Ellen is a female given name. It can also be used for a middle name. In Greece, during ancient times, the name meant "sun-ray, lightness". During the mid 2000s, Ellen ranked at 555 for the most popular female names in the United States. There are many celebrities by the name, including Ellen Barkin, Ellen DeGeneres and Ellen Pompeo. This name was used for an Atlantic hurricane in the 1970s.