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Selah Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Selah Overview

  • Meaning: Selah means “rock” or boulder. Additional meanings include “pause to reflect on what was said” “praise” or “forever.”
  • Gender: Selah is traditionally a female given name.
  • Origin: Selah is of Hebrew and Arabic origin.
  • Pronunciation: “SEE-lah” or “SAY-lah”
  • Popularity: Selah is a popular name ranking at #386 on the baby girl names list.
  • Nicknames: Ah, El, Ell, Ella, Sel, Sell, Sellie, Lala, Lah, Lah-Lah.
  • Variations: Sayla, Saylah, Sealah, Seilah, Sela, Seelah, and Sellah.
  • Namesakes: Selah Louise Marley, Selah Reeve Hobbie, Selah Sue.

What Does Selah Mean?

Selah means “rock” or “boulder”, coming from the Hebrew noun, סלע, or sela, which translates to either of these words in English. From analyzing the Bible’s context further, Selah may also mean “pause to reflect on what was said” or “praise” or “forever.” If you love Bible baby names, Selah may be a perfect fit for you and your baby (1).

What Is the Origin of the Name Selah?

Selah is of Hebrew origin. It is a phrase primarily used at the end of verses in the Hebrew Bible. Selah appears 71 times in the Book of Psalms. Of the 150 Psalms in the Bible, 111 do not have Selah, but 39 of them do (2).

At first, historians did not know why theologians used the phrase. Upon further inspection of the Hebrew noun, they found a couple of designations.

Selah was used to split up the writing so that it was more digestible for Bible readers. Believers can praise God’s written doctrine while reading it once they see a sentence ending with this name. Others may want to stop and reflect on what Psalm they just read to understand it better.

How Popular Is the Name Selah?

Selah is #386 on the Social Security Administration’s highest-ranking girls’ names. It is a modern American name as it did not enter the top 1,000 until 2005 at #943 (3).

The name has steadily risen in popularity over the past decade. Selah leaped in popularity from 2020 at #428 to #386 in 2021.

How Do I Pronounce Selah?

Pronounce Selah by saying “SEE-lah.” Other people prefer to pronounce the name as “SAY-lah.”

Is Selah a Boy or Girl Name?

Selah is more popularly a girl’s name. However, some boys hold this name, which ranks in the 7,000s as of 2022 for top baby boy names. Its popularity for boys climbed 1,500 positions on the list since 2021.

Variations of Selah

Selah is a whimsical name that features the Hebrew root “ah” which translates to “of God” or “for God” in English.

Other variations of Selah include:

  • Sayla (Arabic and Muslim)
  • Saylah (Arabic and Muslim)
  • Sealah (Hebrew)
  • Seilah (Hebrew)
  • Sela (Hebrew)
  • Seelah (Hebrew and Urdu)
  • Sellah (Hebrew)

Nicknames for Selah

Selah is a beautiful five-letter name with lovely nickname possibilities. Here are some nicknames for Selah.

  • Ah
  • El
  • Ell
  • Ella
  • Sel
  • Sell
  • Sellie
  • Lala
  • Lah
  • Lah-Lah

Similar Names to Selah

Selah rolls off the tongue nicely, but the name may not be your first choice Explore your options with similar names to Selah such as:

  • Celie
  • Salome
  • Saphir
  • Sarai
  • Sarah
  • Seir
  • Selma
  • Serah
  • Suri

Middle Names for Selah

Selah is a five-letter given name that can flow well with shorter or longer middle names. Some middle names that we love for Selah include:

Sibling Names for Selah

If you already have a little one named Selah, you need a sibling name that matches. Here are the sibling names we think go best with Selah:

For a Brother

  • Adam
  • Arcturus
  • Arden
  • Callen
  • Daxos
  • Peter
  • Rhys
  • Solomon
  • Zephyr
  • Zion

For a Sister

Famous People Named Selah

Selah’s recent popularity gain means there are not as many famous people with the given name. Here are a few celebrities named Selah including:

  • Selah Louise Marley: American fashion model, daughter of singer, Lauryn Hill, granddaughter of reggae legend, Bob Marley.
  • Selah Reeve Hobbie: American member of the Twentieth Congress; Delaware County District Attorney in New York.
  • Selah Sue: Belgian songwriter and singer.

Selah in Popular Culture

Selah has more popular culture references than famous people with the given name. Here are some pop culture references to the name Selah:

  • “Selah”: Name of a sculpture and a 2017 art exhibition by Sanford Biggers.
  • “Selah”: The name of a song by Lauryn Hill.
  • “Selah”: The name of the second song on Kanye West’s album, “Jesus Is King.”
  • City of Selah: A city in existence during Solomon and David’s time; also a city located in Central Washington.
  • Selah: Character in a long narrative poem called “Whylah Falls” authored by George Elliot Clarke.
  • Selah: Character in a novel, “Light Boxes” by Shane Jones.

Selah FAQs

Selah is a unique and not-as-often used baby name. However, you may still have some questions before you make your final choice on naming your baby. Here are the answers to your frequently asked questions about the name Selah.

What Does Selah Mean in Arabic?

Selah may mean “forever.” The Arabic word “salah” translates to mean “to hang” which is indicative of the name having a long-lasting attribute.

Does Selah Mean Amen?

In other translations of the Bible, Selah has been shown to mean “Amen” or “Hallelujah.” This connects with one of its name meanings of “praise” or a “pause for reflection” because these two terms show praise for God when worshiping Him.

Where Is Selah in the Bible?

Selah is located mainly at the end of Psalms such as Psalm 3, Psalm 24, and Psalm 46. The word is in the middle of Psalms 55 and 57. Besides various Psalms, you can find Selah in Habakkuk chapters 3, 9, and 13.

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