Elmer \e-lmer, el-mer\ as a boy's name is pronounced EL-mer. It is of Old English origin, and the meaning of Elmer is "noble, famous". Transferred use of the surname. Used as a given name in America since the 19th century in honor of American Revolution activists Ebenezer and Jonathan Elmer. Literary: Sinclair Lewis's well-known novel "Elmer Gantry" (1927) was about a charlatan of a minister. Cartoon character Elmer Fudd.