Ella, a name meaning “girl,” has roots in ancient Germanic languages. The meaning of Ella speaks to the character of the name’s future owner: strong, smart, and feminine.
Ella is a girl’s name with 2 syllables and an earthy, old-fashioned feel. The name is from Germanic origins and means “she” or “her”.
The name Ella combines the meaning of “girl” and “feminine.” This is an example of a girl’s name that has a general meaning, which can be assigned to nearly all the names on this website in one way or another. For this reason, it is a good idea to use the meaning of a name when naming your new baby girl so you can find a perfect match.
Ella, a girl’s name of English origin meaning “girl”. Many people think the name Ella sounds like a few other names, including Esther.
The meaning of the name Ella is “girl”. In Germanic languages, the name Ella is used almost exclusively as a feminine name.
Ella is an adorable and exotic name that sounds graceful and elegant when used as a first name.
Ella is a short and flowy name with multiple known meanings, depending on which origin you consider. Some sources say the name comes from an old German word alia, meaning “all,” or alja meaning “other,” while others point to modern Hebrew, where Ella means “goddess,” and also “terebinth tree.” And Ella is a Spanish personal pronoun meaning “she” and “her.” Ella is most commonly pronounced “el-luh.”
Though sometimes used as a pet form of Ellen or a nickname for Eleanor, Elizabeth, Isabella, or even Gabriella, Ella has stood alone as a given name since the Dark Ages. At that point in time, Ella was actually a male name, borne by three different Anglo-Saxon kings, including King Aella of Northumbria.
In Greek mythology, Aella is the name of an Amazon daughter of Ares and Harmonia. So who was the first female Ella on record? Archival birth registries show one lone baby girl named Ella born in Nurnberg, Germany in 1497.
While Ella hasn ‘t hit the top ten baby names for girls – yet – this name could win a prize for consistency. It has been in the top 20 baby girl names on the Social Security Administration’s list for the past 13 years, peaking at spot 15. Ella ‘s ranking is similar on BabyCenter, where it’s in the top 20 girls ‘ names. (BabyCenter’s ranking is based on data from hundreds of thousands of parents who share their baby ‘s name with us.)
Aside from a drop in the seventies, eighties, and early nineties, Ella has been popular in the United States for the past hundred-plus years. Ella’s popularity grew by 50 percent from year to year between 2001 and 2004, when the movie Ella Enchanted was released.
Ella is similar to other popular girl names ending in a, such as Emma, Sofia, Olivia, Ava, and Bella. Variations of Ella include Elah and Ela. Ella is also quite flexible and can be used in compound names like Ella-Mae, Ella- Marie, Ella-Rose, Ella-Grace, Ella-Rae, Ella-Louise, Ella-Jade, and Ella-Jane.
This short and sweet name easily translates between cultures, and has been embraced in numerous countries, including Germany, Belgium, Great Britain, Australia, and Switzerland. And though it ‘s short, Ella lends itself to many endearing nicknames, including:
Ella’s flexibility and melodic, vowel-heavy sound make it a winner for parents looking for a name that ‘s simple and elegant.
How Popular Is the Name Ella?
Ella has consistently made in onto the charts since the Social Security Administration started collecting name data in 1900. At the start of the 20th century, Ella was quite a popular name, remaining in the top 100 for the next 28 years before dropping out in 1929. From then on, it declined steadily each year until 1991, when it hit its record low at position 901.1
Ella’s decline saw a reverse, however. Beginning in 1992, Ella became more popular each year, jumping all the way up to the top 100 over the next 10 years. Just two years later, in 2003, it climbed into the top 50 and in 2008 it broke into the top 20.
Ella continued to rise in popularity until its peak in 2011 and 2012 as the twelfth most popular girl name in the U.S. As of 2020, Ella is at position 15.
Variations of the name Ella include:
Here are some names with a similar sound and similar origins as Ella:
Here are some names with Ella as the suffix:
Ella is already a short and sweet name, but there are also some cute options for nicknames. In some cases, affectionate names might actually be longer versions of the name with an added element. These types of nicknames are usually used by family and close friends and sometimes restricted to childhood. Pet names for Ella include:
Suggested Sibling Names
Some sibling names that work well with Ella include:
Famous People Named Ella
Many celebrities and historical figures have been called Ella. Well-known people named Ella include:
- Ella Fitzgerald, most popular female American jazz singer for more than half a century
- Ella T. Grasso, 83rd Governor of Connecticut and first female floor leader
- Ella Henderson, English singer and songwriter who taught herself to sing and play piano as a child
- Ella Eyre, British singer and songwriter influenced by Lauryn Hill and Etta James
- Ella Baker, African American civil rights and human rights activist who was among the founders of Martin Luther King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957
- Ella Chen, Taiwanese singer, actress, and television host
- Ella Mae Morse, American singer who influenced the future of rock and roll with her mix of jazz, blues, and country styles
- Ella Wheeler Wilcox, American writer and poet known for published works Poems of Passion and Solitude
- Ella Jenkins, American folk singer and actor known for performing children’s music
The name Ella means “other.” Ella was initially used as a name prefix and its original spelling was Alia. In one of the most notable examples, 12th-century queen Eleanor of Aquitaine was named Aenor after her mother but referred to as Alia Aenor, meaning “the other Aenor.”
Ella also can be used as a suffix , such as affectionately referring to a girl named Marina as Marinella. It can also make a masculine name feminine when used as a suffix, such as with the names Gabriel and Gabriella.
In Spanish, the word ella means “she” or “her” so the name Ella can be considered to mean “girl” or “feminine” as well.
- Origin: The name Ella is an English name of ancient Germanic origins. The ancient Germanic prefix Alia developed into Ella. Today, Ella can be a name suffix or a standalone name in the English language.
- Gender: Ella is frequently used as a girl name.
- Pronunciation: EL-uh
Although many baby names are separated by gender, Verywell Family believes that sex does not need to play a role in your name selection process. It’s important to select a name that you feel suits your new baby the best.
- Alternatives to A-list celebrity baby names
- Baby names inspired by soccer stars
- Children’s books
- Popular baby names from around the world
- Short and sweet baby names
Source: BabyCenter user data
Ella in pop culture
Ella Enchanted2004 movie starring Anne HathawayEllaMain character in the musical Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CinderellaElla LopezCharacter in the television show LuciferEllaGolden Retriever in the television show Paw PatrolAellaAmazon featured in Greek mythology, fought Heracles with a double axe
Famous people named Ella
Aella of NorthumbriaKing of medieval English kingdom of Northumbria, appears in Geoffrey Chaucer ‘s The Man of Law’s TaleElla Wheeler WilcoxLate nineteenth century American poet and author, wrote “laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone”Ella Josephine BakerCivil rights activist who worked alongside W.E.B. DuBois and Martin Luther KingElla FitzgeraldRenown American jazz singer, won 14 Grammy AwardsElla Mae Morse1940s jazz, blues, and country singer, considered the first rock-and-roll singerElla M.S. MarbleDoctor of medicine, suffragette, early 20th century women ‘s rights activistElla YoungIrish/American poet and teacher of Celtic mythology, detained at Ellis Island in 1925 for believing in fairiesElla HavelkaFirst indigenous ballet dancer to be a member of the Australian BalletElla Rose Emhofstepdaughter of Vice President Kamala Harris, member of the U.S. second family
Like Ella? What about:
Popularity over time
Source: Social Security Administration & BabyCenter user data
Baby Names Finder
GenderBoy Girl BothPopularity All Show only top names Exclude top namesMeaning, origin, theme…SEARCH BABY NAMES