Celebrity Names Blog

New Baby Alert: SNL Alumna Rachel Dratch Welcomes Baby Eli

Biblical names are all the rage among Saturday Night Live alumni these days. Last month Amy Poehler gave her son Archibald William Emerson (nicknamed Archie) a little brother named Abel, which is Hebrew for breath. Now Rachel Dratch has welcomed her own little man, naming him Eli, which comes from the Hebrew word meaning “high ascent” and who in the bible trains the young prophet Samuel.

Poehler may have influenced Dratch to consider biblical names, but then again she might have been inspired by her own name and family; Rachel means “one with purity” in Hebrew, and she was the favored wife of Jacob. Little Eli also has an Uncle Daniel, Rachel’s younger brother and a television producer. Daniel means, “God is my judge” in Hebrew. In the bible, Daniel is a Hebrew prophet.

In the 1990s, Eli was ranked 321st in the United States but since then has been rising rapidly. Today it’s ranked 90th. (Coincidentally, the name Rachel is also currently 90th, though for Rachel this is a huge slip in popularity; at its height, in the 1990s, Rachel was 15th.) Eli is significantly more popular than either Elias (ranked 158th) or Elian (ranked 854th) but continues to lag behind Elijah, which is presently ranked 21st. Interestingly, while Elijah is the more popular name overall, celebrities greatly prefer Eli. Newscaster Campbell Brown, musician Jack Ingram, writer Stephanie Meyer and actors Jeffrey Tambor and Coby Bell all have sons named Eli born in the 2000s.

Saturday Night Live fans may remember Dratch’s spot-on impression of Calista Flockhart, which was the first impression Dratch did when she joined the cast of SNL. Flockhart has a son named Liam, which just so happens to be a common sibling name for little boys named Eli.

What do you think of Rachel’s choice? What’s your favorite biblical name?

-- V.L.


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September 9, 2010 2:02 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Noah seems to be gaining in popularity as well.

I've also heard of new babies Ezra and Caleb and Jonah recently.

September 9, 2010 6:07 PM
By Sebalek (not verified)

Rachel actually comes from the Hebrew word for a ewe (female sheep).

My fave biblical names that I might consider using: Elias, Abner, Eleazar, Rufus, Neriah, Olive, Shiloh, Drucilla, Judith and Mercy.

October 18, 2012 12:59 AM

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