EL m Near Eastern Mythology
From a Semitic word meaning "god", perhaps originally derived from a root meaning "power". This was the name of the chief Semitic god, the father of the gods and mankind. In some cases it was used as a title and applied to other gods of the pantheon. It was used by the Hebrews to refer to Yahweh
ELAH f & m Hebrew, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Means "oak tree" or "terebinth tree" in Hebrew. This was the name of the fourth king of Israel, as told in the Old Testament. He was murdered by Zimri
, who succeeded him. In modern Hebrew this is typically a feminine name.
ELAINE f English, Arthurian Romance
From an Old French form of HELEN
. It appears in Arthurian legend; in Thomas Malory's 15th-century compilation 'Le Morte d'Arthur' Elaine was the daughter of Pelleas, the lover of Lancelot
, and the mother of Galahad
. It was not commonly used as an English given name until after the appearance of Tennyson's Arthurian epic 'Idylls of the King' (1859).
ELAM m Biblical
Possibly means either "hidden" or "eternity" in Hebrew. This was the name of several characters in the Old Testament, including a son of Shem
who was the ancestor of the Elamite peoples.
ELANOR f Literature
Means "star sun" in Sindarin. In 'The Lord of the Rings' (1954) by J. R. R. Tolkien this is Sam's eldest daughter, named after a type of flower.
ELDAD m Biblical
Means "God has loved" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament he is one of the two elders who prophesizes in the Israelite camp.
ELDON m English
From a surname which was from a place name meaning "Ella's hill" in Old English.
ELEA f English
Short form of ELEANOR
. This was also the name of an ancient Italian town (modern Velia) which is well known for being the home of the philosopher Parmenides and his student Zeno of Elea, who was famous for his paradoxes.
ELEANOR f English
From the Old French form of the Occitan name Aliénor
. Among the name's earliest bearers was the influential Eleanor of Aquitaine (12th century), who was the queen of Louis VII, the king of France, and later Henry II, the king of England. She was named Aenor
after her mother, and was called by the Occitan phrase alia Aenor
"the other AENOR
" in order to distinguish her from her mother. However, there appear to be examples of bearers prior to Eleanor of Aquitaine. It is not clear whether they were in fact Aenors who were retroactively recorded as having the name Eleanor, or whether there is an alternative explanation for the name's origin.... [more]
ELECTRA f Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Ηλεκτρα (Elektra)
, derived from ηλεκτρον (elektron)
meaning "amber". In Greek myth she was the daughter of Agamemnon
and the sister of Orestes
. She helped her brother kill their mother and her lover Aegisthus in vengeance for Agamemnon's murder. Also in Greek mythology, this name was borne by one of the Pleiades, who were the daughters of Atlas
ELEN f Welsh
Welsh form of HELEN
. This was the name of a 4th-century Welsh saint. It also appears in the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth, belonging to a woman who built the roads in Wales.
ELENA f Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Slovak, Lithuanian, Russian, Greek, German, Medieval Slavic
Cognate of HELEN
, and a variant transcription of Russian YELENA
ELEONORA f Italian, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Bulgarian, Russian, Ukrainian, Greek
Cognate of ELEANOR
ELERI f Welsh
Meaning unknown. In Welsh legend she was the daughter of the chieftain Brychan.
ELFLEDA f English (Archaic)
Middle English form of both the Old English names ÆÐELFLÆD
. These names became rare after the Norman conquest, but Elfleda
was briefly revived in the 19th century.
ELFREDA f English
Middle English form of the Old English name Ælfþryð
meaning "elf strength", derived from the element ælf
"elf" combined with þryð
was common amongst Anglo-Saxon nobility, being borne for example by the mother of king Æðelræd the Unready. This name was rare after the Norman conquest, but it was revived in the 19th century.
ELI (1) m English, Hebrew, Biblical, Biblical Greek, Biblical Hebrew
Means "ascension" in Hebrew. In the Books of Samuel in the Old Testament he is a high priest of the Israelites. He took the young Samuel
into his service and gave him guidance when God spoke to him. Because of the misdeeds of his sons, Eli and his descendants were cursed to die before reaching old age.... [more]
ELIAKIM m Biblical
Means "God rises" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of the master of Hezekiah's household.
ÉLIANE f French
Probably from Aeliana
, the feminine form of the Roman name Aelianus
, which was derived from the Roman family name AELIUS
. This was the name of an early saint and martyr.
ELIDI f Various
Meaning unknown, possibly of Greek or Welsh origin. It may have been inspired by the name of the Ηληδα (Ilida)
Valley in western Greece.
ELİF f Turkish
Turkish form of Alif
, the name of the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, ا
. It also means "slender", from the Turkish phrase elif gibi
, literally "shaped like Elif".
ELIGIUS m Late Roman
Late Latin name derived from Latin eligere
"to choose". The 7th-century Saint Eligius is the patron saint of metalworkers.
ELIJAH m English, Hebrew, Biblical
From the Hebrew name אֱלִיָּהוּ ('Eliyyahu)
meaning "my God is YAHWEH
". Elijah was a Hebrew prophet and miracle worker, as told in the two Books of Kings in the Old Testament. He was active in the 9th century BC during the reign of King Ahab
of Israel and his Phoenician-born queen Jezebel
. Elijah confronted the king and queen over their idolatry of the Canaanite god Ba'al
and other wicked deeds. At the end of his life he was carried to heaven in a chariot of fire, and was succeeded by Elisha
. In the New Testament, Elijah and Moses
appear next to Jesus
when he is transfigured.... [more]
ELIOENAI m Biblical
Means "my eyes look to God" in Hebrew. This was the name of several minor characters in the Old Testament.
ELIOT m English
From a surname which was a variant of ELLIOTT
. A famous bearer of the surname was T. S. Eliot (1888-1965), an Anglo-American poet and dramatist, the writer of 'The Waste Land'. As a given name, it was borne by the American mob-buster Eliot Ness (1903-1957).
ELIPHELET m Biblical
Means "God is release" in Hebrew. This is the name of several people in the Old Testament including a son of David
ELISEDD m Ancient Celtic
Derived from Welsh elus
meaning "kind". This was the name of two kings of Powys in Wales.
ELISHA m Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
From the Hebrew name אֱלִישַׁע ('Elisha')
, a contracted form of אֱלִישׁוּעַ ('Elishu'a)
meaning "my God is salvation". According to the Old Testament, Elisha was a prophet and miracle worker. He was the attendant of Elijah
and succeeded him after his ascension to heaven.
ELIUD m Biblical
Greek form of a Hebrew name meaning "God is grandeur". The Gospel of Matthew lists him as an ancestor of Jesus
ELIZABETH f English, Biblical
From Ελισαβετ (Elisabet)
, the Greek form of the Hebrew name אֱלִישֶׁבַע ('Elisheva')
meaning "my God is an oath" or perhaps "my God is abundance". The Hebrew form appears in the Old Testament where Elisheba is the wife of Aaron
, while the Greek form appears in the New Testament where Elizabeth is the mother of John
the Baptist.... [more]
ELLA (1) f English
Norman form of the Germanic name Alia
, which was a short form of names containing the Germanic element alja
meaning "other". It was introduced to England by the Normans and used until the 14th century, and it was later revived in the 19th century. A famous bearer was the American singer Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996).
ELLE f English (Modern)
Diminutive of ELEANOR
and other names beginning with El
. This name can also be given in reference to the French pronoun elle
ELLEN (1) f English
Medieval English form of HELEN
. This was the usual spelling of the name until the 17th century, when Helen
became more common.
ELLERY m English
From an English surname which was originally derived from the medieval masculine name HILARY
ELLIOTT m English
From an English surname which was derived from a diminutive of the medieval name ELIAS
ELMAR m German
Descended from various Germanic names such as Agilmar
, which was derived from the elements agil
"edge (of a sword), blade" and meri
ELMAS f Turkish
Means "diamond" in Turkish, ultimately from Persian.
ELMER m English
From a surname which was derived from the Old English name ÆÐELMÆR
. In the United States it is sometimes given in honour of brothers Jonathan (1745-1817) and Ebenezer Elmer (1752-1843), who were active in early American politics.
ELMIRA f Literature
Shortened form of EDELMIRA
. It appears in the play 'Tartuffe' (1664) by the French playwright Molière (often spelled in the French style Elmire
ELMO m English, German, Italian
Originally a short form of Germanic names that began with the element helm
meaning "helmet, protection". It is also a derivative of ERASMUS
, via the old Italian diminutive Ermo
. Saint Elmo, also known as Saint Erasmus, was a 4th-century martyr who is the patron of sailors. Saint Elmo's fire is said to be a sign of his protection.
ELNATHAN m Biblical
Means "God has given" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of both a grandfather of king Jehoiachin and a son of Akbor.
ELNUR m Azerbaijani
Derived from Azerbaijani el
"people, nation" and nur
ELOF m Swedish
From the Old Norse name Eileifr
, which was derived from the elements ei
"ever, always" and leifr
ELOISE f English
From the Old French name Héloïse
, which is probably from the Germanic name Helewidis
, composed of the elements heil
"hale, healthy" and wid
"wide". It is sometimes associated with the Greek word ‘ηλιος (helios)
"sun" or the name Louise
, though there is not likely an etymological connection. This name was borne in the 12th century by Saint Eloise, the wife of the French theologian Peter Abelard. She became a nun after her husband was castrated by her uncle.... [more]
ELON m Biblical
Means "oak" in Hebrew. This was the name of one of the ruling judges of the Israelites according to the Old Testament.
ELOUAN m Breton, French
Possibly from a Breton word meaning "light". This name was borne by an obscure 6th-century saint who is now venerated mainly in Brittany and Cornwall.
ELOWEN f Cornish
Means "elm tree" in Cornish. This is a recently coined Cornish name.
ELPIS f Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
Means "hope" in Greek. In Greek mythology Elpis was the personification of hope. She was the last spirit to remain in the jar after Pandora unleashed the evils that were in it.
ELROND m Literature
Means "star dome" in Sindarin. In 'The Lord of the Rings' (1954) by J. R. R. Tolkien, Elrond was the elven ruler of Rivendell.
ELROY m English
Altered form of LEROY
, using the Spanish definite article el
as opposed to the French le
ELSDON m English (Rare)
From a surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "Elli's valley" in Old English.
ELTON m English
From a surname which was originally from a place name meaning "Ella's town" in Old English. A famous bearer of this name is British musician Elton John (1947-), born Reginald Dwight, who adopted his stage name in honour of his former bandmate Elton Dean (1945-2006).
ELUNED f Welsh
Derived from Welsh eilun
"image, idol". This was the name of a 5th-century Welsh saint.
ELVIS m English
Meaning unknown. It could possibly be a derivative of ALVIS
. More likely, it is from the rare surname Elvis
, which is ultimately derived from the given name ELOISE
. The name was brought to public attention by the singer Elvis Presley (1935-1977), whose name came from his father's middle name.
ELWOOD m English
From an English surname which was derived from a place name meaning "elder tree forest" in Old English.
ELYSE f English
Diminutive of ELIZABETH
. It was popularized in the early 1980s by a character from the television comedy 'Family Ties'.
ELYSIA f Various
, the name of the realm of the dead in Greek and Roman mythology, which means "blissful".