Eli (name)

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The given name Eli (/ˈl/) has several origins. All masculine names are derived from Hebrew:

  1. with spelling עֵלִי, a reference to Eli, the high priest in the Books of Samuel. Traditional English-speaking Christian uses of the name are generally based on this Eli. The usual pronunciation is /ˈl/.[1]
  2. with spelling אלי, an abbreviation of Elijah, Elisha, Eliezer, Elhanan or Elimelech.
  3. with spelling אלי, an independent Hebrew name meaning "My God."

Eli can also be a feminine name, a Nordic short form of Helena.[2]

People with this name include:


  • Eli Amir (אלי עמיר, (born 1937) Israeli writer and peace activist
  • Eli Bebout (born 1946), Wyoming politician
  • Eli Beeding (1928-2013), U.S. Air Force captain and rocket test subject
  • Eli Biham (אלי ביהם), Israeli cryptographer
  • Eli M. Black (Elihu) (1921–1975), American businessman
  • Eli Whitney Blake (1795–1886), American inventor
  • Eli Whitney Blake, Jr. (1836–1895), American scientist
  • Eli Broad (born 1933) American billionaire, philanthropist, art collector
  • Eli Metcalfe Bruce (1828–1866) philanthropist, financier and politician from Kentucky
  • Eli Franklin Burton (1879–1948), Canadian physicist
  • Eli Cohen (disambiguation), several people
  • Eli Heckscher (1879–1952), Swedish economist
  • Eli Jones Henkle (1825 — 1893), U.S. Congressman from Maryland
  • Eli Hurvitz (1932-2011), Israeli industrialist
  • Eli H. Janney (1831–1912), engineer, confederate soldier
  • Eli Langer (born 1967), Canadian artist
  • Eli Lilly (1838–1898) American soldier, pharmaceutical chemist, and industrialist, founder of Eli Lilly and Company
  • Eli Lilly (industrialist) (1885–1977), American industrialist, grandson of the Colonel
  • Eli Long (1837–1903), General in the Union Army in the American Civil War
  • Eli Manning (Elisha) (born 1981), American football player
  • Eli Noam (born 1946), professor at Columbia University
  • Eli Ohana (אלי אוחנה) (born 1964), Israeli football player
  • Eli M. Oboler (1915–1983) librarian, Idaho State University and writer
  • Eli Thomas Reich (1913–1999) US Vice Admiral
  • Eli Roth (born 1972) American film director
  • Eli M. Saulsbury (1817–1893) U.S. Senator from Delaware
  • Eli C. D. Shortridge (1830–1908), Governor of North Dakota
  • Eli Siegel (1902–1978), Latvian-American poet, critic and philosopher
  • Eli Terry (1772–1852) inventor and clockmaker in Connecticut
  • Eli Thayer (1819–1899), member of the US House of Representatives from Massachusetts
  • Eli Todd Tappan (1824–1888) American educator, mathematician, author, lawyer and newspaper editor
  • Eli Todd (1769–1833), pioneer in the treatment of the mentally ill in Connecticut
  • Eli Walker (born 1992), Welsh Rugby player
  • Eli Wallach (1915–2014), movie actor
  • Eli L. Whiteley (1913–1986), American awarded Medal of Honor
  • Eli Whitney (1765–1825) American inventor of the cotton gin
  • Elie Wiesel (Eliezer) (born 1928), Human rights activist, Holocaust writer
  • Eli Yale (Elihu) (1649–1721), benefactor of Yale University
  • Eli Yishai (אליהו "אלי" ישי) (born 1962), Israeli politician
  • Eli Yatzpan (born 1965), Israeli television host and comedian



Notable fictional characters with this given name are:

  • Eli Wallace a fictional character on the science fiction television series Stargate Universe
  • Eli Dingle, a fictional character in British soap Emmerdale played by Joseph Gilgun

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Withycombe, E. G. (1976) [1944]. The Concise Dictionary of English Christian Names (3rd edition ed.). London: Omega Books. ISBN 1-85007-059-8. 
  2. ^ Eli – kvinnenavn, Store Norske Leksikon, visited 20 May 2009