masc. proper name, little used in U.S. before 1980; in the top 100 names given to boys from 1992; apparently an alteration and appropriation of the surname Conner (13c.), representing Old English cunnere "examiner, inspector" (as in ale-conner; see con (v.3)).
masc. proper name, from Latin, from Greek Alexandros "defending men," from alexein "to ward off, keep off, turn (something) away, defend, protect" + anēr (genitive andros) "man" (from PIE root *ner- (2) "man"). The first element perhaps is related to Greek alke "protection, help, strength, power, courage," alkimos "strong;" and cognate with Sanskrit raksati "protects," Old English ealgian "to defend."
As a kind of cocktail recipe featuring crème de cacao and cream, Alexander is attested from 1913; the reason for the name is unclear.
But on another theory perhaps meaning rather "foreign men" (compare Allobroges, name of a Celtic tribe in what is now Savoy, in Latin literally "the aliens," in reference to their having driven out the original inhabitants), in which case the al- is cognate with the first element in Latin alius "the other" and English else.
The defeat of the Alemanni by a Frank-led army at Strasburg in 496 C.E. led to the conversion of Clovis and the rise of Frankish political power. The Alemanni were absorbed into the Frankish Kingdom in 796. Not historically important, but through proximity and frequent conflict with the Franks their name became the source of French Allemand, the usual word for "German, a German," and Allemagne "Germany." In modern use, Alemannish, Alemannic refers to the dialects of modern southwestern Germany; Alamannic refers to the ancient tribes and their language.
The name was also used to signify the evil inherent in human nature (as a consequence of Adam's fall), and other qualities (nakedness, gardening) associated with the biblical Adam. Adam's ale "water" is from 1640s. To not know (someone) from Adam "not know him at all" is first recorded 1784. The pet form of the name in Middle English was Addy, hence Addison; other old pet forms (Adkin, Adcock) also survive in surnames.