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Leander

Today's name: Leander (male)

Potential nicknames: Lee, Andy, Ander, Leo, Leader

Variant forms: Ander, Leandre, Leandrew, Leandro, Leandros, Leanther, Lee, Leiandros, Leo, Liander, and Liandro.

Pronunciation: lee-AN-der

Origin: Derived from the Greek Leiandros, meaning "lion man."

Popularity: There were 55 baby boys named Leander in 2010 in the U.S., along with 51 Leandre's, 10 Leandrew's, and 262 Leandro's. In 2011 there were 48 boys named Leander, along with various other spellings: 34 Leandre, 27 Leondre, 5 Leeandre, and 5 Liandro (Italian). For girls, there were 81 named Leandra in 2011, along with 9 Leandrea, 8 Leandria and 8 Leeandra.

Fun fact: (1) This is a fun alternative to all the Leo's out there, considering the le- beginning in Leander, Leopold, Leo, Leonard, etc. all have the same meaning, "lion." It also feels fresh compared with the ever-popular Alexander. (2) Saint Leander of Seville was an early Spanish saint. (3) In Greek mythology, Leander swam across the Hellespont every night to see his love, Hero. However, one night Leander drowned, so Hero threw herself from her tower so that she would die as well.

Female version: Leandra


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Allifair

Alifair Hatfield
The baby name Allifair, alternatively spelled Alifair, Alafair, or Alafare, has a very interesting history. This girl's name suddenly popped into existence in the U.S. around the mid 1800's, with no mention why or how.

Some history buffs may be familiar with the Hatfield-McCoy "New Year's Day" Massacre, in which a long-time hatred between families (including Union vs Confederacy differences) finally escalated into an all-out violent battle. Alifair was the name of Randolph McCoy's daughter, born in 1858, who suffered from Polio as a child but remained productive. During an attack on the McCoy home, Alifair was shot and killed. There was later a legal trial for her murder. Ironically, there was an Alifair Hatfield born in 1873 in Kentucky.

So how did she get her name? There are records of others in 1809, 1815, 1819, 1831, 1870, 1883, 1920 and 1923. 1767 or 1787 seems to be the earliest it was recorded. It could come from Alfher/Alvar/Aelfhere…