In truth, I’ve been a bit rubbish of late when it comes to posting on time. There’s a good reason for that, which is that I’m finally getting around to slugging through the old stuff, tagging and categorising them as I go.
Either way, today we’re shifting attention to a name I’ve never particularly loved: Ella. I know I could potential be upsetting some with my stance on Ella, since she ranked at #18 in 2010 in England&Wales – so clearly some people must love her. Indeed, she’s taken the international market by storm. Consider these numbers:
- US: #13
- Canada: #2
- Australia (New South Wales): #9
- Belgium: #19
- Croatia: #74
- Denmark: #29
- France: #229
- Ireland: #11
- Netherlands: #127
- N. Ireland: #18
- Norway: #16
- Scotland: #34
- Slovenia: #86
- Sweden: #6
Clearly, quite a few girls are being given the name Ella. However, I’ve been think about names which have similar features to Ella of late, and indeed just how much I like these similar names compared to my relative dis-interest in the name Ella. This list of names is rather expansive, so we’re turning this into a two-parter. So, we’re going to start at the start of Ella, with El- names. Some of these could indeed shorten to Ella should the need take you.
The name Eleanor is also in the Top 100, but she’s falling. Since 2000 she’s fallen 36 places in England&Wales, falling 5 places between 2009 and 2010. One thing to mention is that I do know several Eleanors my age, and all of them go by Ellie instead. The slight alternative spelling of Elena is at #192 – and I know just one girl names Elena who simply goes by Elena.
Other variants of the name Eleanor which also start with an El- include: Eleonore, Elinor, Eleanora, Eleanoora – and I personally have an Eleanoe sitting in my family tree.
I recently spied that Abby over at Appellation Mountains has covered the rather interesting looking name Elsinore back in Feb 2011. She rather looks to me as a smoosh between Eleanor and Elsie, but there’s more to her than that. In Denmark there is a city called Helsingør, which is known in English as Elsinore. It’s thanks to Shakespeare that we know about the place too – Elsinore Castle is the setting for his play Hamlet, although the Castle itself is actually called Kronborg.
Similar sounding to Eleanor, and I think rather pretty in sound. Currently Elora is ranking higher than Eliora – with Elora being given to 16 girls in 2010 compared with just 3 being given the name Eliora.
Often referred to as a baby-boomer name, and often referred to as the French form of Helen. Another thing to note as well is that the Welsh word for fawn is elain. In 2010 she ranked at #1731, with 16 of them born – but she peaked in 1954 at #18.
I’ve been reading French literature again, this time Tartuffe by the French playwright Molière. This name appeared in the play, and it’s a slight variant of the Spanish name Edelmira, which itself derives from the male Germanic name Adelmar which means famed noble. It’s also worth noting that in the Slavic region, the element mir means peace – and in Sanskrit Mira means sea, ocean.
Cornish for Elm and Iris, respectively. Both culled from Elea‘s wonderful post on Cornish names.
Recently mentioned by Rowan on her blog concerning rare female Dutch names.
The name of a 5th-century Saint, and most sources I’ve seen agree that she comes from the Welsh word, eilun, which means idol or image.
Technically speaking, this is a male French name, which is rather in vogue at the moment in France. It’s the name of an obscure saint, who is more often seen referred to in Cornwall as Elvan, Elwen or even Elven – in Cornish elven means spark.
Eloise likely evolved from the Germanic name Helewidis, which came from the elements heil, meaning healthy, and wid, meaning wide. That said, some do link the name to the Greek helios, which means sun. Either way, it’s unlikely she shares origins with the similar-sounding name Louise – despite many now respelling the name as Elouise, which is more than you may think: Elouise ranked at #773 in 2010; Ellouise was at #1257. Eloise herself is pretty popular – she’s entered and fallen out of the Top 100 twice in the past decade. Currently, she ranks at #109.
I recently noticed this name on a list of Ren’s. It’s the name of a Welsh river (also known as Leri), and isn’t pronounced the same as Ellery is, with the stress on the middle, not first, syllable. There’s a Welsh radio/TV presenter named Eleri Siôn, who currently works for BBC Radio Cymru.
Anna reported last year on a boy named Elfin, whilst I personally mentioned the names of Rosemary Ferguson’s children – which included her daughter Elfie. There’s a similar German name, Alwin, which means elf friend – deriving from the Germanic elements alfa, meaning elf and win, meaning friend. As an English word, Elfin is an adjective used to describe a person who is small and delicate – and quite often is used to refer to facial features.