Ellis \e(l)-lis\ as a boy's name is pronounced EL-iss. It is of English origin. Anglicization of Elias, from Elijah. Modern use is often a transferred use of the surname. In Wales the name is used as an anglicized form of the Old Welsh name $2, which derives from "elus" meaning "kind, benevolent". Ellis Bell was the pseudonym used by Emily Bront?when she first began publishing, she chose a name that could be considered masculine.