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Ella Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Ella Overview

  • Meaning: Fairy, Goddess.
  • Gender: Typically a female first name.
  • Origin: Greek, Norman, Hebrew
  • Pronunciation: “El-uh”
  • Popularity: Very popular in the U.S.
  • Nicknames: El, L, Lala.
  • Variations: Elle, Ela, Eleanor, Ellie.
  • Namesakes: Ella Fitzgerald, Ella Maillart, Ella Yelich-O’Connor.

What Does Ella Mean?

Depending on the origin you subscribe to, Ella can mean Goddess, Fairy, Maiden, and Light. In some languages, such as Spanish, “Ella” serves as a feminine pronoun.

What is the Origin of the Name Ella?

There are several possible origins for the name Ella. It is either of Greek origin, Nomadic origin, or Hebrew origin. The Greek origin relates to the Greek mythology figure, Ella. The Norman version means “fairy”, ”maiden”, and “other.” The Hebrew version refers to a specific type of tree and can also mean goddess.

How Popular is the Name Ella?

According to the Social Security Administration, Ella has consistently ranked in the top 20 names in the United States since 2008 (1). Before 2008, the name was steadily increasing in popularity since its dip in the 1980s. The name Ella was last popular in the Victorian era when it was consistently in the top 50 most popular names.

How Do I Pronounce Ella?

It is pronounced, “El-uh.” Typically, emphasis is on the first syllable.

Is Ella a Boy or Girl Name?

Ella is usually a female first name, but it can be a surname.

Variations of Ella

Thanks to this name being short and sweet, there are several variations of Ella around the world. Versions of it exist throughout Europe, Australia, and the United States. In some cases, Ella is only a component of a longer name, such as Elanor.

  • Ela
  • Ellan
  • Ellen
  • Ellayna
  • Ellar
  • Ellarie
  • Ellayne
  • Eleanor
  • Ellanora
  • Ellaine
  • Ellah
  • Elana
  • Elasyn
  • Ellamae
  • Elodie
  • Ellaree
  • Alia
  • Elle
  • El
  • Eloise

Nicknames for Ella

Since Ella is such a short name, it does not have several natural nicknames. Therefore, you may want to extrapolate beyond the syllables of the name itself. Combine the name or components with the name with silly or punny prefixes, suffixes, or words.

  • El
  • La
  • Ellie
  • L
  • El El
  • El Bell
  • Elle
  • Els
  • Elz
  • Lala
  • Lila
  • Nella
  • Umbrella
  • Ellasaurous
  • Nutella
  • Ella Bella
  • Cinderella

Similar Names to Ella

If you like the name Ella, but want to go with something else, there are several that fill a similar niche. There are many elements to the name Ella that you may like. It is simple, yet elegant. It evokes an ethereal meaning of fairy or goddess.

Middle Names for Ella

Ella is a name that does well with any middle name. The reason for this versatility is due to Ella’s versatility. Whether you pair it with another simple name or a more complex middle name, Ella is sure to shine. If you prefer a simple yet elegant name, opt for a middle name with one or two syllables, and if you want some complexity, choose a longer name.

Sibling Names for Ella

If you have one child named Ella, you likely want to ensure that your next child has a compatible name. Consider names that have the same simplicity and etherealness offered by Ella. Whether you want a masculine, feminine, or unisex name, there are plenty of great options to suit Ella’s younger sibling.

Famous People Named Ella

Many famous people lived throughout history with the name Ella. If you name your child Ella, they are an amazing company. From jazz singers to athletes to adventurers, Ellas can do anything.

  • Ella Fitzgerald: American jazz singer.
  • Ella Josephine Baker: Civil rights and human rights activist.
  • Ella Jay Basco: American actress and musician.
  • Ella Chen: Taiwanese singer.
  • Ella Cara Deloria: Anthropologist, linguist, novelist.
  • Ella Emhoff: American model, designer, 2nd daughter.
  • Ella T. Grasso: American politician.
  • Ella Junnila: Finnish high jumper.
  • Ella Logan: Scottish actress and singer.
  • Ella Maillart: Swiss adventurer.
  • Ella Mae Morse: American singer.
  • Ella Purnell: English actress.
  • Ella Raines: American actress.
  • Ella Shields: British music hall singer, male impersonator.
  • Ella Yelich-O’Connor: New Zealand musician, also known as Lorde.
  • Ella Wheeler Wilcox: American poet and author.
  • Glen Ella: Australian rugby footballer.
  • Norman Ella: Australian rowing coxswain.

Ella in Popular Culture

While there are several fictional characters called Ella, the most well-known is undoubtedly Cinderella and all of her associated variations. One of those variations, Ella of Frell from Ella Enchanted may have been responsible for the rise of the name in the early 21st century. The name arose in the early 2000s after the movie version of the Gail Carson Levine novel came out.

  • Cinderella: Cinderella.
  • Ella of Frell: Ella Enchanted.
  • Ella Lopez: Lucifer.
  • Ella: Paw Patrol.
  • Ella Montgomery: Pretty Little Liars.
  • Ella Swenson: Cowboys & Aliens.

Ella FAQs

What Is the Masculine Form of Ella?

There is no directly masculine version of Ella in terms of meaning since the name relies on gender. However, several names have a similar sound and use the syllable “El.” Elliot, Elijah, Ellis, Elias, Elmer, Elmo, Elvin, and Ellington all achieve the same effect as Ella.

What Names Also Mean “Fairy” or “Goddess” Like Ella?

If you love the meaning behind the name Ella but want a different name, there are plenty of great options for you. Aine is an Irish name that means queen of the fairies. Adelina and Alette mean small-winged one in German and Latin, respectively. Fay means fairy in Old English.

Ashera means goddess of fertility and motherhood in Hebrew, while Aurora means goddess of the dawn in Greek. Celeste means heavenly in French, while Charlotte means baby princess fairy in English.

When Was Ella the Least Popular?

After being popular during the Victorian era, “Ella” steadily declined after the early 1930s. It was least popular in 1983 when it ranked at 949 most popular. After that dip, it steadily rose in popularity again.

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