- this week

Gender: M Meaning of Elmo: "protector" Origin of Elmo: Italian from German

Elmo, like fellow Sesame Street characters Kermit and Grover, has a hard time being taken seriously. (It isn't easy being red either.)

But Elmo also calls to mind the image of St. Elmo's fire--the light show sometimes visible around ships' masts during storms at sea, which is quite appropriate since Saint Elmo (another name for Erasmus) is the patron saint of sailors. St. Elmo's Fire was also the title of a classic Brat Pack film of the 1980s.

There were a lot more Elmos around a century ago, when Elmo was in the top third of the popularity list.

Famous People Named Elmo

Saint Elmo aka Erasmus of Formia, Croatian martyr and patron of sailors
(Saint) Elmo Sylvester Hope, American jazz pianist
Elmo Everett Smith, American politician; 27th governor of Oregon
Elmo Russell "Bud" Zumwalt Jr., U.S. Navy admiral
(Otto) Elmo Lincoln, American actor
(William) Elmo Tanner, American whistler, singer and bandleader
Saint Elmo Brady, first African-American to receive a Ph.D.
Elmo Langley, American NASCAR driver
Elmo Shropshire, American singer of duo Elmo & Patsy

Pop Culture References for the name Elmo

Elmo, red Muppet on TV's "Sesame Street"
Captain Elmo Armstrong, main character in 1919 film "Elmo the Mighty"
Elmo "Mo" Jones, character on TV series "Thief"
Elmo Putney, character on British TV series "Brush Strokes"
Elmo, elf in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-Earth
St. Elmo's Fire, weather phenomenon
St. Elmo's Fire, 1985 film
Elmo, probably from Greek elene, meaning "torch" or "corposant"