It’s been a long road for Alexis. It (and variants Alexius and Alexios) started out in ancient Greece as a male name and was used by several Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox saints. The Russian variant Alexei has been popular for centuries, and the name of many czars. It was first used in America in the ’40s, when the very female Alexis Smith started appearing in movies. It really started rising in the ’80s -- probably thanks to the Alexis Carrington Colby character in Dynasty -- and peaked at number three in 1999. And though Alexis might sound like a little sister to Alexandra, it most certainly is not. Both have their own unique roots, and Alexis has been more popular since the ’90s. Despite its immense popularity among little girls, Alexis is still being used for boys -- in 2004, it ranked just outside the top 100.