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Ellie Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Ellie Overview

  • Meaning: Ellie means “light” or “bright shining one.”
  • Gender: Ellie is traditionally a female name.
  • Origin: Ellie originated as a nickname for Ellen or Eleanor in England and France.
  • Pronunciation: Ellie is pronounced “ell-ee,” which rhymes with “jelly.”
  • Popularity: Ellie is a very popular name in the United States and the United Kingdom.
  • Nicknames: El, Els, Ella.
  • Variations: Alienor, Eileen, Elena, Eliana, Elin, Helen, Helena, Lena, Leonora, Lina, Nora, Yelena.
  • Namesakes: Ellie Beavon Ellie Black, Ellie Campbell, Ellie Crowe, Ellie Goulding.

What Does Ellie Mean?

Ellie means “light” or “bright shining one.”

Ellie is an English version of the Greek girl name Helen, which means light (1). As such, Ellie means “light” or “bright shining one.” In addition, Ellie is the English version of the French feminine name Alienor which has various meanings, including some variations of “light.”

Although there are other interpretations of the name Ellie, most of them have something to do with light. For example, Ellie means shining light, sun ray, or famous warrior in Jamaican.

Some also associate the meaning of Ellie with heaven or related ideas about the anointed or enlightened one. Heavenly concepts and light are often closely linked, likely explaining this connection.

What Is the Origin of the Name Ellie?

Ellie was initially used as a nickname for Ellen or Eleanor in England and France. It can also be traced back to the Greek name Helen.

How Popular Is the Name Ellie?

Ellie is a very popular name. The Social Security Administration has listed Ellie in the top 50 names in the United States every year since 2015. It has made the top 100 names list since 2011.

Before 2011, Ellie was a popular name. It ranked in the top 500 names from 2003 to 2011. It was fairly popular from 1900 to 2003 when it appeared in the top 1000 names for that century (2).

How Do I Pronounce Ellie?

Ellie is pronounced, “ell-ee.” It rhymes with jelly.

There are no commonly used alternative pronunciations of this name. It is pronounced the same even when spelled Elly, Ellee, or Elli.

Is Ellie a Boy or Girl Name?

Ellie is traditionally a girl’s name. Originally a popular nickname for female names Eleanor or Ellen, Ellie has remained more common among females than males.

However, male variations of the name Ellie are also popular. These variations include Eli, a very popular boy’s name since 2008 (3).

Names have become less gender-specific over the past generation. It has become common for names traditionally assigned to one gender to be used for both. Although Ellie has historically been a female name, you should not hesitate to use it for a boy if you like the name.

Variations of Ellie

There are a few variations of the name Ellie. Here are some of the most popular around the world:

  • Alienor (French)
  • Eileen (Scottish)
  • Elena (Italian, German, Spanish)
  • Eliana (Hebrew)
  • Elin (Swedish)
  • Helen or Helena (Greek)
  • Lena (Dutch, English, Scottish, German, Scandinavian)
  • Leonora (Italian)
  • Lina (Arabic)
  • Nora (Irish)
  • Yelena (Russian)

In addition to these variations, there are also multiple ways to spell Ellie. The most popular ways to spell Ellie are Ellie, Ellie, Elli, and Ellee.

Nicknames for Ellie

While Ellie is often used as a nickname for other names, there are a few popular nicknames for Ellie itself.

  • El
  • Ells
  • Ella

You can also attach rhyming words to Ellie to create a cute and lovable nickname. These might include “Ellie-Belly” or “Ellie-Jelly.”

Ellie as a Nickname

In addition to these variations, Ellie is often used as a nickname itself. Ellie is a popular nickname for the following names:

Similar Names to Ellie

If you like Ellie, you might like these other similar names. They are all short, vowel-heavy, melodic names for girls.

Middle Names for Ellie

Ellie is a simple name that pairs well with many middle names. Try these popular choices for a middle name:

Sibling Names for Ellie

There are many beautiful names for siblings of Ellie. These names all sound fantastic with Ellie:

Famous People Named Ellie

There are many famous people named Ellie. Here are a few well-known people with this name:

  • Ellie Beavon: English actress.
  • Ellie Black: Canadian gymnast.
  • Ellie Campbell: British singer.
  • Ellie Crowe: South African author.
  • Ellie Goulding: British singer and songwriter.

Ellie in Popular Culture

Ellie is a popular name among real and fictional people. These characters helped spread the name Ellie far and wide:

  • Ellie Bartlet: a character on the television series The West Wing.
  • Elle Bishop: a main character in the television series Heroes.
  • Ellie Fredricksen: a character in the Disney movie Up.
  • Ellie Rebecca Brass: a character in the television drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
  • Elly May Clampett: a main character in the television series The Beverly Hillbillies
  • Ellie Miller: a main character in the crime drama, Broadchurch
  • Ellie Nash: a character in the Canadian teen drama, Degrassi
  • Ellie Walker: a character on the popular 1950s television series, The Andy Griffith Show

Ellie FAQs

Here are the answers to some of the commonly asked questions about the name Ellie.

Is Ellie a Biblical Name?

Ellie is not a biblical girl’s name, especially when used as a female name. However, the male variation Eli does appear in the bible. One man named Eli is present in the Old Testament. Eli is also present in the New Testament as the father of Joseph and the legal grandfather of Jesus.

Is Ellie a Good Name?

Ellie is an adorable but classic name that has become popular again with the newest generation. The name evokes a relaxed but pleasant nature. We would say that Ellie is a good name for your little girl for these reasons.

Is Ellie Only a Nickname?

Ellie can be a nickname, but it is also a standalone name. The name Ellie (not as a nickname) has grown in popularity recently.

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