The name could be of several different origins and meaning depending on the bearer of the name.
In Romanian, it is derived from the verb meaning “to sooth”. It even boasts its own masculine version: Alin.
It could also be a German and Dutch contraction of Adelina.
Other sources have popularly attributed it to be a form of the Arabic, Alia (lofty; sublime). In this case, the name appears in One Thousand and One Nights as the name of a beautiful princess.
In Belarusian, it is a name of pre-Christian origins, being derived from the old Slavic word алы (aly) meaning “scarlet.” In Russian, it has been linked with the names Albina, Aleksandra and Akulina, considered contracted forms. While in Bulgarian, it is considered a contracted form of Angelina.
In Italy, it is viewed as a contracted form of Rosalina or Pasqualina, the name can be typically found in Northern and Central Italy.
In Polish and Lithuanian, it has been suggested that the name may be derived from Alna, the Lithuanian name of a river which runs through northern Poland and Kaliningrad, (known in Polish as Łyna). Alna is from a medieval Baltic word meaning, “doe; female deer”, (compare modern Lithuanian elnias). Famed Polish playwright, Juliusz Słowacki seems to have popularized the name via his 1839 play, Balladyna. Alina is murdered by her jealous sister Balladyna as they are picking raspberries.
It has also been suggested to be related to Halina, a Polish form of Galina.
Currently, Alina is the 4th most popular female name in German-speaking Switzerland, (2010). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:
- # 4 (Liechtenstein, 2010)
- # 17 (Russia, 2011)
- # 28 (Germany, 2011)
- # 30 (Austria, 2010)
- # 38 (Slovenia, 2010)
- # 39 (Romania, 2009)
- # 78 (Bosnia & Herzegovina, 2010)
- # 264 (United States, 2010)
- # 323 (Netherlands, 2010)
Other forms of the name include:
- Alina Аліна الينا (Arabic/Belarusian/Bosnian/Bulgarian/Czech/Dutch/Finnish/German/Hungarian/Italian/Latvian/Lithuanian/Polish/Romanian/Russian/Scandinavian/Serbian/Slovak/Slovene/Ukrainian)
- Aliina (Finnish)
- Aline (French)