Rubens - Judgement of Paris.jpg
Paris, depicted in this c. 1636 painting by Peter Paul Rubens making his famous judgment, was given the surname Alexander as a child when he routed a gang of cattle-thieves.
Pronunciation English: /ˈæləksˈændər/
Gender Masculine, the feminine variant being Alexandra.
Language(s) From the Latin Alexander, itself based upon the Greek Alexandros, from alexein meaning "to ward off, keep off, turn away, defend, protect" and aner meaning "man".
Meaning "Defender, protector of man".

Alexander is a common male first name, and less common surname. The most famous is Alexander the Great, the King of Macedon who created one of the largest empires in ancient history.



Etymologically, the name is derived from the Greek "Αλέξανδρος" (Aléxandros), meaning "defending men" [1] or "protector of men", a compound of the verb "ἀλέξω" (alexō), "to ward off, to avert, to defend"[2] and the noun "ἀνδρός" (andros), genitive of "ἀνήρ" (anēr), "man".[3] It is an example of the widespread motif of Greek (or Indo-European more generally) names expressing "battle-prowess", in this case the ability to withstand or push back an enemy battle line.

The earliest attested form of the name is the Mycenaean Greek feminine noun a-re-ka-sa-da-ra, (transliterated as Alexandra), written in Linear B syllabic script.[4][5][6]

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 save warriors". In the Iliad, the character Paris is known also as Alexander.[7] The name's popularity was spread throughout the Greek world by the military conquests of King Alexander III, commonly known as "Alexander the Great". Most later Alexanders in various countries were directly or indirectly named for him.[citation needed]

People known as Alexander

Alexander has been the name of many rulers, including kings of Macedon, kings of Scotland, emperors of Russia and popes.

Rulers of antiquity

Rulers of the Middle Ages

Modern rulers

Other royals

Several other princes have borne the name Alexander:

Religious leaders

  • See also Saint Alexander, various saints with this name

Other people

Other people using the name Alexander include:


Middle Ages


  • Alexander (magician) (1880–1954), stage magician specializing in mentalism
  • Olivinha (b. 1983), a Brazilian basketball player also known as Alexandre

People with the given name Alexander

Internationally famous people with the given name Alexander or variants include:

Fictional people

  • Lex Luthor, the main super-villain of the Superman franchise
  • Alex DeLarge, the main character from the novel A Clockwork Orange and its film adaptation
  • Xander Harris, one of the main characters of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise
  • Alex Rider, the main character from the novel Stormbreaker and the film adaptation
  • Alexander Rozhenko, the Klingon son of Worf in the television series "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine"
  • Alex Cross, the main character of James Patterson's series of Alex Cross novels
  • Alex Summers, a mutant also known as Havok and brother to Scott Summers in X-Men
  • Alec Hardison, hacker in TNT's Leverage (TV series)
  • Alex Karev, one of the main characters on ABC's Grey's Anatomy.

People with the surname Alexander

Variants and diminutives

  • Albanian – Aleksandër, Leka, Lekë, Sandër, Skënder, Leksi, Leks, Aleko, Lisandër
  • Amharic – እስከንደር (Eskender)
  • Arabic – الاسكندر / اسكندر (Iskandar)
  • Aragonese – Alexandre, Alixandre
  • Armenian – Ալեքսանդր (Aleksandr/Alexandr), Աղեքսանդր (Agheksandr), Ալեքսան (Aleksan/Alexan), Ալեք (Aleq), Ալիկ (Alik)
  • Asturian – Alexandru
  • Azerbaijani – İsgəndər (Isgandar)
  • Bangla – Sikandar Alakshendra, Iskandar, Skandar, Alekzandar
  • Bashkir – Искәндәр (Iskәndәr)
  • Basque – Alesander, Alesandere (feminine), Alexander, Alexandere (feminine)
  • Belarusian – Аляксандp (Aliaksandr, in normative spelling), Аляксандаp (Alaksandar, in Taraškievica spelling), Алeсь (Aleś)
  • Bulgarian – Александър (Aleksandar), Александра (Alexandra feminine), Сандо (Sando), Сашо (Sasho), Aлекс (Aleks)
  • Catalan – Alexandra (feminine), Alexandre, Àlex, Aleix, Sandra (feminine), Xandre
  • Chinese – 亞歷山大, 亚历山大 (Yàlìshāndà)
  • Corsican – Lisandru
  • Croatian – Aleksandar, Saša, Aco, Aleksandra (feminine)
  • Czech – Alexandr, Aleš
  • Danish – Alexander, Alex, Alexandra (feminine)
  • Dutch – Alexander, Alex, Lex, Alexandra (feminine), Sander, Sandra (feminine), Xander
  • Ethiopian – Eskender
  • English – Alexander, Alec, Alex, Al, Alexis, Alexa (feminine), Alexandria (feminine), Alexandra (feminine), Lex, Lexxi, Sandra (feminine), Sandy, Sasha (feminine), Xander, Xandra (feminine), Zandra (feminine), Zander
  • Esperanto – Aleksandro, Aleksaĉjo, Aleĉjo, Aĉjo, Alekso, Alko, Alek, Alik, Aleksandra (feminine), Aleksino (feminine), Aleksanjo (feminine), Anjo (feminine)
  • Estonian – Aleksander, Sander
  • Extremaduran – Alejandru
  • Faroese – Aleksandur
  • French – Alexandre, Alexis, Alex
  • Filipino – Alexander, Alejandro, Alejo, Alex, Sandy, Zandro, Alexandra (feminine), Alessandra (feminine)
  • Finnish – Aleksanteri, Aleksi, Santeri, Santtu
  • Galician – Alexandre, Álex
  • Georgian/ქართულად – ალექსანდრე (Alexandré),(Aleksandre) ალეკო (Aleko), ლექსო (Lexo).
  • German – Alexander, Alex, Alexandrine (feminine), Alexandra (female), Sascha, Sander
  • Greek – Αλέξανδρος (Aléxandros), Αλέκος (Alekos)
  • Hawaiian - Alika
  • Hebrew – אלכסנדר (Alexander), אלכס (Alex)
  • Hindi – Hindustani – Sikandar Alakshendra अलक्षेन्द्र
  • Hungarian – Sándor
  • Indonesian – Iskandar
  • Icelandic – Alexander, Alex, Alexis, Axel, Alexandra (feminine)
  • Interlingua – Alexandro
  • Irish (Gaeilge) – Alasandar, Alastar, Alsander
  • Italian – Alessandro, Ale, Alex, Sandro, Alessio, Aleandro, Alessandra (feminine), Sandra (feminine), Alessia (feminine)
  • Japanese – アレキサンダー (Arekisandā), アレックス (Arekkusu), アレクサンドロス (Arekusandorosu)
  • Javanese – Alexander, Iskandar
  • Kazakh – Eskendir
  • Korean – 알렉산드로스 (Alleksandeuroseu)
  • Kurdish – Askander, Eskander, Îskenderê
  • Kyrgyz – Искендер (İskender)
  • Latvian – Aleksandrs
  • Latin – Alexander, Alexandrus
  • Lithuanian– Aleksandras
  • Lombard – Lisander
  • Macedonian – Александар (Aleksandar), Алек (Alek), Аце (Atse), Ацо (Atso), Сашо (Sasho)
  • Malay – Iskandar
  • Malayalam – ചാണ്ടി (Chandy)
  • Maltese – Lixandru
  • Mandarin Chinese - Yalishanda or Alishanda
  • Manx – Alastar, Alister
  • Mirandese – Alxandre
  • Norwegian – Aleksander,Alek, Alexander, Alex, Sander, Alexandra(feminine)
  • Occidental – Alexandro
  • Occitan – Alexandre
  • Persian – اسكندر (Eskandar) or اسکندر خجسته (Eskandar-e-Khojaste)
  • Polish – Aleksander, Alek, Olek, Aleks
  • Portuguese – Alexandre, Alexandra (feminine), Alexandro (rare), Alex, Sandro, Sandra (feminine), Alessandro, Alessandra (feminine), Xande, Xandre
  • Romanian — Alexandru, Alexandra (feminine), Alex, Alexe, Sandu, Sanda (feminine), Sandra (feminine), Alecu, Aleca (feminine), Lisandru, Sașa
  • Russian — Александр (Aleksandr), Александра (Aleksandra, feminine), Алик (Alik, male), Аля (Alia, male and feminine), Саша (Sasha), Шурик (Shurik), Саня (Sanya)
  • Sanskrit language – Alikasundara
  • Scots Gaelic – Alasdair, Alastair, Alistair, Alisdair, Aldair, Ally, Ali, Al
  • Serbian – Александар (Aleksandar), Алекса (Aleksa), Алекс (Aleks), Алек (Alek), Лексо (Lekso), Саша (Saša), Сале (Sale), Ацa (Aca), Ацо (Aco), Александра (Aleksandra, feminine), Сандра (Sandra, feminine), Сашка (Saška, feminine)
  • Sicilian – Alissandru
  • Sinhala - Ishkander
  • Old Church Slavonic – Алєѯандръ (Aleksandr, Alexandr)
  • Slovak – Alexander
  • Slovene – Aleksander, Aleks, Sandi, Sašo
  • Spanish – Alejandro, Alexandro, Alejo, Alex, Jandro, Jano, Lisandro, Sandro, Alejandra (feminine), Lisandra (feminine), Sandra (feminine)
  • Swedish – Alexander, Alex, Alexandra (feminine)
  • Tamil – Aleksandar
  • Telugu – Alexandaru
  • Thai – อเล็กซานเดอร์ (Aleksāndə̄[r] (Aleksandar))
  • Turkish – İskender
  • Ukrainian — Олександр (Olexandr, Oleksandr), Олекса (Oleksa, Olexa), Сашко (Sashko), Олесь (Oles')
  • Urdu – Pakistani – سکندر (Sikandar) or اسكندر (Eskandar)
  • Uzbek – Iskandar
  • Venetian – Alessandro
  • Vietnamese – Alêchxăngđrơ, A-Lịch-Sơn
  • Võro – Aleksandri
  • Welsh – Alecsander
  • West Frisian – Aleksander
  • Yiddish – סענדער – Sender, Senderl

See also


  1. ^ ἀλέξανδρος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  2. ^ ἀλέξω, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  3. ^ ἀνήρ, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus Digital Library
  4. ^ a-re-ka-sa-da-ra (Alexandra) Palaeolexicon, Word study tool of ancient languages
  5. ^ Mycenaean (Linear B) – English Glossary
  6. ^ The Mycenaean World, John Chadwick, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1976, 1999
  7. ^ Ἀλέξανδρος, Georg Autenrieth, A Homeric Dictionary, on Perseus Digital Library

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