Alphonse, Alonso

Gender: Masculine
Origin: German
Meaning: “noble and ready.”

The name is believed to be derived from a Visigothic male name Adalfuns which is composed of the elements adal (noble) and funs (ready). It has also been associated with another Visigothic name Hildefuns meaning (battle ready). The name has always been popular in its various forms throughout Southern Europe, especially in the Iberian Peninsula where it was borne by several kings.

In its French form of Alphonse, it is the name the title character in Alexander Dumas’ 1873 book Monsieur Alphonse, which recounts the exploits of a pimp. Due to this literary association the name has come to mean “pimp” in several languages, most notably in Danish and in Polish.

Its Spanish form of Alonso, however, remains a very common name throughout the Spanish-speaking world. It is currently the 16th most popular male name in Chile (2010). It is also the 84th most popular in Spain (2010) and the 637th most popular in the United States (2010).

The more archaic Italian and Spanish form of Alfonso appears in the U.S. top 1000, coming in as the 742nd most popular male name (2010).

The name was most famously borne by St. Alphonsus Liguori, an Italian saint who founded the order of the Redemptorists and is considered a Doctor of the Church by the Catholic Church.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Adalfuns (German: archaic)
  • Alifonso (Aragonese)
  • Alfonsu (Asturian/Sardinian/Sicilian)
  • Fonsu (Cantabrian)
  • Alfontso (Basque)
  • Alfoñs (Breton)
  • Alfons (Catalan/Czech/Dutch/Finnish/German/Maltese/Polish/Romanian/Scandinavian: also the word for pimp in Polish and Danish)
  • Fons (Dutch)
  • Funs (Dutch)
  • Alfo (Finnish)
  • Alhvo (Finnish)
  • Altto (Finnish)
  • Alphonse (French)
  • Afonso (Galician/Portuguese)
  • Alphons (German)
  • Alfonz (Hungarian)
  • Alfonzino (Italian)
  • Alfonso (Italian/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Alfonzo (Italian)
  • Alonzo (Italian)
  • Alphonsus (Late Latin)
  • Alfonss (Latvian)
  • Funske (Limbergish)
  • Alfonsas (Lithuanian)
  • Alonso (Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Affonzu (Sicilian)
  • Arfansu/Arfanzu (Sicilian)
  • Alfonz (Slovak/Slovene)

Feminine forms include:

  • Alphonsine (French)
  • Alfonza (Hungarian)
  • Alfonzin (Hungarian) 
  • Alfonzina (Hungarian)
  • Alfonsa (Italian/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Alfonsina (Italian/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Alfonza (Italian)
  • Alfonzina (Italian)