Alpha comes from the first letter of the Greek alphabet, which derives from Hebrew and Phoenician aleph meaning “ox, oxen”, perhaps because the hieroglyph resembled that of an ox’s head. It seems to have been derived from Proto-Sinaitic based on an Egyptian hieroglyphic.
Alpha is also used to describe the beginning of something, or used to describe a leader or someone who is assertive and dominant, as well as used to designate the highest ranked individual in a hierarchy (ex: alpha male, alpha female).
It’s also the name of a star system, Alpha Centauri.
- Alfa (English)
- Aleph (Hebrew)
- Alef (Hebrew, Persian)
- Alif (Arabic)