Both classic and trendy, Alexander comes from the Latin form of the Greek Alexandros, which breaks down into “to defend” (alexo) and “man/warrior” (ander). The meaning is pretty perfect for the name’s most famous bearer -- 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. In the US, it was mildly popular at the end of the nineteenth century, then took a dip until the ’70s and has been in the top 25 since ’92. Right now, it’s as popular as ever. There are tons of nickname options beyond the obvious Alex -- Xander, Sasha, Alek, and so on -- though you can’t really go wrong with the original. Despite its popularity, Alex has retained its classic but slightly edgy appeal, thanks in part to the trendy “x” ending. Not a bad choice at all.