Ellie is a great name. She’s spunky and sweet, and surprisingly versatile. It is easy to imagine Ellie the bookworm, Ellie the chef, Ellie the scientist, Ellie the cheerleader, Ellie the artist.
But how about Ellie the district attorney, Ellie the heart surgeon, Ellie the Nobel Prize winner? It’s perfectly possible, of course. But it might be worth considering a formal option for your daughter’s birth certificate.
Possibilities abound. There are evergreen classics, exotic imports, tailored surnames, and daring new choices.
If you’re considering inking Ellie on your daughter’s birth certificate, read on.
Getting to Ellie from the Classics
Elizabeth, Elisabeth – Worn by queens and saints, it’s impossible to argue with the enduring appeal of this name. It is also possible to choose another nickname, ranging from the out of favor Liz to the retro Betsy. But Ellie is a valid option.
Eleanor, Elinor: An equally regal choice that’s slightly less common. Eleanor has climbed to #150 in 2011, up more than 100 spots in the last five years. Variant spelling Elinor does not rank in the Top 1000 in the US, but Jane Austen’s heroine in Sense and Sensibility was Elinor Dashwood. Eleonore is yet another variation.
Ella – She’s quite popular, and many an Ella likely becomes Ellie at least some of the time.
Alternative Routes to Ellie
Eliza – She started out as a pet form of Elizabeth, but a long history of use means that she stands on her own nicely. It’s a sophisticated choice with spirit, and brings to mind Audrey Hepburn playing the enchanting Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady.
Elise – Another of Elizabeth’s offspring, Elise is a gentle name. She has a subtle French appeal. Plus “Für Elise” is Beethoven’s famous piece for piano; though the Elise for whom it was intended is lost to history. She’s always been a nice compromise choice, neither popular nor obscure. But lately, Elise is on the rise, reaching #162 last year.
Elaine – Usually considered an Old French variant of Helen, kept alive in the tales of King Arthur, Elaine was a fashion-forward choice from the 1920s through the 1950s in the US. Today, she’s more likely to be the grandmother than the granddaughter. With nickname options Ellie and Lainey, she could be quite current in 2013.
Elena: A lovely, pan-European spin on Elaine, also spelled Elaina, Alaina, and so on. With princesses, athletes and even an obscure Francesco Cavalli opera bearing the name, Elena is the most popular spelling. She’s a Top 20 choice in Italy and Spain, and she’s also popular in Austria.
Eliana, Elliana – She could be an elaborate smoosh of Ellie and Anna, an independent Hebrew name, or a feminine form of Roman family name Aelius. Regardless of her origin, she appeals to the same parents embracing Liliana and Arabella.
Ellen – She’s fallen out of favor since the nineteenth century. But if you’re after a no-nonsense name for a daughter, Ellen is a possibility less common than Claire or even Jane.
Getting to Ellie from Imports
Eloise – Derived from a Germanic name brought to England by the Normans, Eloise is gaining in use lately. With Kay Thompon’s enduring book as a built-in bedtime story, no wonder. Eloisa is a more elaborate form in use in Spanish and Italian.
Elsa – She’s so close to Ella that maybe she’s not much of a formal name option. Still, she’s a pretty, underused grown-up name that can shorten to Ellie.
Elza – Either a Slavic form of Elsa or a Hebrew name meaning joyful. Elza’s sound intrigues, though she shares the same limitations as Elsa.
Elvira – A daring way to get to Ellie, Elvira brings to mind the Mistress of the Dark, the Oak Ridge Boys’ song, and the Danish circus performer murdered by her lover. The last and most tragic Elvira – Madigan – lives on in film. The Mozart piano concerto used in the movie is now often called the “Theme from Elvira Madigan.” It’s a darkly glamorous choice, the kind of name that begs for a simple nickname like Ellie.
Elspeth – A Scottish twist on Elizabeth.
Getting to Ellie from Surname Names
Ellison – With ties to literary and other notables, Ellison is a surname parents are likely to consider. It’s close to Allison – perhaps confusingly so – making her a likely prospect for a daughter.
Ellis – Slightly shorter than Ellison, but equally possible for a daughter in 2013.
Ellery – Long an under-used masculine moniker, Ellery could join Avery and Emery as a girls’ name.
Elliot, Elliott – Both spellings are popular for boys, and sometimes heard for girls, too. Possible feminine form Elliotte was chosen by actress Marla Sokoloff.
Ellington – Jazzy.
Campbell – If Cameron can be borrowed by the girls, why not Campbell?
The Ending Gets to Ellie
Isabella, Isabelle, Isobel– The most popular of the ends with -ella names, and a possible route to Ellie.
Unconventional Routes to Ellie
Elsinore – A place name from Shakespeare, Elsinore is a literary twist to Elinor and company.
Elowen – A modern Cornish name meaning elm tree.
Elvia – One of the rarer names ever profiled here at AppMtn.
Endellion – Another Cornish appellation, this one with ties to a saint.
Eluned – An early Welsh saint.
Everild – Is this too much of a stretch? She’d probably lend herself more naturally to Evie.
Would you ever use the name Ellie? Would you consider a longer name? Which one? Are there any I’ve left off? And do you know any little Ellies?