Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Elvis

The origin of Elvis is uncertain, but most likely it’s a variant of Alvis which means “all wise” in Old Norse (“eall-wīs” in Olde English). In Norse mythology there is a dwarf character named Alvíss (All Wise) who was betrothed to Thor’s daughter Þrúðr. Thor was displeased with the notion of his daughter marrying a dwarf and so the god required Alvíss to answer a series of questions designed to prove his wisdom. Alvíss agreed to the challenge. His rapid-fire and “wise” answers to each of Thor’s questions kept him going through the night. In the end, Thor outwitted his adversary by keeping him distracted until dawn. When the first sunlight struck, Alvíss was immediately turned to stone, and so Þrúðr would remain unmarried. Aside from this mythological connection, the name Elvis is also considered the anglicized name for Saint Ailbe of Emly, a 6th century Irish saint (in this case, the Gaelic word “ailbe” is said to mean “white” or “ail” meaning “rock”). Saint Ailbe is a legendary Irish saint who was born the son of the King of Munster and a slave woman. The King sent his bastard child away with a servant to be killed, but the servant instead gave the baby to a she-wolf to be raised. Some Britons living in Ireland found Ailbe and fostered him until they all left on a ship bound for the Roman province of Gaul. Ailbe made his way to Rome where he was educated and ordained in the name of Christ. After returning to Ireland, Ailbe founded a monastery in Emly (South Tipperary). The townspeople asked Ailbe to bless a fishless river; after doing so, the river was miraculously filled with an abundance of fish. In a display of gratitude the local-people built five churches along the banks at the river’s five best fishing spots in Saint Ailbe’s honor. Today however the name Elvis is most synonymous with the “King of Rock-n-Roll” Elvis Presley (1935-1977) who received his name from his father’s middle name (Vernon Elvis Presley). Many people might be surprised to learn that the name Elvis predates the American iconic legend because it was really he who brought the name into mainstream America.

All About the Baby Name – Elvis



The Master Number Twenty-Two combines the traits of Twos and Fours into a powerful force. The references to The Master Builder and "large undertakings" serve to underscore the massive potential of this personality. They are extremely capable and therefore almost always successful. Twenty-Twos are courageous leaders, innovative thinkers, extremely wise and highly organized. As such, they are able to manifest something of major importance that will have a lasting impact on this world. Master Numbers carry with them a great sense of responsibility, so it can be a burden. However, Twenty-Twos are executors and action-takers. Further, this personality exhibits traits of the Twos, which brings sensitivity, spirituality and harmony, so their endeavors are likely to benefit mankind in some capacity.



Elvis has one of the most interesting historic naming charts that we’ve seen, but of course it all makes sense. This is a name that predates Elvis Presley; in fact, it’s existed on the American list of boy’s name since the 19th century. During the first half of the 20th century the name Elvis showed pretty consistent yet sporadic usage so we know it’s been a given name long before the King of Rock-n-Roll stepped on the stage with his blue suede shoes. The year 1956 marked the biggest jump for Elvis on the boy’s naming charts – an unprecedented 550 positions in one year alone. Several things happened for Elvis Presley that year bringing his name to the masses. In January of 1956 he released his #1 hit single “Heartbreak Hotel” and in November he made his film debut in “Love Me Tender”. In September of 1956 Elvis Presley appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show to a record-breaking 60 million viewers (more than 80% of the television audience at the time). His uninhibited performance style, his handsome good looks and his arousing songs made the girls swoon until they fainted. Popularity of Elvis as a given name abated after the first couple years of frenzied interest. The next big jump the name saw was in 1977, the year Elvis Presley died. President Carter described Elvis as a man who “permanently changed the face of American popular culture” and indeed he did. Since Elvis Presley came into the hearts and minds of the American imagination the name has seen inconsistent usage. It’s an exotic name and one which is so strongly associated with Presley that is doesn’t work for every parent (and understandably so). In 2010 the name actually disappeared from the American male Top 1000 names pushing it off the charts. However, the name did reappear in 2011 but it may be just a matter of time before the younger generations lose their appreciation for the name who changed the face of American music.

Quick Facts













All wise



The Master Builder


Large Undertakings




Cultural References to the Baby Name – Elvis

Literary Characters


We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Elvis

Childrens Books


We cannot find any childrens books with the first name Elvis

Popular Songs


Joshua Fit the Battle (Elvis Presley)
This is a song from Elvis's gospel collection.

Elvis Presley
a song by Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer

Elvis Presley and America
a song by U2

Elvis Presley Blues
a song by Gillian Welch

Famous People


Elvis Presley (legendary musician)
Elvis Costello (b. Declan Patrick MacManus, English musician)
Saint Elvis of Emly (Irish saint)
Elvis Dumervil (football player)
Elvis Mitchell (film critic)
Elvis Stojko (figure skater)
Elvis Peacock (football player)
Elvis Crespo (Merengue singer)
Elvis Grbac (football player)
Elvis Andrus (baseball player)
Elvis Duran (radio personality)
Elvis Comrie (soccer player)
Elvis Peña (baseball player)
Elvis Joseph (football player)

Children of Famous People


We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Elvis

Historic Figures


Elvis Aaron Presley is one of the most famous and iconic persons of modern times. Born to humble beginnings in Mississippi, he catapulted to fame in the 1950s, bringing a fusion of African American music, gospel and country to the fore in a new sound: rock and roll. His first RCA single, “Heartbreak Hotel”, was a number one hit and his first film, Love Me Tender, was a success, and it was roses and lollipops from then on. At first feared by the nation’s church elders and parents for his suggestive hip gyrating while on stage, his 1956 appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show put an end to any holding him back, and he skyrocketed to even higher heights. After a stint in the military, Elvis returned to a hugely popular career of recording, performing, making movies, and just being an all around idol. He married Priscilla Beaulieu in 1967 and their daughter, Lisa Marie, was born in 1968. He continued with concerts, recordings and films, but during the 1970s, things began to go downhill. He and Priscilla divorced in 1973, his problems with drugs took an increasing toll on him, and his weight fluctuated alarmingly. Still, his concerts were well attended events, and he was preparing for his latest one when he died of a heart attack on August 16, 1977, at the age of 42. Elvis is the best-selling solo artist of popular music ever. To his fans, he is as real to them today as he was during his short lifetime, and millions make the journey to his home in Memphis, Graceland, to pay loving tribute to him.