Boy Names baby nameAlexander

What does the name Alexander mean?

The meaning of the name “Alexander” is: “Protector of Mankind”.

Additional information: The name Alexander is derived from the Ancient Greek name Ἀλέξανδρος (Alexandros), which means ‘Defender of the People’. It is derived from the ‘alexein’, meaning “to defend, to ward off" and ‘andros’, meaning “man”. Alexander the Great, ‘Μέγας Αλέξανδρος’(356—323 B.C.) was a Greek king of Macedonia, whose father King Philip, ‘Φίλιππος’, had unified Ancient Greece. Alexander the Great at his twenty years went on to extend the Macedon Empire to the East spreading Greek culture across Asia Minor, Babylon, Egypt, Persia and Syria until India. The Egyptian city of Alexandria is named after him.

The most famous historical figure named Alexander is Alexander the Great, but it was also used as another name for the Trojan hero Paris. Because of how long the name is, it has a lot of potential diminutives, including Al, Alex, Lex, Xander, and Zander, and the most common feminine form is Alexandra. There are many foreign spellings for Alexander, including the French Alexandre, the Irish Alastar, the Russian Aleksandr, and the Spanish Alejandro. Common misspellings are ‘Alexandar’, ‘Alaxander’ and ‘Alexender’.

The popularity of Alexander as a boys name fell during the first and second world wars, but its popularity started steadily improving in the seventies. It has always been one of the most popular names for boys all over the world for many centuries. It also ranked number 9 in USA for 2012. Since 2008 the name has remained in the top ten names for boys in the United States of America, and in 2014 it was the eighth most popular name. Alexander saw a brief period as a popular girls name from 1986 to 1992, but hasn’t made an appearance in the top 1000 names for girls since. In England and Wales, the name Alexander has seen a slow decline in popularity, falling to the 24th most popular name for boys in 2014.

One of the most prevalent legends surrounding the name Alexander is about Alexander the Great and the Gordian Knot – faced with a knot almost impossible to untie, and having struggled to untie it for some time, Alexander solved the problem by slicing the knot with his sword, a story still used today to illustrate that the answer to a problem may be easier than expected.

Because of the legends surrounding Alexander the Great, many more modern monarchs have been called Alexander, including kings of Serbia, Yugoslavia,  the first king of Yugoslavia, eight Popes, and three tsars of Russia. Other famous people named Alexander are Alexander Pope (English poet) and Alexander McQueen (British fashion designer). Alexander is also the name of great inventors, like Alexander Graham Bell who invented the telephone and Alexander Fleming who discovered penicillin.