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Ellis Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Ellis Overview

  • Meaning: Benevolent
  • Gender: Unisex and surname
  • Origin: Welsh
  • Pronunciation: “El-liss”
  • Popularity: 321st in the US
  • Nicknames: El, Lis, Ellie
  • Variations: Elys, Elias, Hellis
  • Namesakes: Ellis Bell, Ellis Grey

What Does Ellis Mean?

Based on its Welsch origin, Ellis means benevolent.

What is the Origin of the Name Ellis?

Ellis is a Welsh name derived from Elijah or Elias, which have Hebrew origins. It is sometimes used as an English surname.

How Popular is the Name Ellis?

After ranking consistently between 100th and 200th most popular names in the late 19th and early 20th century, Ellis started to decline in popularity in the earliest 1920s. This name was at its least popular in 2001 when it ranked as the 924th most popular name. Over the next 20 years, the name climbed to the 321st most popular name in 2021. (1)

Ellis tends to be a more popular name in the United Kingdom than in the United States. Between 1998 and 2009, Ellis ranked within the top 100 names for boys, peaking in 2006 when it ranked 77th. As of 2021, this name ranks around 89th most popular but is slightly less popular for girls.

How Do I Pronounce Ellis?

Ellis is pronounced “El-lis.”

Is Ellis a Boy or Girl Name?

Ellis is a given name that can work for girls and boys. However, it most often gets used for boys. It is also a surname.

Variations of Ellis

The name Ellis has a fair amount of different variations. Some of these variations come from the use of the name throughout different cultures, while other variations are different derivations of the same source names. Many of these names share the same meaning that Ellis does.

  • Elis
  • Elys
  • Alice
  • Alison
  • Elias
  • Elijah
  • Elles
  • Ely
  • Hellis
  • Eliott
  • Elliott
  • Eli
  • Ella
  • Ellison
  • Elle
  • Elisedd
  • Elise
  • Elie
  • Ilyas
  • Ilya
  • Elia

Nicknames for Ellis

Ellis may be a seemingly simple name, but it has several opportunities for nicknames. Most of these nicknames come from portions of the original name. Many nicknames also come from parts of the original names, but they have a twist.

  • E
  • El
  • Ele
  • Elly
  • Elia
  • Ell
  • Eli
  • Lis
  • Els
  • Ellie
  • Ellbell
  • Else
  • Lys
  • Lisa
  • Elo
  • Elsie
  • Elza
  • Elis
  • Lisla
  • Elex

Similar Names to Ellis

You can choose many names if you like some of the characteristics of Ellis, but you just want a different specific name. Some of these names sound similar to Ellis, while others have a Welsh (2) or Hebrew origin. Other names are similar to Ellis because they evoke the periods in which the name Ellis was popular.

Middle Names for Ellis

When choosing a middle name that goes well with the first name Ellis, there are a few different variables that may affect your choice. Since Ellis is a fairly simple name, you can compliment that name with an equally short name or a complex middle name. A monosyllabic middle name can also help Ellis feel more exciting. You could choose a name with Welsh or Hebrew origins.

Sibling Names for Ellis

If you already have a child named Ellis, you likely want to find a name that makes sense for a sibling for Ellis. That is not to say their names need to match. However, there are a few common threads that you can use to devise a name for Ellis’ little sibling.

Famous People Named Ellis

While Ellis is not the most well-known name in the world, it does have several important people who had it throughout history. More than one famous female author chose Ellis as part of their nom de plume. It is a name commonly held by Welsh and English people.

  • Ellis: Nez Pierce leader.
  • Ellis Bell: pseudonym of Emily Bronte.
  • Ellis Peters: pseudonym of Edith Pargeter.
  • Ellis Chapman: English footballer.
  • Ellis R. Dongan: American film director.
  • Ellis Genge: English rugby player.
  • Ellis Harrison: Welsh footballer.
  • Ellis Hollins: English actor.
  • Ellis Jenkins: Welsh rugby player.
  • Ellis Marsalis Jr.: American pianist.
  • Ellis Rabb: American actor and director.
  • Ellis Short: American businessman.
  • Ellis Simms: English footballer.
  • Ellis Taylor: English footballer.
  • Ellis Lloyd: Welsh politician.
  • Ellis Ferreira: South African tennis player.
  • Sir Ellis Waterhouse: Scottish art historian.
  • Ellis Loring Dresel: American lawyer and diplomat.
  • Ellis Wackett: Senior commander in RAAF.

Ellis in Popular Culture

Ellis is not a common name in popular culture, but those with it make the name memorable. Many of these popular culture figures have Ellis as a surname rather than as a given name. Several other things throughout history held the name Ellis. For example, several buildings are named Ellis, including a hotel.

  • Ellis Grey: Grey’s Anatomy.
  • Abe Ellis: Stargate Atlantis.
  • Ellis Carver: The Wire.
  • Ellis: Battle Arena Toshinden.
  • Ellis: Short film.
  • Ellis: Band.
  • Ellis: Left 4 Dead 2.
  • ELLIS: European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems.
  • USS Ellis: WWII United States Navy Destroyer.
  • Ellis Island: In New York City.
  • The Ellis: Building in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • Ellis Hotel: Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • The Ellis School: Girls school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Ellis FAQs

Do Any Other Names Have the Same Meaning As Ellis?

A few other names mean benevolent or kind, just like Ellis. These names include Corlie, Eutimia, Latifa, Marwan, Naeemah, Revel, Renaee, Rheo, Adelaide, Agatha, and Mercy. Some other names do not share the same meaning, but they may have a similar meaning. For example, Jude means to praise, Cody means kind and helpful, and Calia means kind and beautiful.

What Can Ellis Be Short For?

Besides the names from which it was derived, Elijah and Elias, there are a few other names that Ellis can be a nickname for. These names include Elizabeth, Elanor, Elesandra, Elliot, Eliott, Ellison, and Elanora.

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