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When you think of Elmer these days, you might think of a cartoon character, a cow, a literary character, or even a bottle of glue. It's also easy to dismiss it as an old-fashioned “grandpa name,” but the truth is that it has a really strong American history. It was also a top 1,000 baby name in the United States up until 2009. We could easily see it making a comeback. If you worry about it sounding outdated, pair it with a current middle name to bring it into the 2020s.

Meaning of the name Elmer:

English: Noble and famous

Origin of the name Elmer:

Elmer is most likely derived from the Old English name Aylmer, which is made up of the elements “aeoel,” which means “noble,” and “maer,” which means “famous.” It was initially a surname, but it became a given name in the United States after the American Revolution.

Symbolism of the name Elmer:

Elmer can offer much in the way of symbolism. First, its meanings, “noble” and “famous,” may be symbolic to some new parents. Some new parents may associate the name with characters from throughout history, ranging from Elmer Fudd to Elmer Gantry to Elmer the Cow. It could also be symbolic of American history as Ebenezer and Jonathan Elmer were brothers who were considered important leaders during the American Revolution.

Style of the name Elmer:

Traditional, Grandpa name, Surname as a given name

Gender of the name Elmer:


Pronunciation of the name Elmer:


Number of syllables in the name Elmer:


Emotion evoked from the name Elmer:

The baby name Elmer evokes images of someone who is laid-back, relaxed, and friendly

Alternative spellings for the name Elmer:

  • Ellmer
  • Elmir
  • Aylmer
  • Elemer
  • Aylmar

Nicknames for the name Elmer:

  • El
  • Elm

Popularity of the name Elmer:

According to the Social Security Administration, Elmer was a top 1,000 baby name for boys in the United States on and off up until 2009. It was even a top 100 name for baby boys up until 1932. It last ranked at number 924 in 2009.

Related names for the name Elmer:

Great middle names for Elmer and their meanings:

Famous people with the name Elmer:

  • Elmer Bernstein (composer)
  • Elmer Davis (author, reporter, and director)
  • Elmer Dessens (baseball player)
  • Elmer Flick (baseball player)
  • Elmer Grey (artist and architect)

Elmer in popular culture:

  • Elmer the Patchwork Elephant (character in a series of children's books)
  • ElmerCow (fictional bull and husband of Elsie the Cow dairy mascot)
  • Elmer Fudd (Looney Tunes character)
  • Elmer Gantry (character in the book “Elmer Gantry” by Sinclair Lewis)
  • Elmer (character on the children's TV show “Pappyland”)
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