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What does Nelly mean?

Nelly Pronunciation of Nelly [nel-ly] as a girls' name is pronounced NEL-ee. It is of English origin. Short form of Helen, Eleanor (Greek) "sun ray". Opera celebrity Nellie Melba.

Associated with: greek, sun (star), opera.


Nelly has 10 variants: Nel, Nelida, Nell, Nella, Nellene, Nelley, Nellie, Nellwen, Nellwin and Nellwyn.

Affiliated girl names: Nelsey, Cornelia and Ellen.

17 more alternative forms via Eleanor, Helen, Nellie: Ella, Elle, Elli, Elly, Ellyn, Helen, Helia, Hella, Hellen, Hellia, Neely, Nela, Nelda, Nelia, Nelle, Nelli and Nila.

Creative forms:
(female) Naily, Noly, ..

(male) Neli, Nelve, ..

Middle name pairings:
Nelly Jubilee (N.J.), ..

How popular is Nelly?

Nelly is a very popular first name for women (#1009 out of 4276, Top 24%) and also a very popular surname for both adults and children (#67522 out of 150436, Top 45%). (2000 U.S. Census)

Nelly entered the list in 1880-1889 and reached its top position of #954 in the U.S. then, and is presently at #1724. (Top Baby Names, 2015)

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Nelly name in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Nelly outside U.S.

Which version is better?

with its variant forms and related girl names. Prominent variation forms of Nelly (#1724 via latest list) are Ella (#18 via latest list), Eleanor (#60), Elle (#398), Helen (#419), Ellen (#705), Nellie (#1247), Elly (#1474), Nila (#1797), Nella, Nelle, Nell, Hellen, Ellyn, Elli, Cornelia, Neely, Nelda and Nelia. These relations of Nelly were popular as birth names 115 years ago (average #924) and have become much less common since (#1465, 84%), with versions such as Nellie becoming somewhat outmoded. Elle and Ella are two of the more fashionable baby names in this compilation.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Nelly, Cornelia, Eleanor, Ella, Elle in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Ellen, Elli, Elly, Ellyn, Helen in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Hellen, Neely, Nelda, Nelia, Nell in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Nella, Nelle, Nellie, Nila in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Cornelia, Eleanor, Ella, Elle, Ellen, Nellie outside U.S.

Similar Names

Nelly is pronounced similarly to Naila, Nalea, Neala, Nealla, Neelia, Neelie, Neelya, Neila, Neilla, Neola, Noela, Noella, Nola, Noola, Nowla, Nuala, Nualla, Nula, Nyla and Nylah. Other suggested similar names are Ally, Billy, Cally, Cilly, Colly, Delly, Dolly, Emelly, Gilly, Hally, Hedly, Hilly, Holly, Jilly, Joelly, Jully, Kally, Kealy, Keely, Kelly, Lally, Lesly, Lilly, Lolly, Mally, Melly, Milly, Molly, Neale, Neel, Neelle (see Neilina), Neile, Neille, Nellsey (see Nelsey), Nelsy, Neroly (see Nerola), Nessy, Netty, Noell, Noelle, Polly, Reilly, Sally, Seely, Shelly, Tally, Tilly, Tully, Vally, Verly, Wally and Willy. These names tend to be less commonly used than Nelly.

See names
in meaning and etymology.