Boy Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Eli

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • Hebrew
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 43
Simple meaning:
Height, lofty

Characteristics of Eli

  • Authoritative
  • Powerful
  • Tough
  • Tenacious
  • Wealthy
  • Problem-solver
  • Achiever

Etymology & Historical Origin - Eli

We think of Eli as a pet form of Elijah or Eliot when, in fact, it’s a first name in its own right. Eli comes from the Hebrew word meaning "height". Eli was borne from the Bible, specifically in 1 Samuel 1-4. He was one of the last Israelite judges and a priest before the eventual rule of kings. Eli steps in when Hannah finally gives birth to a son, Samuel, after tortuous years of barrenness. In exchange for her answered prayers for motherhood, Hannah gives the child over to Eli to raise him in the service of God (Samuel will eventually become an important prophet). Still, maybe not such a good idea. You see, Eli had a couple of “bad boy” sons himself (who, among other things, inappropriately fornicate with women in the entrance to the Tabernacle). Samuel eventually hears from the Lord that Eli’s dynasty will soon come to an end. After informing his guardian Eli, the priest takes the news in stride: “He is the Lord. Let Him do what is good in His eyes.” Sounds like the man understood. Eventually, the Philistines defeat the Israelites and capture the Ark of the Covenant (the physical manifestation of God’s presence). Upon hearing this news, Eli (now 98 years old), keels over in despair, breaks his neck and dies. So that’s the story; we’re not making it up. The Puritans started using the name Eli in the 17th century. It was their practice to choose lesser known Biblical names and adopt them as their own. Eventually the name would spread, and Jewish people still embrace it as a pet form of numerous names with the “el” element (meaning God).

Popularity of the Name Eli

Eli is no stranger to the U.S. popularity charts. It’s maintained a position on the Top 1000 list for over 120 consecutive years (at least since the government began tracking naming patterns). Although the name’s usage was more at the low to moderate level, Eli came out of hibernation in the late 1990’s. It has increased over 250 positions on the charts in a little more than 10 years and finally (for the first time) secured a spot on the Top 100 list in 2008. Eli doesn’t appear to be slowing down as it vies for a position on the Top 50. Even though we think of Eli as a nickname for Elijah or Elias, American parents are embracing the name as a stand-alone – perhaps they find the Biblical story charming. At least the name is.
Popularity of the Boy Name Eli
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Eli

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Eli

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Eli

    Eli We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Eli.

  • Popular Songs on Eli

    Popular Songs on Eli

    Eli - a song by Arlo Guthrie

    Eli's Comin' - a song by Three Dog Night

    Eli's Comin' - a song by Laura Nyro

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Eli

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Eli

    Eli (Bill Peet) - A proud but decrepit lion learns a lesson about friendship from the vultures he despises. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Eli and the Swamp Man (Charlotte Watson Sherman) - Eli's new stepfather, Ari, tells dumb jokes and can't play the harmonica, but mostly, Eli doesn't care for Ari because Ari isn't his dad. The other children in the family are excited about Ari's plans to take them to New Orleans to participate in the African American tradition called Indian masking, but Eli isn't won over. He decides, instead, to ride his bike from Seattle to his birth father's new home in Alaska. Although the journey doesn't go as planned, Eli's encounter with a homeless man called Swamp Man helps him put things in perspective. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Eli Ate a Fly (Corey Colombin) - Eli Ate a Fly follows Eli and his friends in silly rhymes that depict the fun-filled world of kids. There's a fly to find on every page, like the ones where Lars keeps in jars all the bugs from the yard; and Sharon tucks her hair in 'cause brushing it's too hard. In the end we learn that Eli ate a fly, but he ate it by mistake and turns very, very green! Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Eli Remembers (Ruth Vander Zee) - Year after year, Eli watches the solemn lighting of seven candles at his family’s celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. But these happy occasions are always tinged with sadness, and Eli doesn’t understand why. Then one year he travels to Eastern Europe and finally heard the stories that for generations have been too painful to share. As Eli learns how the candles represent his family’s sad connection to the Holocaust in Lithuania, he also learns a lesson about the importance of remembering. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Eli the Good (Silas House) - Bicentennial fireworks burn the sky. Bob Seger growls from a transistor radio. And down by the river, girls line up on lawn chairs in pursuit of the perfect tan. Yet for ten-year-old Eli Book, the summer of 1976 is the one that threatened to tear his family apart. There is his distant mother; his traumatized Vietnam vet dad; his wild sister; his former war-protester aunt; and his tough yet troubled best friend, Edie, the only person with whom he can be himself. As tempers flare and his father’s nightmares rage, Eli watches from the sidelines, but soon even he cannot escape the current of conflict. From Silas House comes a tender look at the complexities of childhood and the realities of war — a quintessentially Southern novel filled with music, nostalgic detail, a deep respect for nature, and a powerful sense of place. Recommended for ages young adult.

    Eli's Lie-O-Meter: A Story About Telling the Truth (Sandra Levins) - Eli knows the difference between pretending and the real facts. Pretending is what he does when he orbits the earth, and the real facts are what actually happen. Sometimes in REAL life, keeping to the facts is hard for Eli. With the help of his parents and the super-deluxe Lie-O-Meter 2.0, Eli learns about the consequences of his fibs and the value of telling the truth. A Note to Parents is included. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Eli's Night Light (Liz Rosenberg) - In this soothing tale, a resourceful boy finds an alternative to his night light, which burns out just as he is drifting off to sleep. Rather than panic or call for Mom and Dad, Eli looks around his room and realizes there is light everywhere. "The stripes of his wallpaper shone in the dark,/ and so did the frame on his picture of the park," writes Rosenberg in a soft, reassuring cadence. By composing her pictures from Eli's perspective as he surveys his environment, she varies the visual interest of every spread, while firmly establishing the boy as the center of his environment. Recommended for ages 3-6.

    Maker of Machines: A Story About Eli Whitney (Barbara Mitchell) - This book presents a biography of the inventor who created the cotton gin as well as a machine that could mass-produce muskets. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Mr. Baseball (William Hooks) - When Eli was into monsters, his big brother called him Mr. Monster. Now Eli's wacky and wonderfully contagious baseball fever has earned him a new nickname! Recommended for ages 4-7.

    Uncle Eli's Passover Haggadah (Eliezer Segal) - Every year Jewish families commemorate the ancient exodus from Egypt with a ritual Passover meal, or seder. It's an important religious event, but for children it can be, well, kind of a snooze. This one-of-a-kind haggadah will change that. Filled with zany characters, wacky rhymes, and humorous color illustrations, Eliezer Segal's lighthearted and very entertaining look at Passover traditions shows just how much fun a seder can be. Recommended for ages 4-8.

  • Famous People Named Eli

    Famous People Named Eli

    Famous People Named Eli - Eli Whitney (inventor of the cotton gin); Eli Manning (football player); Eli Roth (director); Eli Wallach (actor/entertainer); Eli Lilly (businessman)

  • Children of Famous People Named Eli

    Children of Famous People Named Eli

    Famous People who Named their Son Eli - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Eli.

  • Historic Figures

    Eli - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Eli - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Eli.

Personality of the Boy Name Eli

The number Eight personality has everything to do with power, wealth and abundance. Somehow, this personality has been blessed on the material plane, but their authoritative and problem-solving traits provide evidence that their good fortunes are not just the luck of the lottery. They are well earned. This is the personality of CEOs and high-ranking military personnel. Eights are intensely active, hard-driving individuals. Success is only meaningful to them after a job well-done.  They are remarkable in their ability to see the larger picture right down to the smallest details, and organize a strategy around success. They then have the ability to direct a group around them toward any goal, and realize individual potential to get the most out of their team.

Variations of the Baby Name - Eli

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