Elvis (name)

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Elvis is a given name. It is an anglicisation of the Irish name of Saint Ailbe.[1] However, Ailbe may itself be a gaelicisation of an Ancient British name such as Eilfyw or Eilfw,[2] and the saint was also a popular figure in medieval Wales, where he was claimed to be of Ancient British descent.[3]

The earlier meaning of Ailbe is uncertain; it may have been understood in the Middle Ages to derive from Irish ail, 'rock',[4] but this is unlikely to have been its historical meaning.

In internet sources, the name is widely claimed to derive from Old English Eall-wīs, meaning "all-wise", but the development of w > v would be irregular and the name is not, in any case, attested in Anglo-Saxon sources;[5] it is possible that this claim is inspired by the existence of the Old Norse mythological name Alvíss.[6] Other alternative etymologies have been proposed for the name, including that it is derived from the surname Elwes, and that it is related to the Welsh name Alwyn.


Most commonly, it refers to American singer Elvis Presley (1935–1977). It may also be the first name of people who were born before Presley became a household name, as in the case of the former U.S. administrator Elvis Jacob Stahr, Jr. (1916–1998, born the same year as Elvis Presley's father, Vernon Elvis Presley),[7] but in most cases it refers to those who either took the name themselves, as was the case with the UK/born singer and songwriter Elvis Costello, or were given the name by their parents as a tribute to Presley.[citation needed]

According to a recent study by the UK-based People's Dispensary for Sick Animals, the name Elvis ranks eight in the top ten celebrity names chosen for a pet dog in Britain.[8]

People with the name[edit]



  • Elvis Costello (born 1954), the stage name of Declan Patrick MacManus, an English musician and singer
  • Elvis Crespo (born 1971), Puerto Rican Merengue singer
  • Elvis Maswanganyi, South African DJ, better known as DJ Mujava
  • Elvis Otieno (a.k.a. "Sir Elvis") Kenyan singer of U.S.-style country music.
  • Elvis Perkins (born 1976), American singer/songwriter, son of actor Anthony Perkins
  • Elvis Presley (1935–1977), American singer, also known as ''The King of Rock & Roll'', or simply ''The King''.
  • Elvis J. Kurtovich (born 1962), the stage name of Mirko Srdić, a Bosnian musician and singer[9]
  • Elvis Blue (born 1979), stage name of South African Idols' season 6 winner Jan Hoogendyk.



  • Elvis Duran (born 1964), host of Elvis Duran and the Morning Show


  • Elvis Mitchell (born 1958), American film critic, formerly with the New York Times
  • Sir George Elvis, a character in the tragic play, Sir Thomas Overbury, by Richard Savage, 1724
  • Elvis "EJ" DiMera, a character on the American soap opera Days of Our Lives
  • Elvis Cridlington, fireman on the UK children's TV programme Fireman Sam
  • Elvis Cole, a private detective in books by Robert Crais

Additional notes[edit]

L. Albeus, also Ailbe, Ailbhe,[10][11][12] from Saint Ailbe, the Bishop of Munster who baptised St. David.

St Elvis, Pembrokeshire, place in South Wales,[13] near St David's.

Monument/Shrine to St. Ailbe at 51°52′12.68″N 5°10′43.2″W / 51.8701889°N 5.178667°W / 51.8701889; -5.178667 has an explanation.

The name Ailbhe remains a common female name in Ireland.[14]


  1. ^ Iseabail Macleod and Terry Freedman, The Wordsworth Dictionary of First Names: A Concise and Useful Guide to the Origins and Meanings of Over 2000 Names (Ware: Wordsworth, 1995), p. 68; Leslie Dunkling and William Gosling, Everyman's Dictionary of First Names, 3rd edn (London: Dent, 1991), pp. 82-83.
  2. ^ Plummer, Charles (1968) [1910]. Vitae Sanctorum Hiberniae [Lives of the Saints of Ireland]. (2nd ed.). Oxford: Clarendon. p. 46 ff., vol. 1. 
  3. ^ "Saint Elvis" in Terry Breverton's Wales: A Historical Companion, pp. 164 f. Amberley Publishing (Stroud), 2009.
  4. ^ S. Baring-Gould and John Fisher. The Lives of the British Saints: The Saints of Wales and Cornwall and Such Irish Saints as Have Dedications in Britain, 4 vols (London: Clark for the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, 1907-13), I pp. 129-30, accessed from https://archive.org/details/livesofbritishsa01bariuoft 24 November 2010.
  5. ^ Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England. 2000–. Available at http://www.pase.ac.uk (accessed 24 November 2010).
  6. ^ Cf. "Re: Etymology of "Elvis"". Retrieved 24 November 2010. 
  7. ^ "Elvis Presley roots in Scotland". Retrieved 27 May 2009. 
  8. ^ "Elvis Lives! Just ask UK pet owners...". PDSA. 11 August 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2009. [permanent dead link]
  9. ^ hr:Elvis J. Kurtović
  10. ^ "St. Ailbhe". Catholic Online. Retrieved 25 May 2009. 
  11. ^ Rabenstein, Katherine I. (1998). "Saint of the Day, September 12". St. Patrick Catholic Church, Washington, D.C. Retrieved 25 May 2009. 
  12. ^ Dunkling, Leslie (1977). First Names First. Littlehampton Book Services Ltd. ISBN 978-0-460-12025-8. 
  13. ^ Google map of St Elvis, Pembrokeshire
  14. ^ "Three Irish-language Poets Named For Western Writers' Centre Project". 26 November 2008. Retrieved 27 May 2009.