Aristander&Anaxander

It takes an almost conscious effort on my part to ensure I talk about male names as much as I talk about female names.

As hard as it is to say, sometimes coming up with male names to talk about can stump me. However, I luckily received inspiration for this post just the other day when a friend mentioned that he liked the name Alexander, and openly wondered about if there existed names like Alexander, but without the added popularity factor.

Dude, you made that comment in front of the right girl as Aristander and Anaxander were the two names that immediately came to mind for me.

It seemed right to just take the idea, and run with it.

In England&Wales in 2011, the name Alexander ranked at #23, down slightly from the previous year but still a strong showing. At the same time, Alex ranked at a notable #59, whilst Alexandra fell out of the Top 100 for the girls. The name Alexander derives from Greek and means defending man.

History links the name Aristander to Alexander, by way of Alexander the Great and his most favourite seer, Aristander. The seer in question was apparently famed for the accuracy of his interpretations, as well as the many numerous omens and dreams which he had.

The name even shares the second element with that of Alexander, whilst the first element, aristos, means best; thusly, the name means best man.

Unlike Aristander, there is not a massively known Anaxander from history, but there is a well-known Anaxandra. She was a celebrated Greek painter from the 3rd century BCE.

Once more, he shares the second element of his name with the other two aforementioned names. The first part of the name name comes from the Greek anax, which means lord, thus the name means lord of men.

The nice thing about Anaxander is that he also contains an x, like Alexander, so the nickname of Xander remains shgould you so be inclined.

I’ve only been able to track down one other name which begins with Anax, and that is Anaxibia; she’s a female name that means kingly life. The name appears on numerous occasions in Greek mythology.

On the flip side, plentiful names started with Aris, including Aristophanes, the name of the so-called Father of Comedy. Aside from him, there’s also the name of a minor Greek deity, Aristaeus; the name of a 2nd-century saint, Aristides; and a common name from Ancient Greece, Aristion.

So there you have, two quirky (and non-ranking) alternatives to Alexander.

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