Origin and Meaning of the Name Alfonso

The name Alfonso is a masculine name of Castilian origin, although with Germanic roots; its meaning is "he who's ready for his nobility".
Origin and Meaning of the Name Alfonso
Marcela Alejandra Caffulli

Written and verified by the pediatrician Marcela Alejandra Caffulli.

Last update: 17 October, 2022

There’s a multitude of beautiful names that deserve a special place. On this occasion, we’d like to present the origin and meaning of the name Alfonso, as it’s a unique and incomparable name and we want to explain its greatness.

In addition, we’ll provide you with other interesting data, such as the date of its saint’s day or the variants that exist in other languages. In addition, we’ll introduce you to some celebrities who proudly carry this wonderful option. Would you like to know all this and more? Keep reading!

What is the origin and meaning of the name Alfonso?

As well defined in the Etymological Dictionary of Spanish, Alfonso is a masculine name. It’s a Castilian variant that has Germanic roots and is believed to be so because, while in Castilian it’s documented around 1140 as Alfonsso, in Old High German, the first documentation dates from the 10th century as Adalfuns .

In addition, the surname Alfonsín would have the same Germanic origin, as both allude to the proper meaning to define one who’s “clever by his nobility”, “the one who ‘s willing” or “he who’s prepared to succeed”. This name would be a compound of the following:

  • Adal: This term means “nobility” or “lineage” and derives in turn from the root athal, which refers to “family” or “race”.
  • Funs: Its meaning is “ready”, “willing”, or “prepared”. It comes from a hypothetical fund-sa, which, in turn, would come from the Indo-European term pent, meaning “to tread” or “to walk”.

Alfonso’s saints and other men who gave life to his history

A Catholic Church in Italy.
The saint of Alfonso is celebrated on August 1. This feast day is in honor of the Italian priest and bishop, Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, founder of the Redemptorist Missionaries.

The saint of Alphonsus is celebrated on August 1, in honor of Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, an Italian priest and bishop who founded the Redemptorist Missionaries in the 17th century. Therefore, we recommend that you note this date on the calendar if you know someone with this name to congratulate them and explain its history. At the same time, several illustrious people have also had the good fortune of carrying this name. Among some of the most recognized are the following:

  • Alfonso de Cartagena: Spanish humanist, diplomat, historian, and writer of the Pre-Renaissance.
  • Alonso Cano Almansa: Spanish Baroque painter, sculptor, and architect.

Variants of the name Alfonso in other languages

There are several variants of Alfonso in different languages, although it’s true that in most languages, the spelling Alfonso or Alfons is maintained. This means that, indeed, it’s a choice that has enamored parents in different parts of the world for centuries. Among some of them, the following variations can be highlighted:

  • Alfonsus, in Latin.
  • Alfónsos or Alfóns, in Greek.
  • Alfonsu, in Corsican.
  • Alfonz, in Slovak and Slovenian.
  • Alfontso, in Basque.
  • Afonso, in Galician and Portuguese.
  • Alfonzo, in Esperanto.
  • Alonzo, in Italian.
  • Altto or Alhlvo, in Finnish.
  • Alfanz, in Hungarian.
  • Alfons, in Romanian and German.
  • Alfonss, in Latvian.
  • Alfonsas, in Lithuanian.
  • Alphonse, in French.
  • Alphons, in English.
  • Fonsu, in Pasiego.
  • Arfonzu, in Sicilian.

As if that weren’t enough, this name also has different affectionate diminutives to refer to the little ones of the house that go by this name, such as Alfi, Fonsi, or Alfonsito, which are the most used. But there are also other variants such as Alonso or Idelfonso . In addition, when a name is well established, it also generates female variants and, in this case, it’s quite common and traditional in some countries to hear the name Alfonsina or Alfonsa.

A crown sitting on a Spanish flag.
From the kingdoms of Asturias, Leon, and Galicia, to Castile, several monarchs of Spain carried the name Alfonso.

Alfonso, a name of kings that goes around the world

According to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), in Spain, there are currently almost 82,000 men who carry this name. The average age is 52 years old, which also means that it has been circulating in the Iberian Peninsula for quite some time.

Proof of this, moreover, is that there have been a large number of monarchs who ruled throughout the history of Spain and have received the grace of going by the name Alfonso. For example, from the kingdoms of Asturias, Leon, or Galicia, to, of course, the kingdom of Castile.

The origin and meaning of Alfonso provide a traditional and precious name

As you may have seen, once you know the origin and meaning of Alfonso, this name begins to have an added value to the beautiful sound already generated. Therefore, we hope that all this information has helped you to finally decide on the option chosen for the future king of the house: Alfonso!

And if not, don’t worry, because we have many more options that you can fall in love with. It’s just a matter of having patience and continuing the search.

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