Ancient and Classical Names


Alaric is an ancient name that, although rare, may soon be popular.  In the U.S., the name has mostly experienced a gradual uptick over decades.  But between 2009 and 2015, there’s been an baby boom of them.  Last year there were 181 American boys named Alaric, and spelling variant Alarick registered 12 uses (note – the name that ranked #1000 was given to 202 boys.  Alaric approaches closely).

Medieval depiction of 410 sacking

Unlike many of the ‘ancient’ names I’ve previously written about on my site, Alaric (which means “ruler of all“) has a Germanic origin rather than Greek or Roman.  Ironically, this is the name of the king who sacked the city of Rome in 410.  Maybe that’s why the name hasn’t been very popular historically.

The probable reason for the recent, dramatic rise in popularity for this name is the television show Vampire Diaries, which debuted in 2009.  Admittedly, I don’t watch much TV (starting to fix that), and haven’t seen this program at all.  However, what I do know is this name has become increasingly popular every year since the show started, and that Alaric is the name of the history teacher.  It wouldn’t be the first time in the 21st century that vampires have affected baby names…Twilight, I’m looking at you.

Vampires aside, I think Alaric has the potential to become a staple name.  It looks similar to equally handsome Alan, and contains the “ric” (“ruler”) element that also exists in classic English names like Richard, Henry, and Frederick.  Curiously, Alaric could also be an honorific smash of Alan Rickman (RIP), which might make the name Alaric more appealing for the Harry Potter generation.

Nicknames for Alaric might include Ari and RickAl and Larry are possibilities, but those might be too outdated for many people.  Eric is a stretch, but totally doable.  But, does Alaric even need a nickname?  Probably not. 

2 thoughts on “Alaric

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