When you shop through links on our site, we may receive compensation. This educational content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.

Elijah Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Elijah including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Elijah Overview

  • Meaning: Elijah is a Hebrew name that means “Yahweh is my God.” Elijah combines two Hebrew words, “El,” which means “God,” and “Yah,” referring to “Jehovah.”
  • Gender: Elijah is typically given to males, though there are a few female iterations.
  • Origin: The name Elijah stems from the Old Testament of the Bible, especially in the books of Kings 1 and 2. In those books, Elijah was a Hebrew/Islamic prophet who helped preserve the religion. Yahweh was being pushed out of dominance by Baal’s holistic worship, Elijah sought to preserve it.
  • Pronunciation: Elijah is pronounced, “uh-lai-juh.” In some other cases, it is said with a stronger e, as “EE-lie-juh.”
  • Popularity: Elijah is a popular name. In 2020, the name Elijah was the 4th most-popular name for male babies globally. That same year, over 13k boys were named Elijah, and even 30 girls.
  • Nicknames: Nicknames for Elijah include names like Eli, Ely, Jah, Lahje, Lijah, Lijey.
  • Variations: Variations on the name Elijah include Aalijah, Alija, Alijah, Elijah, Alyjah, Elias, Elie, Elija, Elis, Elliot, Ilie, Ilinka, Iliya, Ilja, Ilyas, and Alijah.
  • Namesakes: Elijah Wood, actor, and Elijah McCoy, Inventor, and engineer.

What Does the Name Elijah Mean?

Elijah is a Hebrew name that means “Yahweh is my God.” The name is spelled as Elias in the Bible and can also be spelled out as Elia or Eliyahu. The name is typically designated to a boy.

The significance of this is that at the time of Elijah, there were worshippers of Baal, a holistic god. Elijah spread the word of a single god for the people of Israel rather than a worship of nature (1).

What is the Origin of the Name Elijah?

The name Elijah stems from the Old Testament of the Bible, especially Books of Kings 1 and 2. There, he was a Hebrew/Islamic prophet who helped preserve the religion of Yahweh from being pushed out by Baal’s holistic worship.

Elijah combines two Hebrew words, “El,” which means “God,” and “Yah,” referring to “Jehovah.”

How Popular is the Name Elijah?

In 2020, Elijah was the 4th most-popular name for male babies globally. So though it may not be the most popular in the United States, the rest of the world uses the name plenty. Over 13k boys were named Elijah that same year, and even 30 girls.

In 2020 there were 13,034 baby boys and only 30 baby girls named Elijah.

1 out of every 141 baby boys and 1 out of every 58,368 baby girls born in 2020 are named Elijah. The name appears to be growing in popularity.

How Do I Pronounce Elijah?

Elijah is pronounced uh-lai-juh with no emphasis on any of the three syllables.

It can also be pronounced with a strong E at the beginning, like EE-lie-juh.

Is Elijah a Boy’s or Girl’s Name?

Elijah is primarily a “e” name given to boys. However, some variations are designated for girls, such as Alijah.

Variations of Elijah

  • Aalijah (Hebrew)
  • Alija (Bosnian)
  • Alijah (American)
  • Alijiah (African)
  • Alyjah (American)
  • Elias (Biblical Latin)
  • ร‰lie (French)
  • Elija (Hebrew)
  • Elis (Medieval English)
  • Elliot (English)
  • Ilie (Romanian)
  • Ilinka (Macedonian)
  • Iliya (Bulgarian)
  • Ilja (Czech)
  • Ilyas (Arabic)
  • Alijah (feminine)

Nicknames for Elijah

Along with the variations of Elijah are countless nicknames that come with so many syllables as Elijah has.

Some of the many include (but certainly aren’t limited to):

  • Eli
  • Ely
  • Jah
  • Lahje
  • Lijah
  • Lijey

Similar Names to Elijah

There are also a handful of names that sound similar to Elijah or play on the original while still giving it a new spin.

Some of those similar names include:

Middle Names for Elijah

We’ve got you covered if you don’t know how or what to pair with Elijah’s name.

Some fun, classic, and new pairings for it include:

Sibling Names for Elijah

Like middle names, many names go great alongside Elijah, despite the gender.

Famous People Named Elijah

There are plenty of famous people named Elijah. The first one who comes to mind is Elijah Wood, an actor, film producer, and DJ. But there are plenty of others.

Some of the most famous Elijah’s include:

  • Elijah Cummings: A United States politician and member of the House of Representatives for Maryland.
  • Elijah Kelley: American actor, singer, and dancer.
  • Elijah Lovejoy: American Presbyterian minister, journalist, newspaper editor, and abolitionist.
  • Elijah McCoy: Inventor and engineer.

Elijah in Popular Culture

On top of the long list of famous Elijahs are the fictional characters who use the name.

You might recognize:

  • Elijah Baley: A character in the novel series Robot.
  • Elijah Mundo: A character in the television series CSI: Cyber.
  • Eli Sunday: Antagonist from the film There Will Be Blood.

Elijah FAQs

There might be some other questions in your mind about the name Elijah. Let’s look at some.

What Is the Spirit of Elijah?

The Spirit of Elijah refers to the inspiration that comes over certain people belonging to a church. They receive guidance from the Holy Spirit to help them trace/research family lineage.

Is the Name Elijah a Good Name?

Elijah is a good name. It is classic and has gone in and out of style over the years. Social Security Administration data says that the name Elijah is increasing once again in popularity starting over 25 years ago. The name became a top ten name for boys in 2016.

What Can We Learn From Elijah?

The biblical character Elijah demonstrates humanity as he deals with doubts and struggles.

In the first two books of Kings, Elijah’s journey is to find faith in God.

What Does Elijah Mean in Other Languages?

The name Elijah carries the same meaning across all languages. With its religious ties, it likely spread because of religion and has the same significance in most places.

Feedback: Was This Article Helpful?
Thank You For Your Feedback!
Thank You For Your Feedback!
What Did You Like?
What Went Wrong?