The Name Alexander Roots and Meaning

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Alexander is a boys' name with a truly great history. It's one of those classic names that has surged in popularity among Millennial parents and doesn't show signs of receding. The most famous Alexander in history is undoubtedly Alexander the Great, the Macedonian military commander. The name Alexander is a Latin form of the Greek name Alexandros, which means "defender of the people." With that kind of backstory, it's no wonder so many parents choose Alexander as a name for their baby boy.


Alexander has always had a spot on the Social Security Administration's list of most popular boys' names, never really falling totally out of style. He hit the top 20 in 2000 and has been in the top 10 since 2008.

Alexander's consistent popularity on the name charts over the years put him at the No. 51 spot on the Top 100 Names of the Past Century.

Famous Alexanders in History and the Modern Era

Before the age of 30, Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great (356 B.C.–323 B.C.) built an empire across Asia and Northern Africa. His reputation as one of history's greatest military commanders continues to the present day, with his tactics still taught in military colleges.

Alexander was also used in Greek myth as another name for Paris, instigator of the Trojan War. Several figures in the New Testament of the Bible also were named Alexander.

In American history, Alexander Hamilton, who appears on the $10 bill, was one of the most influential Founding Fathers who never became president. George Washington chose Hamilton to be the first Secretary of the Treasury, a role in which he had a major impact on the formation of the U.S. government. He's also the subject of the 2014 Broadway musical Hamilton.

And then there's Scottish inventor Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the telephone, but had little use for the device. He considered it a distraction from his more scientific pursuits.

Middle Name Ideas and Nicknames

Alexander is such a strong name that it pairs well with different name styles, from traditional to contemporary. You might want to consider how many syllables your last name is when picking a middle name for Alexander because a long middle name could result in quite a mouthful for a young Alexander. A few suggestions: Alexander William, Alexander James, Alexander Thomas, and Alexander Joseph.

Alexander has many options for nicknames, including Al, Alec, Alex, Lex, Sandy, Xander, and Zander.

Sibling Name Suggestions 

With such a rich and diverse history, there are several strategies parents might employ when choosing a name for Alexander's brother or sister. For classic-sounding girls' names, Victoria, Catherine and Elizabeth pair well with Alexander, and for a brother the names William, Michael, and Robert are good choices. If trying for alliteration, a sister might be Andrea or Alexandria, for those really looking for a matched set. Good names for brothers of Alexander might be Adam or Andrew.

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