Elijah Name Meaning

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Elijah is frequently used as a boy name. Learn more about the meaning, origin, and popularity of the name Elijah.

Fact checked by Karen Cilli

The name Elijah goes back to the Bible's Old Testament and derives from a Hebrew phrase meaning “Jehovah is my God.” The original, biblical Elijah was a prophet known for defending the worship of God and performing miracles in God’s name. The prophet Elijah is revered by Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike.

  • Origin: The name Elijah comes from the Hebrew words El (God) and Yah (Jehovah). It is found in the Old Testament, specifically in the First and Second Books of Kings.

  • Gender: Elijah is historically the masculine form of the name. Eliyah and Eliana are sometimes used as feminine variations.

  • Pronunciation: el-EYE-jah or uh-LIE-jah

Editor's Note

Although many baby names are separated by gender, Parents believes that sex does not need to play a role in your name selection process. It’s important to select a name that you feel suits your new baby the best.

<p>Bogdan Vija / EyeEm / Getty Images</p>

Bogdan Vija / EyeEm / Getty Images

How Popular Is the Name Elijah?

Though an ancient, biblical name, Elijah has skyrocketed in popularity in recent decades. It first joined the top 100 boy names in the US in 1995 and has kept climbing. It reached the top 50 in 2001, and the top 20 in 2010.

Elijah has been a top 10 name for boys in the US since 2016, and in 2022 it was ranked as the fifth most popular boy name in America.

Related: These Baby Name Trends Will Be Popular in 2024

Name Variations

As it is a biblical name, Elijah has an equivalent in virtually every known language. These include:

Similar Names

The name Elias is a variant of the name Elijah. Elias is the name given to the prophet Elijah in Greek and Latin editions of the Bible.

The Hebrew word El (God), which forms part of the name Elijah, is also found at the start of other Hebrew names such as Elisha and Eliezer, and at the end of Daniel, Gabriel, Michael, Samuel, etc.

Other boy names starting with E include:

  • Edmund

  • Edward

  • Elliot

  • Emilio

  • Emmanuel

  • Eric

  • Evan

  • Everett

  • Ethan

  • Emmett

  • Easton

  • Ezekiel

  • Ezra

Other boy names from the Old Testament:

  • Aaron

  • Abraham

  • Benjamin

  • David

  • Asher

  • Adam

  • Caleb

  • Jacob

  • Joshua

  • Nathan

  • Noah

  • Reuben

  • Samson

  • Seth

Common Nicknames for Elijah

Eli can be a name on its own, but is also used as a short form of Elijah, Eliezer, Elizabeth, or Eliana.

Elijah can also be shortened to Lijah, Lijey, Lahje, or Jah.

Suggested Sibling Names

  • Efraim

  • Deborah

  • Abigail

  • Rebecca

  • Rachel

  • Elior

  • Gabriel

  • Isaac

  • Leah

  • Mark

  • Matthew

  • Miriam

  • Rose

  • Sarah

Famous People Named Elijah

The biblical Elijah plays a special role in the Jewish celebration of Passover. Observant Jews leave out an extra cup of wine for Elijah during the Passover Seder. It is said that when Elijah returns to this world to join the Seder, it will herald the coming of the Messiah.

The New Testament suggests that John the Baptist played the role of a second Elijah, as the forerunner of Jesus Christ.

Other famous Elijahs include:

  • Elijah Craig, 18th century American Baptist preacher, sometimes credited as the inventor of bourbon

  • Elijah Cummings, American politician and civil rights advocate who served in the US House of Representatives from 1996 until he died in 2019

  • Elijah Holyfield, American football player, son of former world champion boxer Evander Holyfield

  • Elijah Joy, American celebrity vegan chef

  • Elijah Kelley, American actor, singer, and dancer known for his roles in "28 Days," "Hairspray," and "The Wiz Live!"

  • Elijah Lovejoy, American Presbyterian minister, journalist, and abolitionist

  • Elijah Lee, American football player

  • Elijah McCoy, Canadian-born African American inventor and engineer

  • Elijah McGuire, former American football player

  • Elijah Muhammad, born Elijah Poole, former leader of the Nation of Islam, known as the mentor of Malcolm X

  • Elijah Pitts, American football player and football coach, best known as a halfback for the Green Bay Packers

  • Elijah Wald, American folk blues guitarist and music historian

  • Elijah Wood, American actor, best known for playing Frodo Baggins in "The Lord of the Rings" film series

More Baby Names

Still searching for the perfect baby name? Check out these related baby name lists for even more options:

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Read the original article on Parents.