Short form of Alessandra, the Italian form of Alexandra. A major influence in establishing this as a common given name in the English-speaking world was George Meredith's novel Sandra Belloni (1886), originally published as Emilia in England (1864); the heroine, Emilia Sandra Belloni, is a beautiful, passionate young singer.
English and Welsh: patronymic from the Middle English personal name Jon(e) (see John). The surname is especially common in Wales and southern central England. In North America this name has absorbed various cognate and like-sounding surnames from other languages. (For forms, see Hanks and Hodges 1988).