Anderson, Alexander

Alexander

[al-ig-zan-der, -zahn-]

Alexander is a common male first name.

Origin

The name in English is taken from the Greek name Ἀλέξανδρος (Alexandros). Etymologically, the name is a compound of the Greek verb ἀλέξειν (alexein) "to defend" and the noun ἀνδρός (andros), genitive of ἀνήρ (anēr) "man". Thus it may be roughly translated as "protector of man". The term is either a rare type of "inverse tatpurusha" compound, with the modifier in second position (the cognate Sanskrit tatpurusha being *nararakṣa, cf. Ramayana 6.33.45; the exact Sanskrit counterpart would be *rakṣinara, from PIE hleks(i)-hnros), or a worn-down terpsimbrotos type compound, whose original verbal meaning was "he protects men".

The earliest attested record of the name is the Mycenaean Greek of the feminine Alexandra, written in Linear B (The Mycenaean World, by John Chadwick, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1976, 1999).

The name was one of the titles ("epithets") given to the Greek goddess Hera and as such is usually taken to mean "one who comes to the aid of warriors". In the Iliad, the character Paris is known also as Alexander. The name's popularity was spread throughout the Greek world by the military conquests of King Alexander III of Macedonia, commonly known as "Alexander the Great". Most later Alexanders in various countries were directly or indirectly named for him.

In Russia, the name was uncommon until the time of Tsar Alexander I, due to whom it became one of the most common of Russian first names and gained a considerable number of Russian variations and abbreviations (see following).

Variants and diminutives

  • Albanian – Aleksandër, Aleks or Leka i Madh, Lekë (mostly in north Albania) Sandër, Skëndër, Skender (The name of national heroes of Albanians Skenderbeu is a remain of Alexander, Iskander)
  • Amharic – Eskender
  • Arabic – الاسكندر / اسكندر (Iskandar), Skandar, Skender
  • Belarusian – Аляксандp (Aliaksandr), Алeсь (Ales'), Алелька (Alyel'ka)
  • Bulgarian - Александър (Aleksandar), Сашо (Sasho), Aлекс (Aleks)
  • Catalan – Alexandre, Àlex, Xandre
  • Corsican - Lisandru
  • Czech - Alexandr
  • Dutch - Alexander, Sander
  • English – Alexander, Alec, Alex, Lex, Sandy, Andy, Alexis, Alexa, Alexandria, Alexandra, Sandra, Al, Sasha, Ali, Lexxi, Zander, Xander, Sashi, Eck
  • French - Alexandre, Alexis, Alex
  • Finnish - Aleksanteri, Santeri, Santtu
  • Galician – Alexandre, Álex
  • Georgian/ქართულად – ალექსანდრე (Alexandre), ალეკო (Aleko), ლექსო (Lekso), სანდრო (Sandro)
  • Greek - Αλέξανδρος
  • Hebrew – אלכסנדר (Alexander), אלכס (Alex)
  • HindiHindustaniSikandar
  • Hungarian – Sándor
  • Irish (Gaeilge) – Alasandar
  • Italian – Alessandro, Ale, Sandro, Alessio
  • Kurdish - Askander, Eskander
  • Kyrgyz – Искендер (İskender)
  • Macedonian - Александар (Aleksandar), Сашо (Sasho), Aлексa (Aleksa), Ацо (Aco)
  • Malay – Iskandar
  • Malayalam – ചാണ്ടി (Chandy)
  • Maltese – Lixandru
  • Norwegian – Aleksander
  • Persian – اسكندر (Eskandar)
  • Polish - Aleksander, Alek, Olek, Aleks
  • Portuguese – Alexandre, Alexandra (feminine), Alexandro (rare), Xana (feminine), Alex, Xande, Sandro, Sandra (feminine), Sandrina (feminine), Alessandro, Alessandra (feminine)
  • Romanian — Alexandru, Alexandra (feminine), Alex, Sandu, Sanda (feminine), Sandra (feminine)
  • Russian — Александр (Alexandr), Саша (Sasha), Шура (Shura), Саня (Sanya), Шурик (Shurik), Сашок (Sashok)
  • Sanskrit language – Alekchendra
  • Scots Gaelic – Alasdair, Alastair, Alistair, Alisdair
  • Slovenian - Aleksander, Aleks, Sandi, Sašo
  • Serbian - Александар (Aleksandar), Алекса (Aleksa), Алекс (Aleks), Саша (Sasa), Сале (Sale)
  • Spanish - Alejandro, Alejo, Alex, Jandro, Jano
  • Tamil language – Aleksandar
  • Turkish – İskender
  • Ukrainian — Олександр (Olexandr), Сашко (Sashko)
  • UrduHindustaniSikandar
  • UrduPakistaniSikander ("Sikander-e-Azam" is "Alexander the Great")
  • Uzbek – Iskandar
  • Yiddish – סענדער – Sender, Senderl

Alexander as a given name

Monarchs

Antiquity

Middle Ages

Modern

Religious leaders

Other people

A few other princes have borne the name Alexander:

Alexander as a surname

Fictional people with the name Alexander

See also

References

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