Sunday, January 14, 2007


I seem to be in the 'A's at the moment. Anyway, I'm going to focus on Alice because I consider it to have a very interesting journey to it's spelling, pronunciation and use today.

Firstly, some statistics:
Alice is not setting the world alight, #414 in US, #47 in UK, #93 in Scotland, #61 in Belgium...
Where it is really popular is Sweden where it leapt to #4 last year.
I would describe Alice's popularity as solid - it's there, and it's not going away any time soon. Not taking into account a whole country, but Alice was also the #1 name listed in the Daily Telegraph's birth announcements last year.

Alice did not suddenly come into being (let's combine the letters A-L-I-C-E, hey that's a nice name), it was rather the product of a process.

The majority of my information has Alice coming about as a pet form of Adelaide, which itself is the short form of Adalheidis. From Adalheidis is much easier than from Alice to see where the name comes from - adal meaning noble (as touched upon in Ada) and heid meaning kind. My conflicting information has Alice coming from Adalheit meaning 'noble woman'.

Alice came about via the step of Adelice, Adelise, Adeliese and Adelais. Another variation is Alys used in Medieval times (such as the daughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Louis VII of France - Alys of Vexin - 1160-1220).

Alice really shot to fame as the heroine of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.