Italian from German

Elmo Origin and Meaning

The name Elmo is a boy's name of Italian origin meaning "protector".

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.

# 941 in the US

Elmo Rank in US Top 1000

Elmo Popularity

Famous People Named Elmo

  • Elmo LangleyAmerican NASCAR driver
  • Saint Elmo aka Erasmus of FormiaCroatian martyr and patron of sailors
  • (Saint) Elmo Sylvester HopeAmerican jazz pianist
  • Elmo Everett SmithAmerican politician; 27th governor of Oregon
  • Elmo Russell "Bud" Zumwalt Jr.U.S. Navy admiral
  • (Otto) Elmo LincolnAmerican actor
  • (William) Elmo TannerAmerican whistler, singer and bandleader
  • Saint Elmo Bradyfirst African,American to receive a Ph.D.
  • Elmo ShropshireAmerican singer of duo Elmo & Patsy

Elmo in Pop Culture

  • Elmored Muppet on TV's "Sesame Street"
  • Captain Elmo Armstrongmain character in 1919 film "Elmo the Mighty"
  • Elmo "Mo" Jonescharacter on TV series "Thief"
  • Elmo Putneycharacter on British TV series "Brush Strokes"
  • Elmoelf in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle,Earth
  • St. Elmo's Fireweather phenomenon
  • St. Elmo's Fire1985 film