The name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon, Ælfræd, which is composed of the Anglo-Saxon elements, ælf “elf” and ræd “counsel. A notable bearer was the 9th-century Anglo-Saxon King, Alfred the Great.
This is one of the few Anglo-Saxon male names to survive popular usage after the Norman Conquest and slowly waned in use by the end of the Middle Ages, but was revived in the 18th-century.
Though quite uncommon in the United States in this day and age, it has never completely fallen outside the U.S. Top 1000, and once reigned in the U.S. Top 100 between 1880 and 1951. Alfred peaked at # 32 in 1886.
Alfred reigns supreme in the Scandinavian charts, he is currently the 8th Most Popular Male Name in Denmark (2018), the 12th Most Popular in Sweden (2018) and the 42nd Most Popular in Norway (2018).
He ranks much lower in the U.K., coming in at #106 and even lower in France, ranking in as the 491st Most Popular Male Name (2018).
Alfie, a diminutive form which has become a much loved independent given-name in the U.K, is currently in England & Wales’ Top 100 Baby Names, ranking in at #15 (2018).
Alfred is used in Danish, Dutch, German, Polish, Norwegian & Swedish
Other forms of the name include:
- Ælfræd (Anglo-Saxon)
- Alfredo (Aragonese, Galician, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
- Alfredu (Asturian)
- Alperda (Basque)
- Aofred (Breton)
- Alfréd (Czech, Hungarian, Slovak)
- Alfie (English)
- Alfre (Finnish, Greenlandic)
- Alfreeti, Alfreetti (Finnish)
- Alfrédos Αλφρέδος (Greek)
- Alfreð (Icelandic)
- Alfredino (Italian)
- Alfredus (Late Latin)
- Alfrēds (Latvian)
- Alfredas (Lithuanian)
- Al’fred Альфред (Russian)
- Alfrid, Allfrid (Scandinavian)
- Arfredu (Sicilian)
Its feminine form of Alfreda also has an Anglo-Saxon counterpart in the form of Ælfthryth. It was borne by a 9th-century English saint.
Alfreda is used in Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish & Swedish.
Other forms of the female form include:
- Alfrede (Danish)
- Elfrida (Croatian, Italian, Spanish)
- Alfriede, Alfrieda (German, Scandinavian)
- Elfriede (German)
- Alfrède (French)
- Alfrédie (French)
- Alfride (French)
- Alfreðsína (Icelandic)
- Afreda (Italian)
- Alfredina (Italian)
- Alfrida (Scandinavian)