Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Happy Name Day, Aleš!

Today we honor Aleš.  Všechno nejlepší k svátku! (All the best for your name day, Aleš!)

Aleš is the diminutive of Alexej or Aleksander.  Alexej is the Czech & Slovak form of Alexis, which is from the Greek name Αλεξις (Alexis), which meant "helper" or "defender".

Aleksander is a cognate of Alexander.  Alexander is Latinized form of the Greek name Αλεξανδρος (Alexandros), which meant "defending men"; αλεξω (alexo) "to defend, help"; and ανηρ (aner) "man".  In Greek mythology this was another name of the hero Paris, and it also belongs to several characters in the New Testament. However, the most famous bearer was Alexander the Great, King of Macedon. In the 4th century BC he built a huge empire out of Greece, Egypt, Persia, and parts of India. Due to his fame, and later medieval tales involving him, use of his name spread throughout Europe.

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