Ella Name Meaning

Little girl riding a bike

Maryna Terletska / Getty Images

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.

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.

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.

Name Variations

Variations of the name Ella include:

  • Aella
  • Alia
  • Elle
  • Elli
  • Ellie
  • Elly
  • Eleanor
  • Ellen
  • Elsie
  • Elsy

Similar Names

Here are some names with a similar sound and similar origins as Ella:

  • Elayna
  • Eliza
  • Elyse
  • Lena
  • Lenora
  • Lilian
  • Nellie
  • Nora

Here are some names with Ella as the suffix:

  • Adella
  • Carmella
  • Fiorella
  • Gabriella
  • Gisella
  • Marcella

Common Nicknames

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:

  • Elle
  • Ellie
  • Ellabella
  • Ellabelle
  • L

Suggested Sibling Names

Some sibling names that work well with Ella include:

  • Aiden
  • Alice
  • Camille
  • Leo
  • Mia
  • Noah
  • Odette
  • Patrick
  • Jane

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

More Baby Names

Still searching for the perfect baby name? Check out these related baby name lists for even more options: 

1 Source
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Social Security Administration. Popularity of name.

By Elisa Cinelli
Elisa is a well-known parenting writer who is passionate about providing research-based content to help parents make the best decisions for their families. She has written for well-known sites including POPSUGAR and Scary Mommy, among others.