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Zander / Xander

Today's name: Zander, Xander

Pronunciation: ZAN-der

Potential nicknames: Zan, Xan, Ander, Anders, Andy

Variant forms: Zan, Zandro, Zandros, Zann, Xan, Xandro, Sandor, Sander, Sandino, Sender, Sandero, Saunder, Sandy, Sandro

Origin: Greek, short form of Alexander that stands alone as its own name, meaning "man's defender."

Popularity: Both Zander and Xander are in the top 300 of the top 1000 U.S. baby names. There were 1,336 baby boys named Xander in 2010 and 1,106 baby boys named Zander. In 2011 Zander was #265 and Xander was #205.

Fun fact: (1) Zander/Xander Harris was a character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (2) Actress January Jones recently chose the name Xander Dane for her son.

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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…