English surname derived from Elijah or Elias or Welsh

Ellis Origin and Meaning

The name Ellis is a boy's name of English, Welsh origin meaning "benevolent".

Ellis is a former Old Man Name turned gender-neutral choice for the 21st century. It's one of the less used names in the currently popular El-family.

A popular Welsh name in its own right, sometimes spelled Elis, Ellis is also an English surname derived from Elijah, by way of the Greek Elias.

Ellis Bell was the male pseudonym of Emily Bronte when she wrote Wuthering Heights. Ellis Marsalis is the paterfamilias of the noted jazz family, father of Wynton, Branford and others, and some might associate the name with Ellis Island, through which millions of immigrants entered the United States.

There have been a number of Ellises on the big and small screen -- in The Wire, Grey's Anatomy and No Country for Old Men, among others. As a surname, it's associated with designer Perry, writer Bret Easton and psychologist Havelock.

At one point all-male, Ellis is now a popular name for both boys and girls. Currently there are two baby boys named Ellis for every girl.

# 307 in the US

Ellis Rank in US Top 1000

# 25 on Nameberry

Ellis Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Ellis Popularity

20 Names Similar to Ellis

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Famous People Named Ellis

  • Ellis Paul (born Paul Plissey)American singer,songwriter
  • Ellis Charles WackettAustralian Air Force commander
  • Ellis Andrew StonesAustralian landscape architect
  • Ellis AshmeadBartlett, English war correspondant
  • Ellis LanksterAmerican football player
  • Ellis James O'Leary (b. 2013)son of TV host Samantha Brown and Kevin O'Leary; twin sister Elizabeth Mae
  • Bret Easton EllisAmerican novelist
  • Herbert Douglas 'Doug' EllisEnglish soccer club chairman
  • Ellis AllenEnglish journalist and biographer
  • Lindsay Ellismedia critic

Ellis in Pop Culture

  • Ellis Boyd "Red" Reddingcharacter in film "The Shawshank Redemption"
  • Ellis Jonescharacter in film "The Age of Adaline"
  • Ellis Shepherdson of Derek and Meredith on TV's "Grey's Anatomy"
  • Ellischaracter in the 2012 movie "Mud"
  • Ellischaracter in Left 4 Dead 2
  • Ellischaracter in TV's Parks and Recreation
  • Ellis Islanda small island in New York Harbor that famously welcomed immigrants to the United States