First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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How to Pronounce Else

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Else mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Else

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
adjective and pronoun Else
Other; one or something beside; as, Who else is coming? What else shall I give? Do you expect anything else?

Note: ☞ This word always follows its noun. It is usual to give the possessive form to else rather than to the substantive; as, somebody else's; no one else's. “A boy who is fond of somebody else's pencil case.” G. Eliot. “A suit of clothes like everybody else's.” Thackeray.

Etymology: OE. & AS. elles otherwise, gen. sing. of an adj. signifying other; akin to OHG. elles otherwise, OSw. äljes, Sw. eljest, Goth. aljis, adj., other, L. alius, Gr. �. Cf. Alias Alien

adverb and conjunction Else
  1. Besides; except that mentioned; in addition; as, nowhere else; no one else.
  2. Otherwise; in the other, or the contrary, case; if the facts were different."For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it." [Ps. li. 16.]

Note: ☞ After ‘or', else is sometimes used expletively, as simply noting an alternative. “Will you give thanks, . . . or else shall I?”


From Middle English ells, elles, from Old English elles (“other, otherwise, different”), from Proto-Germanic *aljas (“of another, of something else”), genitive of *aljaz (“other”), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂élios, from *h₂el- (“other”). Cognate with Old Frisian elles (“other”), Old High German elles, ellies (“other”), Danish eller (“or”), Danish ellers (“otherwise”), Swedish eljes, eljest (“or else, otherwise”), Norwegian elles (“else, otherwise”), Gothic 𐌰𐌻𐌾𐌹𐍃 (aljis, “other”), Latin alius (“other, another”), Ancient Greek ἄλλος (állos), αἶλος (aîlos) (Arcadocypriot), (Modern Greek αλλιώς (alliós, “otherwise, else”)).

else was also found in the following language(s): Italian

Notable Persons Named Else

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven was an artist in the fields of poetry and sound poetry. Elsa was given the name Else Hildegard Plötz on July 12th, 1874 in Świnoujście. She breathed her last breath on December 15th, 1927.


Else Lasker-Schüler was a poet. Else was born on February 11th, 1869 in Elberfeld, North German Confederation. She breathed her last breath on January 22nd, 1945.


Else was born on March 1st, 1918. She passed away on March 3rd, 2006.


Else Marie Pade was an electronic music and musique concrète musician. Her career lasted from 1952 to 2016. Else was born on December 2nd, 1924 in Aarhus. She left this life on January 18th, 2016.


Else Holmelund Minarik is a writer.


Els Borst was a physician, hospital administrator, professor, politician, and health administration. Els was given the name Else Eilers on March 22nd, 1932 in Amsterdam. She breathed her last breath on February 8th, 2014.


Notable Persons With the Last Name Else

Jean was born in 1950.



Fred Else was a soccer player for the Whickham F.C., Preston North End F.C., Blackburn Rovers F.C., Barrow A.F.C., and England national football B team. Fred was born on March 31st, 1933 in Golborne, England. He left this life on July 20th, 2015.


Craig Else is a rock music, classic rock, pop music, and punk rock musician. He plays Guitar, Drum kit, Bass guitar, Keyboard instrument, and Vocals. His ongoing career started in 1979. Craig was given the name Craig David Else on October 12th, 1964 in Victoria, British Columbia.


Robert was born on November 17th, 1876 in Dethick, Lea and Holloway. He died on September 16th, 1955.


Gerald Else was a classical music and classicist. Gerald was given the name Gerald Frank Else in 1908 in Redfield, South Dakota, United States. He passed away in 1982.


Where is the name Else popular?

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Popularity of Else as a last name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Else as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Iowa, Pennsylvania, or Texas.

Common last names for Else

  • Schmidt
  • Meyer
  • Jensen
  • Hansen
  • Nielsen
  • Frank
  • Stern
  • Anderson

Common first names for Else

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Else U.S.
  White 79.98% 64.26%
  African American 12.11% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 2.76% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 0.00% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 2.76% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 0.00% 16.26%

Of Last Name Else

People with the last name Else are most frequently White or African American

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Else

  • How Popular is the name Else? Else is the 16,564th most popular name of all time. As a last name Else was the 24,031st most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name Else have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 486 babies born with the first name Else in the United States. That's more than enough people named Else to occupy the territory of Pitcairn Islands (United Kingdom) with an estimated population of 66 (as of July 1, 2008).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Else? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1884 when it was given as a first name to 5 new born babies.
  • When was Else first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Else is Tuesday, February 25th, 1873.
  • What year had the most people named Else born? The highest recorded use of the first name Else was in 1932 with a total of 14 babies.
  • Random Else Factoid: According to the 1935 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Else is not a popular baby girl's name in New York. Imagine that, only 7 babies in New York have the same name as you in 1935.
  • Weird things about the name Else: Your name in reverse order is Esle. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Lsee. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Else? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 1,049 people with the last name Else.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Else? Chances are, most people haven't met someone with Else as their last name since less than 1 person in 278k people have that last name. If you know one, consider yourself lucky!

What Elses Have Visited This Page?

Name poster for Else

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.