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Updated May 8, 2024

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Girl name origins & meanings

What does Ella mean and stand for?


  • English: Light or beautiful fairy woman
  • Greek: Torch or bright light
  • Hebrew: Goddess
  • Old German: All

Gender: Female

Syllables: 2

Pronunciation: The name Ella is pronounced el-luh

Ella, a name with English, Greek, and Hebrew origins, signifies "light," "torch," or "beautiful fairy woman," embodying brightness and beauty. Its simplicity and euphony have made it a beloved name across the globe, transcending cultural and linguistic barriers. The name's origins are varied, with its significance in English as a diminutive form of names like Eleanor or Ellen, meaning "light" or "beautiful fairy woman."

In Greek, Ella carries the meaning of "torch" or "bright light," symbolizing guidance and enlightenment. It embodies a sense of divinity and grace, making it a powerful choice for a baby girl. According to Germanic origins, it may mean "all" or "other."

Girl name variations

How Popular Is The Name Ella

Ella in Pop Culture

  • Ella Lopez from Lucifer - A genius forensic scientist with a bubbly personality.
  • Ella Enchanted from Ella Enchanted - A young woman cursed with the gift of obedience in this fairy tale adventure.
  • Ella Montgomery from Pretty Little Liars - A loving mother navigating the complexities of family drama.
  • Ella from Total Drama Island - A sweet-natured competitor who loves to sing, inspired by Disney princesses.
  • Ella of Frell from Ella Enchanted (book) - The written version of Ella, who goes on a quest to remove her curse of obedience.

Popularity of the Name Ella

According to Social Security Administration data, the name Ella has been a popular choice for parents, consistently ranking within the top 20 names for girls in the United States over recent years. Its charm and simplicity have contributed to its steady popularity among newborn girls.

Ella's appeal is not just modern; it has historical roots and cultural significance. For instance, Ella Fitzgerald, known as the "First Lady of Song," was an American jazz singer noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing, timing, intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing. 

In literature and media, Ella has been a favored name for strong and enchanting characters. Ella Enchanted, a novel by Gail Carson Levine, that was later adapted into a film, features a protagonist named Ella who is under a spell to obey any command. This character underscores the name's association with both grace and resilience.

The name Ella also appears in various forms of entertainment, highlighting its versatility and universal appeal. From classic literature to contemporary films and television series, Ella remains a go-to name for characters that resonate with strength, elegance, and a touch of mystery.

Where Is the Name Ella Popular?

This name is most popular across certain states in the U.S., including those highlighted on the map below.

Nicknames for Ella

These shortened names can make great nicknames for your baby.

  • El
  • Ellie

Ella Pairs Well With These Middle Names

Looking for a middle name that fits perfectly? Consider these!

Appears On

Browse these related baby name lists that feature this name and many, many more!

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