Pet form, originally Scottish, of Alexander and Alexandra. As a girl's name, particularly, it is sometimes used independently, especially in the United States. It is also used as a nickname for someone with a crop of ‘sandy’ (light reddish-brown) hair.
English: of uncertain origin, perhaps, as Reaney suggests, from a pet form of the Old English personal name Wippa, or perhaps a topographic name for someone who lived by a whipple tree, whatever that may have been. Chaucer lists whippletree (probably a kind of dogwood) along with maple, thorn, beech, hazel, and yew.