Weirdly enough, settling on
the perfect name for your unborn child can be one of the most stressful parts of your pregnancy. You want to make sure you pick something that suits your child (which is nearly impossible to do, considering they, um, don't have a personality just yet) and, obviously, you want to love that name. But if you're looking for names that are similar to super popular monikers, such as baby names if you like Ella, you can really open up some doors.
Sometimes you have
your heart set on a name that just isn't going to work out. Maybe you're really into it, but your partner isn't a fan. Or maybe someone close to you has already used the name, and you don't want to use it as well. That might be the case with the name Ella, and while it’s disappointing initially, there are plenty of names out there that like Ella in both sound and meaning, and they're just as lovely. Bonus: you may even end up liking them more. The History And Meaning Of Ella
Ella is an enchanting-sounding name that has a few different meanings. It’s the shorter form of Eleanor and Ellen, and it definitely has a more youthful, magical feel to it. It has ancient German origins and may come from the word “alia,” which means “all,” or the word “alja,” which means others. In modern Hebrew, Ella means “goddess.” In Spanish, Ella means “she” or “her,” so it can be interpreted to mean “feminine.” And in Greek mythology, Aella is the name of the Amazon daughter of Ares and Harmonia.
If you’re looking for a baby name like Ella, opt for something that feels just as light and magical. Here are our favorite picks below.
1 Eloise Susumu Yoshioka/DigitalVision/Getty Images
Eloise has French origins and means “healthy” or “wide.” If you grew up reading the books about Eloise in New York City’s Plaza Hotel, then this name might have a special sentimental significance to you. Otherwise, it’s just a really gorgeous name that sounds similar to Ella and has that same enchanting quality to it.
Think of Bella as the sister name to Ella. It’s almost exactly the same thing, which is perfect if you like the sound of it, and they both have a fairytale feel to them. Bella is also the Italian word for “beautiful,” which is so lovely for any child.
Amelia is one of the most popular girl name options out there right now, so if you were looking for something more unique, this might not be it. But if you don’t care about the popularity of the name, Amelia is such a beautiful one, and sounds and feels very similar to Ella. It has a Latin origin and the original word was Amal, which means “work.” You can even make Ella the nickname for Amelia if you really wanted to.
Hannah is just as feminine sounding as Ella is, and we love that it has a little bit of old-fashioned flair. Hannah comes from the Hebrew name Channah, which means “favor” or “grace.” Not only is Hannah a lovely name, but it also has the cutest nicknames (Hannie is so just so sweet).
Swap out two letters and go from Ella to Emma. Emma sounds very similar to Ella and has the same feminine feel to it. It means "universal" and it's a very old name with a lot of royal history attached to it. It's an incredibly popular name right now, so if you don't mind for going something really common, Emma is a beautiful alternative.
Ava is a name that has the same romantic feel to it that Ella has, and it's a bit more unique. It has a few different meanings: in Hebrew, it means "life" or "serpent." It could also be descended from the Latin word "Avis," which means "bird." Ava is delicate, sweet, and has a bit of a vintage feel to it.
I might be biased since my daughter's name is Sophia, but I really love this option. It's been one of the most popular names out there for years now, but Sophia is still a classic name that evokes a sense of femininity. The name has a Greek origin and means "wisdom," which adds a nice touch.
Mia feels a bit more modern and spunky than classic Ella, so it's a nice option if you're looking for something similar that doesn't have a vintage feel. It means “my” or “mine” in Spanish and Italian, and is the German form of Maria. It's a beautiful choice for a simple two-syllable name.
My little sister's name is Olivia, so I can tell you from experience that this name has an effect on people. Everyone loves it, and although it's not quite as unique as it once was, it still has a different ring to it. Olivia means “olive tree” and it's been around for a long time, so it's both classic and fun.
Can't get the name "Ella" out of your head? Opt for Isabella, which still technically has Ella in it. (Maybe it could even be a nickname?) Isabella is of Hebrew, Spanish, and Italian origin, and it means “pledged to God.” It's a very popular option and comes with lots of other cute nicknames, like Izzy and Bella.
Lily is sweet, simple, and feminine, just like Ella. It's an English name that means "pure," and the flower it's named after is a symbol of innocence, purity, and beauty. Basically, why wouldn't you want to name your child Lily?
Anna is a total classic and also a really popular option. It has a slightly less magical feel than Ella, but if you're looking for something short and feminine, it's a lovely choice. The Hebrew origin of the name means “grace,” which is just really beautiful.
If you love the name Ella but you really want something that stands out a bit more, consider Etta. Not only is it really similar to Ella, but it's less trendy and more unique. Etta could be an abbreviation of Henrietta or Antonetta, but on its own, it means “estate ruler.”
Emily is another classic that feels like it has been around forever — you may associate it with old novels by authors like Emily Dickinson and Emily Brontë. It's delicate and pretty, but also has a strong feel to it that makes it a nice alternative to Ella.
Do you love Ella but really want something that feels more modern and chic? Try Chloe. Feminine and simple, Chloe feels very on-trend. It has a Greek origin and means “young, green shoot.” But even more interesting, the name appeared in Greek mythology as a name for the goddess of agriculture and fertility, related to growth.
Does anyone else hear the name Lucy and automatically think of Charlie Brown's friend and nemesis, Lucy van Pelt? If so, the name probably evokes a sense of a strong personality and a lot of spirit, which definitely isn't a bad thing. Lucy also means "light," just like Ella, so it's a perfect option here.
Ruby is a fun, spunky name that is delicate like Ella, but it definitely has a more playful vibe to it. And if you're thinking about Ruby and picturing the red gemstone, you're right on point — the name literally means “precious red gemstone.” It's such a cute option!
Leah is a Biblical name that has some religious ties, so it's a nice classic alternative to Ella. It also means “weary” and “tired” in the Biblical sense but the English origin means "meadow," which I personally think is much better.
Ella means "light," and Clara means "bright" and "clear," so they're fairly similar. Clara has a vintage-chic feel to it and is a lovely classic name that has been around for a long time. Whenever I think of the name Clara, I think of a porcelain doll — it just feels like it fits.
Julia and Ella sound remarkably similar, so if you're not ready to give up on Ella completely, but your partner dislikes it, this could be a great way to go. It means “youthful,” and it has a playful vibe to it. It also feels a little regal, but still has that delicate side of it.
Evie is a unique name choice that could be used on its own, or could be a form of Eva or Eve or Evelyn. I personally love it on its own — it's cute and spunky, especially for a little kid. Evie has a Hebrew origin that means "life," so your child is pretty much destined to be full of personality.
If you're looking for a name similar to Ella that also has a religious background, consider Natalie. The name, which is the French version of Natalia, means "birthday of the Lord," or "born on Christmas Day." Natalie also comes with the cutest nicknames, like Nat or Natty.
Mila has so many different origins, and although it can be used on its own, it's also a shorter version of names like Camila, Milena, and Emilia. It has origins from Russia and means “gracious” and “dear.” While it's feminine and sweet like Ella, it also has a lot of personality.
Although Lila sounds really similar to Mila, it definitely seems a little more feminine and delicate, and brings to mind a flower or something equally pretty. Lila means “night” and “play” and it seems like a classic, but also has a trendy edge to it. So, basically, it does it all.
Isla (pronounced EYE-la) is a lovely alternative to Ella. The two names sound very similar, but are still pretty different, and Isla feels decidedly more unique. It's a Scottish name that means "island," and is definitely more old-fashioned, but in a good way. I love how short it is, and think it has a playful sound.
Love the meaning of the name Ella? Go for the name Alina, which also means “light,” “bright,” and “beautiful.” Alina is a variation of Helen and actually sounds pretty similar to Ella. It's such a pretty and unique name, and I'm not just saying that because one of my best friends named her daughter Alina!
Finding a baby name like Ella is really not that difficult — there are so many wonderful options out there. Now all you have to do is narrow them down to your favorites and actually pick just one. That’s the hard part, but the good thing is, you can’t go wrong with any of the above.
This article was originally published on
June 29, 2020