Ali (name)

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Pronunciation Arabic pronunciation: [ʕaˈliː] (no glottal stop)
Finnish pronunciation: [ɑli]
Gender Male
Language(s) Arabic, Finnish, Turkish, Albanian
Meaning High, Exalted, Noble
Other names
Variant form(s) Aly

Ali (Arabic: علي‎, ʿAlī) is a male Arabic name, derived from the Arabic root ʿ-L-Y which literally means "high" or "Elevated". It is a common name in Arabic countries and the rest of the Muslim world. Islamic traditional use of the name goes back to Ali ibn Abu Talib, the Islamic leader and cousin of Muhammad, but the name is identical in form and meaning to the Hebrew: עֵלִי ‎, Eli, which goes back to the Eli in the Books of Samuel.

The name Ali can arise away from Islam; among English-speakers as short for male and female names starting with "Al-", or the Old Norse man's name Áli. It can also be a girl's name, as a shortened form of Alexandra or Alison.

Ali is also a Finnish male given name, derived from Aleksanteri.[1] Also, households by a river are often named Ali- "downstream" and Yli- "upstream", thus the component Ali- occurs in surnames derived from these, e.g. Ali-Yrkkö "the house downstream of Yrkkö". Finnish people whose names start with "Ali" are sometimes suspected abroad of being terror suspects and thus are excessively targeted for security checks at U.S and German airports.[2]

Given name[edit]


Middle name



Derived names[edit]



Fictional characters[edit]

  • Ali Baba, character described in the adventure tale of "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves"
  • Ali G, satirical character played by Sacha Baron Cohen
  • Ali Al-Saachez, character in the anime Gundam 00, one of the main antagonists of the show
  • Steve, character described as Ali Bongo in the British comedy show Little Britain

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kustaa Vilkuna, Marketta Huitu and Pirjo Mikkonen. Etunimet, published in Joka kodin suuri nimikirja. Suuri Suomalainen Kirjakerho, 1990.
  2. ^ (in Finnish)