Ælfwine (also Aelfwine, Elfwine) is an Old English personal name. It is composed of the elements ælf "elf" and wine "friend", continuing a hypothetical Common Germanic given name *albi-winiz which is also continued in Old High German and Lombardic as Albewin, Alpwin, Albuin, Alboin. Old Norse forms of the name are Alfvin and Ǫlfun.
The name is often interpreted as "elf-friend", a translation notably made use of by J.R.R. Tolkien in his legendarium, where an Ælfwine is a character who "befriended the elves", but both the ælf and the wine element are frequent elements in Germanic anthroponymy, and these elements have in historical practice be combined without a compound meaning.
The name is first attested as that of Alboin (r. 560–572), king of the Lombards. In Anglo-Saxon England, it first occurs with the child-king Ælfwine of Deira (c. 661 - 679). The Old High German name is found in the 8th and 9th centuries in the forms Alfwin, Alfwini, Albuwin, Albuvin, Albewin, Albuin, Alpwin, in the 11th century also as Elbewin. The forms in alf are strictly speaking Low German, the forms in alb High German. The Old English ælf, elf are a result of the i-mutation in North Sea Germanic.
People with this name from the later Anglo-Saxon period include:
- Ælfwine, son of Æthelweard (son of Alfred), who died in the Battle of Brunanburh (937)
- Ælfwine of Lichfield (died 937), Bishop of Lichfield
- Ælfwine of Wells (died 998), Bishop of Wells
- Ælfwine, a young warrior in the poem The Battle of Maldon
- Ælfwine of Elmham (died 1023), bishop of Elmham and Dunwich
- Ælfwine of Winchester (died 1047), Bishop of Winchester
- Aelfwine, Abbot of New Minster (died 1057), scribe or author of Aelfwine's Prayerbook (Cotton Titus D.xxvi)
- Ælfwine Haroldsson (11th century), son of Harald Harefoot, King of England
People with the Old High German name:
- Albuin, margrave of Carinthia (10th century)
- Albuin, son of the above, bishop of Brixen (d. 1006)
The earliest evidence of the name in Scandinavia dates to the 11th century. The Old Norse form of the name may thus be a loan from Low German or Anglo-Saxon. The name is attested on an 11th-century runestone in the Younger Futhark spelling alfuin, and possibly on a second one, as aulfun. An Old Swedish spelling of the name was Alwin.
The name is extinct by the Late Middle Ages. It may have lingered longest in the Italian form Alboino, a name of Paolo Alboino della Scala (1343–1375), after Alboino I (d. 1311). It survived only in the English surname Alwin (variants Alwen, Alwyn, Allwyn, Elvin, Elwin, Elwyn), and there only by conflation with similar-sounding Anglo-Saxon names.
Alvin was introduced as a given name in the United States, derived from the surname, in the 19th century. Early bearers of this "revived" given name were Alvin Adams (b. 1804) Alvin Saunders (b. 1817) and Alvin Peterson Hovey (b. 1821). Since the 2000s, Alvin (and to a lesser extent Alwin) has increasinly been used as a given name in Sweden. The Swedish Statistics office as of 31 December 2010 reported Alfvin as the surname of 43 people in Sweden, and as the given name of one person. The much more common Alvin was the surname of 279 people, and the primary given name of 3,077 people.  The name Alvin rose quickly in popularity in Sweden after 2002, peaking in 2009 at rank 27 of boys' names. By contrast, popularity of Alvin peaked in the United States in the 1920s (reaching rank 67 in 1927) and has declined steadily since.
In J.R.R. Tolkien's legendarium
- Ælfwine of England, an early character in fantasy writings of J. R. R. Tolkien
- Elfwine (Middle-earth), a character from J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth writings
- E. Förstemann, Altdeutsches Namenbuch (1856), 53f., 61f.
- DR384, Vester Marie 2; DR287, Bjäresjö 1
- Lena Peterson, Nordiskt runnamnslexikon (2001).
- nordicnames.de; scb.se
- behindthename.com; Swedish Statistics office, 2010 data.
- behindthename.com; Elvin shows a similar distribution, but with lower overall scores.