Meaning and name origin
Ellen \e(l)-len\ as a girl's name is pronounced EL-en. It is of Greek origin, and the meaning of Ellen is "sun ray". Originally a variant of Helen, but now more closely associated with Eleanor. First used as an independent name in the 16th century. Nell is a pet form. English actress Ellen Terry; American actresses Ellyn Burstyn, Ellen Barkin, Ellen DeGeneres.
Ellen has 27 variant forms: Elan, Elen, Elena, Elene, Elene, Eleni, Elenita, Elenyi, Elin, Ella, Ellan, Elle, Elleen, Ellena, Ellene, Ellie, Ellin, Ellina, Ellon, Elly, Ellyn, Elon, Elyn, Elynn, Nell, Nellie and Nelly.
Ellen is a very popular first name for females (#126 out of 4276, Top 3%) and also a very popular surname or last name for all people (#23082 out of 88799, Top 26%) (2000 U.S. Census).
Displayed below is the baby name popularity of the name Ellen for girls. Ellen reached its highest rank of #64 in the U.S. in 1880-1889. (2014 statistics).
Displayed below is a comparison of the popularity of the girl name Ellen and its variant forms. Popular variation forms ranked in the Top 1000/100 are Ella (#17), Ellie (#55), Eleanor (#78), Elena (#121), Elle (#395), Helen (#404), Ellen (#656), Elin (#733), Elnora, Suellen, Nelly, Elly, Eleni, Nell and Nellie. (2014 statistics).
Ellen is also pronounced similarly to Aleen, Alleen, Allene, Allyn, Eilean, Eileen, Eilene, Eilin, Eilleen, Eilwen, Elaene, Elain, Eleen, Elian, Ellane, Ileen, Illene, Oleen and Olwen. Other suggested similar baby names are Eilena, Eleena, Ellee, Ellma and Ellona. These names tend to be less commonly used than Ellen.