Sunday, April 22, 2012

Usual Name, Unexpected Nickname--Alexander

For such a long time, Alex was the favored nickname for Alexander, but in recent years, you're just as likely to hear Xander. Thanks to Alexander the Great, his name spread throughout Europe and the Middle East, and while the variants of Alexander all bear strong resemblance to the original (Eskandar, Alistair, Oleksander, to name a few), the nicknames have surprising variety.

  • Ace (AYS)--English
  • Ace/Atse (ATS-eh)--Macedonian
  • Aleš (AH-lesh)--Czech & Slovak
  • Lekso (LEK-so)--Serbian
  • Sandy (SAN-dee)--English
  • Santeri (SAHN-teh-ree)--Finnish
  • Sasha (SAH-shah)--Russian
  • Sawney (SAW-nee)--Scottish
  • Shurik (SHOOR-eek)--Russian
  • Skender (SKEN-der)--Albanian

Although it's technically a full name in its own right, the related Alexis and variant forms are sometimes used as a nickname for Alexander and company. While Alexander means "defender of man", Alexis is simply "defender". 
  • Aleix (ah-LAYSH)--Catalan
  • Alejo (ah-LEH-hoh)--Spanish
  • Aleksei (ah-lyek-SAY)--Russian
  • Alessio (ah-LES-syoh)--Italian

If you saw this post when it first went up, I apologize! I'm not sure how I managed to only publish part of it, but I've added in the missing Alexis segment. :)


  1. So interesting! Our Alexander (due in July) will be Alex. Among our friends though we have a Xander, an Allie (girl - Alexandra), and a Lexi (also girl)!

  2. TOO MANY XANDER / ZANDER kids running around in our part of the world (northern Midwest USA). It was really a cool name to have in 1995, but now I find it rather pitiful. Parents are introducing their children with: "and this is ZANDER-with-a-Z" and that kind of nonsense. Poor little 8-year-olds. If you want a unique name, find one. Xander/Zander is just not it anymore. And I used to love the Alexander but that too is ubiquitous: boys called Alex, girls called Alex, boys Alexi, girls called Alexie...ugh. Tiresome. Sorry. Signed, mother of Athanasia ("Tansy"), Percival, and Flynn.