For the past few years, Ella has ranked highly on the name charts. Here are some alternatives for those of you who wish for something a little different:
If you like the El- beginning:
- Eleanor. Once classed as a timeless name, now falling down the name charts. Fast. Means bright, shining one.
- Elena. An alternate spelling of Eleanor. Likely to have a better chance of rising, seeing as many people favour the unconventional spellings at the moment. It’s the spanish version of Helen. # 195 in 2009.
- Elaine. French variation of Helen. # 767 in 2009. The alternate spelling Elaina is much more ‘in’ right now (#462).
- Elora. Variation of Eliora.
- Eliora. Means ‘ the Lord is my Light’. Melodic in sound, due to abundance of vowels. Does not rank.
- Elise. Means ‘pledged to God’. Also a variation of Elizabeth. #211 in 2009. Alternate spelling Elyse is also climbing the name charts.
- Eloisa/Eloise/ Heloise. Means healthy/wide. # 917 in 2009. Popular for French girls.
- Eliza. Means ‘pledged to God’. Variation of Elizabeth. #278 in 2009.
- Elsie. Popular back at the start of the 20th century. Thus, if we remember names have a 100-year cycle, this name is due to come back into fashion. Currently #679. Another variation of Elizabeth, via it’s scottish form of Elspeth.
- Elle. French for ‘she’. In 2009 rose to #442 from #493.
- Elizabeth. Considered to be a ‘timeless’ name. Has a rich history of bearers, such at the two Queens of England. Popular throughout the centuries, currently ranks at #11. Popular for middle names, and often seen in sibsets alongside Victoria, another Queen of England. The variant ‘Elisabeth’ is currently sat at #554.
Names with the ‘elle’ ending:
- Marielle. Dutch and French diminuative of Mary. Means bitter. Does not rank in the top 1000. Variation of Mariella does not rank either.
- Gabrielle. French, feminine form of Gabriel. #96 in 2009, fell out of the Top 70 this year. Variation of Gabriella still ranks highly (#33)
- Danielle. Hebrew, feminine variant of Daniel. #170 in 2009. The ‘Daniella’ version ranks lower at #306.
- Brielle. Surging in popularity. Jumped 93 places to #245 in 2009. A contestant for the replacement of Ella no doubt. The variation of Briella does not rank, however.
- Michelle. Feminine form of Michael. Favourite during the 70s (when it peaked at #4). It’s now in steep decline, perhaps one could say it is the ‘Ella’ of the 70s. It recently dropped out of the top 100, however, it is tipped for a revival thanks to First Lady Michelle Obama. Currently ranks #104. A reason for it’s decline could be due to parents preferring Michael’s other feminine form – Michaela, or one of it’s many alternate spellings, such as Mikayla.
- Isabelle. This spelling ranks at #100. Considered this decades ‘Elizabeth’. Surprisingly, Isabel ranks lower at #110. Both names are on the rise though. Isabella ranks at #1, and did not even ranks in the top 1000 in the 1980s. This means it could fall out of favour in the coming decade, much like Jennifer and Michelle.
- Isobelle. German variation. This spelling does not rank. Neither doee Isobel. Isobella does not rank either.
- Belle . French for beautiful. Does not rank. Bella ranks at #58 in 2009, jumping up by 64 places. This is thought to have been caused by Twilight.
- Sabelle. This is a variation of the popular Isabel. It does not rank. Could also be a variation of Sable. The variation of Sabella does not rank.
- Estelle. French version of ‘Stella’. Does not rank. Variants are Estella and Estrella. The latter is the only one to rank – #414. It is popular amongst the hispanic community.
NOTE: -ella names are very much the fashion at the moment, so these names are all poised to rise in the coming few years.
Names that end ‘-ella’ and not covered in the above section:
- Stella. Latin meaning ‘Star’. #126 at the moment, may rise even higher. It jumped 58 places in 2009.
- Luella. Combination of Louise and Ella. Variant spelling is Louella. Neither Luella nor Louella rank, making them unusual compared to Ella.
Names with the ‘el’ sound:
- Belinda. Spanish origin, means ‘serpent. In Babylonian mythology she was the goddess of Heaven and earth. Currently #826. The variant of Melinda has dropped out of favour in recent years and so does not rank.
- Kelly. Irish name, means ‘war’. Was a male name in the 60s, now it is very much a female one. It ranks at #260. Nowadays overlooked in favour of other irish names such as ‘Kennedy’. Another irish name, Keeley (most often spelt Kiely in Ireland) means ‘slender’ and does not rank. The similar name Kaylee ranks at #26.
- Kelsey. Means ‘island’. Was popular at the same time as Chelsea. Now the name of your average teen. Kelsey ranks at #210. Chelsea ranks at #231. The name Chelsea originates from the borough of London, has begun to fall down the name chart.
- Stellina. Variation of Stella. Does not rank.
- Esteley. Variation of Estella. Does not rank.
- Melanie. Of Greek origin. Means ‘black or dark’. Currently ranks at #93. Was popular due to ‘Gone with the wind’, but has begun to fall down the name charts.
- Melina. Of Greek origin meaning ‘quince yellow’. Some see it as a fresh alternative to Melissa. Melina has moved up from #510 to #456 in the past year. Melissa means ‘bee’ and ranks at #137. Another variant, Melita, is greek meaning ‘honey’. But is also the name of a coffee filter. It does not rank.
- Helen/ Helena. Helen is greek, and it means ‘bright, shining one’. It ranks at #389. This name has been unfashionable for decades, so is due for a comeback. The alternative of Helena ranks at #575, and was a name favoured by Shakespeare. Another alternative is Ellen, which is falling down as Ella and co. rise. It currently ranks at #700. Eleni is a common name in Greece, that could also be considered.
- Mella. This name is a variant of Melanie. The variant of Mela is Hindi and means ‘religious service’.
- Pamela. Invented in the 16th Century by poet, Sir Philip Sidney. Ranks at #845. Poised for a revival?
- Amelia. Variation of Emily, means ‘energetic’. Currently stands at #55. The french version, Amelie, is at #675.
Names that end ‘-la’
- Carla. The version Karla is rising due to the trend towards ‘k’ names (currently #295), this spelling is falling though. It is the feminine variant of Carl, and currently stands at #665. The variant of Charla is does not rank and the variant of Clara is at #199 and means ‘bright’. Other variants are Sharla and Starla. Neither rank.
- Nuala. Irish name, pronounced NOO-la, it means ‘white shoulders’, officially a shortened version of Fionnuala. It does not rank.
- Kayla. Arabic and Hebrew origins. Means ‘laurel, crown’. Recently fallen out of the top 30 to #35
- Delilah. Hebrew and Arabic in origin. Rising quickly and currently stands at #191. Appeared in the Bible story of Samson and Delilah.
- Talulla/ Tallulah. Talulla is the Irish version of this name. The names mean ‘lady of abundance’. Starting to become popular, currently does not rank for either listed spelling.
- Michaela. Feminine version of Michael, more popular than Michelle. Means ‘who is like God’. Ranks at #370. Variant spellings are popular. Very popular in the 90s.
- Beulah. Popular at the beginning of the 20th century, and has yet to make a comeback. Or Hebrew origin and means ‘married’. Does not rank.
- Kala. Has origins in both Hindi and Hawaiian. In Hindi it means ‘art form or virtue’, in Hawaiian it is their version of Sarah. It does not rank.
- Lila. German word for ‘purple’. Arabic for ‘lilac’. Ranks at #168. Starting to become popular once more. Variants are Lilah (#366), Leila (Persian meaning ‘dark beauty, night’, #238), Layla (Popular alternate spelling of Leila, #45), Lyla (Shot up 72 spots to #152), Lilac (Colour, does not rank), Lola (Spanish diminuative of Dolores,’lady of sorrows’, #221), Lilia (Latin origin, means ‘Lily’, #916), Lolita (Story by Nakobov has kept this name from becoming popular, likely to start ranking soon though.)and Kalila (Arabic, means ‘beloved’, does not rank.)
- Elspeth. Scottish form of Elizabeth.
- Elpis . Means “hope” in Greek. In Greek mythology Elpis was the personification of hope. She was the last spirit to remain in the jar after Pandora unleashed the evils that were in it.
- Twyla. Variant of Twila. Could become popular when parents search for a name connected to ‘Twilight’. Twila means ‘woman with a double thread’.
- Dalella. Variation of Daniella.
- Belladonna. Italian name that means ‘beautiful woman’. Also the name of the poisonous plant that appears in Romeo and Juliet.
- Belia. Spanish variation of Bella.
- Elisheba. Original Hebrew form of Elizabeth. Alternative is Elisheva. Another is Elisha, which is Hebrew and means ‘God is my Salvation’, ranks at #709. Other spelling variants at Alysha (does not rank), Alisha (#765) and Eilisha (does not rank and derives from Eilish, the irish version of Elizabeth).
- Elyssa. Variation of Alyssa (Means ‘noble’, ranks at #19), Elysia (Mythical home of the blessed, Does not rank)and Alice (Also means ‘noble’, ranks at #258). There is also the variation of Alicia, which ranks at #207.
- Bellona. Derives from Latin and means ‘to fight’.
- Laurel. Latin name, meaning ‘Laurel tree’. Alternative of Laura.
- Teyla. Created for a Sci-Fi show, alternate spelling of Taylor.
Other similar names:
- Lisa. Popular in the late sixties, early seventies, also recorded as used on males. Derived from Elizabeth. Ranks at #686. It was #4 in 1970.
- Esther. Persian meaning ‘star’. Ranks at #267, was in the top 50 100 years ago, but is rarely used today. It is tipped for a comeback though.
- Louisa. Hardly heard of variant of Louis. Means ‘renowned warrior’. It’s hispanic version is Luisa, which is common in the Hispanic community.
- Kiely. Common Irish spelling of Keeley. Regularly used as a surname.
- Swansea. Has a similar sound to Chelsea. Name of a Welsh city.
EDIT: Here is what the lovely people of Yahoo! answers had to say: Y!A