The name Alexandra is the feminine form of Alexander, and comes from the Greek words 'alexein', meaning defender, and 'andros', meaning man. It can be roughly understood as meaning 'defender of mankind'.
One of the name's first recorded uses is as a descriptor of Hera, Zeus's wife in Greek mythology, who did indeed defend Greek heroes, most notably Jason in his quest for the golden fleece.
Alexandra has been a particularly popular name in Eastern Europe, associated with several Eastern Orthodox saints who bore the name.
The last tsarina of Russia was born Alix, but had herself rechristened Alexandra when she entered the Russian church and was canonised by the Russian Orthodox church along with the rest of the doomed Romanov family in 2000.
Queen Victoria was actually christened Alexandrina Victoria, after her godfather Emperor Alexander I of Russia.
Famous people called Alexandra:
Queen Alexandra, wife of Edward VII
Alexandra Romanova, wife of Nicholas II, last Tsar of Russia
Alexandra Burke, British singer and X Factor winner
Sandra Dee, American singer and wife of Bobby Darin, born Alexandra Zuck
Can be shortened to:
Alex, Ally, Sandra, Sandy Surnames to avoid Alexandra with:
Surnames beginning with an 'Ar' sound, ie. Armstrong or Archer, might cause problems as when said aloud this combination of sounds may result in elision – when two words slurred together end up sounding like one.
There are dozens of foreign variants of Alexandra, including Alejandra (Spanish), Alexandrine (German), Alessandra (Italian), and Alastríona (Irish). Similar English names include Alexis, Alice, Cassandra
The masculine variant of Alexandra is Alexander.
Celebrities who named their baby Alexandra: