Eli Name Meaning, Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Eli Name Meaning and Origin

Derived from the Old Testament, Eli is a masculine name of Hebrew origin that means ‘high,’ ‘elevated,’ or ‘my God.’ After giving birth to her son Samuel, Hannah handed him over to Eli, the high priest and last judge of Israel, to be trained to lead his life in the service of God.

What Does Eli Mean?

Eli is a Biblical name that derives from the Hebrew ‘Aly,’ meaning “high.” Thus, the meaning of Eli refers to “my God,” “ascended, uplifted, and high.” The meaning of Eli in Greek baby names is “Defender of man” or “height.” As a girl’s name from Elizabeth, Eli means “God is abundance” or “God is my oath.” It means “torch,” “beautiful,” “light,” “bright,” and “shining” from Elin, derived from Helena in Scandinavia. It could also be the short versions of various Jewish names like Elijah, Elias, Eliezer, Elliot, Elisha, Eliezer, or even Elimelech, starting with the element ‘el’ meaning “God or powerful.”


Eli originates from the Hebrew letter ‘ayin’ in the beginning. Biblical Eli was the high priest in the Books of Samuel. Commonly used by the Puritans in the 17th century, this name traveled to the American colonies. El is a Semitic deity used in the Bible as a name for the God of the Israelites. It’s -i suffix in its genitive form means “mine.”




  • Ee-ly
  • EE-lie
  • EE-lye


2 syllables


3 letters

Name Variations/Spellings

Name variants have alternatives in different cultures and languages and are special, just like your baby. However, with only two syllables and three alphabets, Eli name variations and other spellings for Eli are limited but can still be an inspiration during your name selection process:

Name Origin
Heli Latin
Eeli Finnish
Ely English
Elie English
Elie French
Ely English
Ely Hebrew

How Popular Is the Name Eli?

Over the last century, Eli’s popularity has seen a considerable rise and fall a couple of times. In the 1880s, the trendline of Eli baby name ranking was counted among the top 200 most popular names for boys. After a brief decline in popularity, with its ranking falling below 700 in 1964, it saw a significant revival in the early 1970s. In 1976, Eli ranked in the top 400 among the most popular names for boys in the United States. After ranking as one of the top 100 names in 2008, it achieved peak popularity in 2013, earning the 43rd position with almost 8000 babies named Eli. According to the latest Social Security Administration data, Eli is the 60th most popular name for boys. According to the data, Eli has made substantial progress by jumping from 229 in 2000 to 49 in 2014 before falling to the 62nd position in 2019. Once considered a nickname for Elijah, Eli as a classy name has managed to win the hearts of new-age parents.

Interest in Eli – Worldwide

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Search trends for the name Eli have recorded a consistent search value of over 40 for two years, reaching 100 in February 2012. The lowest value was recorded in August 2021 at just 32.

Interest in Eli – US

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Widespread interest in the name Eli has recorded a consistent search value of over 30 reaching 100 in February 2012 as per the search trends over the last ten years. Interest for Eli dipped to its lowest value of just 20 in June 2019 and July 2021.

Popularity of the Name Eli 

URL: https://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/babyname.cgi

Where Is the Name Most Searched?

Search trends of Eli Worldwide

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Search trends show that the name Eli has been searched the most in Azerbaijan in the last ten years. Countries like Albania, Armenia, Norway, and Tunisia claim the top 5 spots on the popularity scale. Although Islam is the main religion of Azerbaijan, it is a secular country that makes Eli a hugely popular name among the minority Christian community.

Search trends of Eli in the US

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Indiana leads as the sub-region of the US, where the searches for the name Eli have been recorded as highest over the last ten years. Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Mississippi queue up as the top 5 cities of the US, where search trends for Eli have been the highest.

Middle Names That Go With Eli

A good middle name may carry the legacy of an ancestor, a loved one, or a spiritual role model. Here are some of the double names with Eli that will enhance the significance of its meaning:

William Jacob
Joseph Louis
Joshua Robert
Charles Hunter
Matthew Bennet
Miles Michael
David Laurence
Philip David
Desmond Peter
Jude George
Parker Kevin

Famous People Named Eli

Celebrities have names that make an impression on people due to their outstanding professional achievements. Here is an inventory of famous people named Eli, who can spell good luck to your baby boy’s destiny.

Celebrity Name Profession/Famous For
Eli Bebout Wyoming Politician
Eli Broad American Billionaire
Eli C.D Shortridge Third Governor of North Dakota
Eli Langer Canadian Artist
Eli Manning American Footballer
Eli Roth American Film Director
Eli Thayer American Politician
Eli Todd Tappan American Author
Eli Whitney Inventor of the Cotton Gin
Eli Walker Welsh Rugby Player
Eli Wolf American Football Player
Eli Roth American Film Director

Similar Names & Last Names

Baby names like Eli can form a fantastic combination with the last name and complement each other. Suitable family names for Eli can sound pleasing and can be passed down to the next generation. Here are some of the other names for Eli that are accurate reflections of its exquisiteness.

Other Baby Names Suitable Family Names
Asher Thomas
Benjamin Lilly
Caleb Blake
Elliot Terry
Luke Todd
Owen Walker
Samuel Wolf
Ezra Black
Isaiah Noam
Micah Zuckerman
Jake Manning

Names That Sound Like Eli

Finding two related names or names that rhyme with Eli can be a challenge. A timeless name like Eli can have inspiring options as given below:

Elis Elian
Eliezer Elim
Elisheba Eliron
Elison Eliot
Elisha Elidor
Elias Elihu
Eliran Beli
Areli Kweli
Makaveli Evan
Ethan Ezra

Sibling Names Related to Eli

Sibling names combine as they flow off the tongue beautifully and highlight the bond of love between them. Here are some of the most suitable sibling names that go with Eli:

Sister Names for Eli Brother Names for Eli
Ava Isaac
Lily Owen
Sophia Gavin
Emily Asher
Isabelle Max
Ivy Simon
Daisy Kelly
Molly Perry
Iris Sterling
Cora Chuck

Nicknames for Eli

A nickname can be a shortened or modified variation of a forename and most often refer to the special relationship that you share with your child. Here are some of the fun new nicknames for the name Eli:

Eli-oosh eBay
Eli shen Elmo
Eliu E Lies
Yeeli E
Alias Eli baby
Alyus Eloy
Elves Ely
Elyas E-E
Elius Eli Bear
Li Eliy

Despite its ancient Biblical roots, Eli packs a punch of style with its three letters to keep up with modern trends. Moreover, its short and sweet sound and unique spelling starting and ending with a vowel make it a worthy contender for your baby boy.


Social Security Administration: https://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/babyname.cgi
Eli Name Popularity in the United States: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2011-01-01%202021-09-22&geo=US&q=Eli
Eli Name Popularity Across The World: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2011-01-01%202021-09-22&q=Eli
Eli Name Interest in the United States: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2011-01-01%202021-09-22&geo=US&q=Eli
Eli Name Interest Across The World: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2011-01-01%202021-09-22&q=Eli

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