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Etymology of "Alexander"

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Etymology of "Alexander"

Postby Gregorius » Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:13 pm

I've been wondering this for a while now. The second half of Alexander the Great's name looks very much like the genitive singular of ανήρ re-interpreted as a second-declension nominative singular. Is this indeed the derivation, and if so, is such re-interpretation common in compounds involving ανήρ?
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Re: Etymology of "Alexander"

Postby Craig_Thomas » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:35 am

The Abridged Greek Lexicon has:

ἀλέξ-ανδρος, ον, (ἀλέξω, ἀνήρ) defending man.
II. the usual name of Paris in the Iliad.

Funny name for Paris.
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Re: Etymology of "Alexander"

Postby IreneY » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:24 pm

Yes it is.

We have, for instance, "Evander" (Εὔανδρος) and Lysander (Λύσανδρος) plus others I can't think of right now :)
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Re: Etymology of "Alexander"

Postby Lex » Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:29 am

Menander, Cleander, Alcander, Cassander, Leander...

... and my personal favorite, Philander. :wink:
I, Lex Llama, super genius, will one day rule this planet! And then you'll rue the day you messed with me, you damned dirty apes!
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Re: Etymology of "Alexander"

Postby Scribo » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:55 pm

Just check the oxford index of Greek personal names, you'll find a million
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Re: Etymology of "Alexander"

Postby Orpheus » Mon May 23, 2011 10:22 am

The phenomenon of -andros being used in compounds is clearly common, but I disagree with your explanation of it. It is the anhr form of the noun that is the irregular one and it is normal for compound words to be formed on the root rather than nominative. For example compounds of pas are pant- and there are many other examples. The root of anhr is andr, so those are the consonants used in the compound. -os is just a noun ending that happens to look like the genitive of the original noun.
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