AskDefine | Define Alexander

Dictionary Definition

Alexander

Noun

1 European herb somewhat resembling celery widely naturalized in Britain coastal regions and often cultivated as a potherb [syn: Alexanders, black lovage, horse parsley, Smyrnium olusatrum]
2 king of Macedon; conqueror of Greece and Egypt and Persia; founder of Alexandria (356-323 BC) [syn: Alexander the Great]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

From Alexander < Ἀλέξανδρος < ἀλέξω + ἀνδρός, genitive of ἀνήρ.

Proper noun

  1. A given name, most famously held by Alexander the Great.

Translations

male given name

Derived terms

See also

Danish

Proper noun

  1. A given name, cognate to English Alexander.

Related terms

German

Proper noun

  1. A given name, cognate to English Alexander.

Related terms

Icelandic

Proper noun

  1. A given name, cognate to English Alexander.

Related terms

Norwegian

Alternative spellings

Proper noun

  1. A given name, cognate to English Alexander.

Related terms

Swedish

Proper noun

  1. A given name, cognate to English Alexander.

Related terms

Extensive Definition

Alexander is a common male first name. It also occurs as a surname.

Origin

The name in English is taken from the Latin "Alexander", which is a romanization of the Greek name Αλέξανδρος (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, 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)
  • Catalan – Alexandre, Àlex, Xandre
  • English – Alexander, Alec, Alex, Lex, Sandy, Andy, Alexis, Alexa, Alexandria, Alexandra, Sandra, Al, Sasha, Ali, Lexxi, Zander, Xander, Sashi, Eck
  • Galician – Alexandre, Álex
  • Georgian/ქართულად – ალექსანდრე (Alexandre), ალეკო (Aleko), ლექსო (Lekso), სანდრო (Sandro)
  • Hebrew – אלכסנדר (Alexander)
  • HindiHindustaniSikandar
  • Irish (Gaeilge) – Alasandar
  • Italian – Alessandro, Leandro, Ale, Sandro, Alessio
  • Kyrgyz – Искендер (İskender)
  • Malay – Iskandar
  • Malayalam – ചാണ്ടി (Chandy)
  • Maltese – Lixandru
  • Persian – اسكندر (Eskandar)
  • Portuguese – Alexandre, Alexandra (feminine), Alexandro (rare), Xana (feminine), Alex, Xande, Sandro, Sandra (feminine), Sandrina (feminine)
  • Russian — Александр (Alexandr)
  • Sanskrit language – Alekchendra
  • Scots Gaelic – Alasdair, Alastair, Alistair, Alisdair
  • Turkish – İskender
  • UrduHindustaniSikandar
  • UrduPakistani – Sikander ("Sikander-e-Azam" is "Alexander the Great")
  • Uzbek – Iskandar
  • Yiddish – סענדער – Sender, Senderl

Alexander as a given name

A given name

Monarchs

Antiquity

Middle Ages

Modern

Religious leaders

Other people

A few other princes have borne the name Alexander:

People with the surname Alexander

surname nocat

Fictional

See also

References

Alexander in Bulgarian: Александър
Alexander in Catalan: Alexandre
Alexander in Danish: Alexander
Alexander in German: Alexander
Alexander in Modern Greek (1453-): Αλέξανδρος
Alexander in Spanish: Alejandro
Alexander in French: Alexandre (prénom)
Alexander in Korean: 알렉산더
Alexander in Croatian: Aleksandar
Alexander in Italian: Alessandro
Alexander in Hebrew: אלכסנדר (פירושונים)
Alexander in Latin: Alexander
Alexander in Lithuanian: Aleksandras
Alexander in Hungarian: Alexander
Alexander in Macedonian: Александар
Alexander in Dutch: Alexander
Alexander in Japanese: アレクサンダー
Alexander in Norwegian: Aleksander
Alexander in Polish: Alexander
Alexander in Portuguese: Alexandre
Alexander in Russian: Александр
Alexander in Slovak: Alexander
Alexander in Slovenian: Aleksander
Alexander in Swedish: Alexander
Alexander in Thai: อเล็กซานเดอร์ (ชื่อ)
Alexander in Ukrainian: Олександр
Alexander in Chinese: 亞歷山大
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