A shorter form of the super-popular (top 10) Alexander, Alex is both classic and trendy. It comes from the Latin form of the Greek Alexandros, which breaks down into “to defend” (alexo) and “man/warrior” (aner). The meaning is pretty perfect for the most famous bearer of the name (in its full form) -- Alexander the Great, the fourth century B.C. king and conqueror from Macedonia who spread his Greek empire from Asia Minor to Egypt and India. Since then, the name’s been pretty popular -- it’s been used by tons of popes, emperors, kings, and other rulers, and has variations in just about every language. Despite its popularity (Alex is way more popular than its ranking suggests, thanks to its well-used partner Alexander), Alex has retained its classic but slightly edgy appeal, thanks in part to the trendy “x” ending. Not a bad choice at all.