"Alexandrine Le Normant d'Étiolles" by François Boucher

Origin: French, Greek
Gender: Female
Meaning: Diminutive of Alexandra; "Defending Men"
Other Forms: Alexandra, Alexandrina, Alexandria, Alessandra

This diminutive of the strong and ancient Alexandra gives the name a bit of feminine frill. Alexandra itself is the female form of Greek Alexander, which comes from alexo, which means "to defend, help", and aner which means "man". Alexandra was the Mycenaean epithet for the Goddess Hera, who held dominion over marriage and birth and considered the cow, lion, and peacock sacred animals.

Illustration of an Alexandrine Parakeet from around 1770 to 1786
Alexandrine is a purely French concoction, with a few royal and aristocratic namesakes, like Alexandrine Le Normant d'Étiolles, the daughter of Madame de Pompadour, one of Louis XV's most famous mistresses, who he was the official stepfather to. She was nicknamed "Fanfan", and tragically died just a few months shy of her tenth birthday from acute peritonitis. There is also Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, a Queen of Denmark and Iceland who was married to Christian X, and a Princess Alexandrine of Baden. It last ranked in France's top 1000 in 1999 where it sat at #467, and peaked in 1900 and 1901 at number 90.

If you're talking poetry, Alexandrine is a type of poetic meter, sometimes called the "French alexandrine". An Alexandrine parrot or parakeet is a brightly colored bird that can be found from Germany to Saudi Arabia. It is named after Alexander the Great, who transported several different kinds of birds from Punjab to several countries and regions of the Mediterranean and Europe which were prized greatly by nobility.      


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