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1
I have a son named Alistair (born in 2018), and we don't usually pronounce it AL-i-stər. Here's why (Apologies in advance, we spent a lot of time thinking about this):

I first heard the name when I lived in England for a time, and that phonetics just doesn't quite hit what it sounds like when the British say it to me or when Americans say it to them.

Out of British mouths, it can often sound like AL-i-sduh/AL-i-sdə:
-- with a short a or uh sound (this part of the chart was correct, but we don't use this sound there in America, see more below)
-- often a 'd', not a 't' sound (especially in Scottish accent), and
-- a barely-there or nonexistent 'r' on the end.

We can't really say it that way in a general American accent without sounding like we're trying to do a British accent. Saying it in a general American accent, it ends up sounding like AL-i-stir/AL-i-sturr/AL-i-stɜ:ʳ, which from some of our nasally friends' mouths who ended up emphasizing the "stir" part for an extra half-second for some reason (like AL-i-STIR/AL-i-STURR), wasn't our favorite as a default.

So for our son, we usually say AL-i-stair/Al-i-steəʳ. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

AL-i-stair just sounded so formal and dignified to us (almost French-like, debonair, solitaire). We liked it, and for Americans unfamiliar with the British name in general, it was straightforward. I ran it past two of my British friends and they both thought it was cool and weren't mortally offended in any way. One even really liked it. So we went with it.

Note: When you say it quickly in either American pronunciation (stur or stair), it sounds relatively the same.

Although we don't mind or correct people when they AL-i-stir/AL-i-stɜ:ʳ for him. I recognize that it's what most people take as the Americanized version of that pronunciation, and we say it that way too when we're speaking fast sometimes! :-) It's not that big of a deal.

But I did want to comment that there are people using AL-i-stair/Al-i-steəʳ or even AL-i-sdair/Al-i-sdeəʳ in America and AL-i-sduh/AL-i-sdə in the UK.
― Anonymous User  10/23/2020
1
My youngest is named Thomas-Alistair Charles Felix. I was almost going to change Alistair to Aleksandr last minute, but decided I wanted something unique and not so overused. I think that the meaning portrays a leader, which fits my son pretty well. In Russia, most people call him Aleksandr, but I am okay with that as well. When Tom introduces himself, most people will compliment the name or something along those lines. I’ve also noticed that the number of Alistairs in the U.K. has gone down, according to statistics. Which I’m totally fine with, I mean less name twinning with people!
AliaF  12/2/2019
2
Alistair Crowley, occultist.
Elbereth Gilthoniel  8/28/2019
0
This name sounds really good but it sends off fantasy character vibes. I'd find it kinda weird for a boy in real life, but I'd definitely name a character in a book like this.
justpeachy  7/25/2019
2
I love this name. It’s classic, but not stuck up. And it’s not overused. Of course, I have a friend with this name, so I might be biased.
Theatrenamelover  5/5/2019
1
Pronounced "A-lis-tər" or "a-lis-TUR".
― Anonymous User  4/7/2019
3
This is the name of my late father. I think it’s a beautiful name and suited him perfectly. The meaning of it is defender of man. If I have a son someday I would like to call him Alistair. He went by the nickname “ster”, which in Afrikaans which means star.
Mimi1987  11/23/2018
3
Alistair is a lovely, sophisticated name with many alternative spellings (that, unlike spelling names like "Ashley" as "Ashleigh", are correct and have existed throughout history). There's the British Alastair or Alistair (my personal favourite), and the Scottish Alasdair, and they're all pronounced the same way: "al-i-STUR". I think it's a fresh alternative to Alexander, my favourite masculine name, which has become extremely popular in the recent years.
― Anonymous User  10/7/2018
2
I think this name sounds quite posh. I like it.
bethanyisabelle92  1/15/2018
3
The name Alistair was given to 247 boys born in the US in 2016.
― Anonymous User  6/7/2017
3
The name Alistair was given to 194 boys born in the US in 2015.
HerculePoirot  6/18/2016
3
There's also "Brigadier Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart" from Doctor Who.
TheOtherAce  12/3/2015
3
The name Alistair was given to 131 baby boys born in the U.S. in 2013.
hkols  11/2/2014
4
Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewert, who met the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Seventh Doctor's in the TV series Doctor Who.
VoraLundar  6/17/2014
1
This is the name of one of the clue hunters in The 39 Clues series, Alistair Oh.
OkapiPenguin  4/11/2012
5
Character from "Dragon Age, Origins". Way cool.
fernsirius  5/5/2011
1
Alistair McGowan (b. 1964) is a Scottish comedian and impressionist.
SandSea  2/20/2010
1
Alistair Cooke, British-born American journalist and broadcaster (Omnibus, Masterpiece Theatre). (Born Alfred Cooke, but legally changed it to Alistair.)
Kosta  12/4/2008
1
Alistair Becket was the name of the candidate for prime minister in Oh! Heavenly Dog.
welovejamesarness  6/23/2008
1
I know someone called this but they go by Al or Allie instead. One of my mum's friends wanted to cal her daughter this. We talked her out of it though.
Luangi  4/12/2007
1
Alistair McLean (1922-1987) was a Scottish novelist known for his thrillers. Some of the books he wrote were "The Guns of Navarone," "Force Ten from Navarone," "Bear Island," and "Where Eagles Dare."
breakofday  9/27/2006
3
I like this name, it is a nice alternative to Alexander.
― Anonymous User  4/29/2006
1
Alistair Appleton, host of the BBC program "Cash In the Attic", is a famous bearer of this name.
beautyofwords9  3/4/2006
1
Pronounced A-LI-STER.
redvelvetjacket  5/17/2005

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