Meaning: “Elf council”
Origin: Old English
Other forms of the name: Alfredo, Alfreda (female), Alfréd
A fusty old name that has many a cute nickname option, from Alf to Freddie to Alfie to Fred. Alfred comes from the Old English elements ælf which means “elf” and ræd which means “council”. It currently ranks #899 in the US while in Sweden it ranks at #31.
It has plenty people to choose as namesakes. Famous director Alfred Hitchcock who is known for classics like, “The Birds” and “Psycho”, prefered to be called Hitch by friends and family. Alfred the Great was the King of Wessex in the 9th century who against the Danes who lived in the Northeast of England. There is also Alfred, Lord Tennyson a famous poet.
Elves are of Germanic mythology. They were thought to be divine beings bestowed with powers. In Norse mythology there are light elves which are “brighter than the sun in appearance” and dark elves which are “blacker than pitch”. The word “elf” comes from the Old English ælf which we already talked about. It was compounded as ælfadl which means “nightmare” and ælfsogoða which means “hiccup”; apparently these were thought to be caused by elves. The word ælf was thought to come from the Proto-Germanic albiz which might have meant “white”.
Today we have two different types of elves that we see most often. One being Santa’s elves, short little things that help him make toys, and the elves that are elegant as they are dangerous. The latter is more like Tolkien’s elves from “The Lord of the Rings” books.