gained currency in the so-called Alexander Romances. The name was also borne by various early Christian saints, including a patriarch of Alexandria (ad c.250–326), whose main achievement was condemning the Arian heresy. The Gaelic form of the personal name is Alasdair, which has given rise to a number of Scottish and Irish patronymic surnames, for example McAllister. Alexander is a common forename in Scotland, often representing an Anglicized form of the Gaelic name. In North America the form Alexander has absorbed many cases of cognate names from other languages, for example Spanish Alejandro, Italian Alessandro, Greek Alexandropoulos, Russian Aleksandr, etc. (For forms, see Hanks and Hodges 1988.) It has also been adopted as a Jewish name.
  • A number of Scotch-Irish families of this name landed at New York in the early 18th century. By 1746, six of them were established in NC. Others came in through Philadelphia, for example Archibald Alexander, who came from Londonderry in northern Ireland in 1736 and established himself in VA.

Famous people who gave their babies this name

Popularity

Alexander is the number 11 most popular boys name in the US, according to 2018 Social Security Administration data. Alexander has been overwhelmingly popular over the last two decades, remaining in the top 20 names since 2000. It peaked in popularity in 2009 when it was the number four most popular name for boys.

However, it is the 44th most popular name on FamilyEducation.com.

According to Google search data analysis, in the last five years Alexander was at its peak popularity in February 2016.

The name Alexander has been used throughout history, most well known as the given name of Alexander the Great. It was one of the most popular boy names of this century, and has been used to inspire spinoffs for both boys and girls such as Alex, Zander, Zan, etc. Its popularity may be attributed to many notable Alexanders throughout history including but not limited to: Alexander Graham Bell, Alexander Hamilton, Alexander McQueen, and more.

Where is it Popular?

Alexander was searched for most often in the following states:

Pairs well with these middle names