Alexis, a one-time Russian boys' name, has surpassed sister Alexandra in popularity -- it's just inside the Top 40, with more than five thousand babies named Alexis last year.
Alexis zoomed to popularity following the introduction of the Dynasty character Alexis Carrington in the 1980s--which gave it a sexy, sleek image--and has had remarkable staying power.
One of the few notable female pre-Carrington Alexises was 1940s actress Alexis Smith, who had some minimal impact on the name, which entered the list in 1943. A current bearer is Alexis Bledel, who played Rory on Gilmore Girls.
Leapt into the female column via vixen Alexis Carrington on 'Dynasty" in the 1980-s--it's now #15 for girls--but still holding its own for boys.