Shell name meaning

Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010

Meaning and Origin

What does the name Shell mean? Keep reading to find the user submitted meanings, dictionary definitions, and more.

Origin and Meaning of Shell

User Submitted Origins

Native American

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International Interest
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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Shell
  1. A hard outside covering, as of a fruit or an animal.
    1. The covering, or outside part, of a nut; as, a hazelnut shell .
    2. A pod.
    3. The hard covering of an egg.
      "Think him as a serpent's egg, . . . And kill him in the shell." [Shak.]
    4. [Zoöl]
      The hard calcareous or chitinous external covering of mollusks, crustaceans, and some other invertebrates. In some mollusks, as the cuttlefishes, it is internal, or concealed by the mantle. Also, the hard covering of some vertebrates, as the armadillo, the tortoise, and the like.
    5. [Zoöl]
      Hence, by extension, any mollusks having such a covering.
  2. [Mil] A hollow projectile, of various shapes, adapted for a mortar or a cannon, and containing an explosive substance, ignited with a fuse or by percussion, by means of which the projectile is burst and its fragments scattered. See Bomb.
  3. The case which holds the powder, or charge of powder and shot, used with breechloading small arms.
  4. Any slight hollow structure; a framework, or exterior structure, regarded as not complete or filled in; as, the shell of a house.
  5. A coarse kind of coffin; also, a thin interior coffin inclosed in a more substantial one.
  6. An instrument of music, as a lyre, -- the first lyre having been made, it is said, by drawing strings over a tortoise shell."When Jubal struck the chorded shell." [Dryden.]
  7. An engraved copper roller used in print works.
  8. pl.The husks of cacao seeds, a decoction of which is often used as a substitute for chocolate, cocoa, etc.
  9. [Naut] The outer frame or case of a block within which the sheaves revolve.
  10. A light boat the frame of which is covered with thin wood or with paper; as, a racing shell .
  11. Something similar in form or action to an ordnance shell;specif.:
    1. [Fireworks]
      A case or cartridge containing a charge of explosive material, which bursts after having been thrown high into the air. It is often elevated through the agency of a larger firework in which it is contained.
    2. [Oil Wells]
      A torpedo.
  12. A concave rough cast-iron tool in which a convex lens is ground to shape.
  13. A gouge bit or shell bit.

Etymology: OE. shelle schelle, AS. scell scyll; akin to D. shel, Icel. skel, Goth. skalja a tile, and E. skill. Cf. Scale of fishes, Shale Skill

verb Shell
  1. To strip or break off the shell of; to take out of the shell, pod, etc.; as, to shell nuts or pease; to shell oysters.
  2. To separate the kernels of (an ear of Indian corn, wheat, oats, etc.) from the cob, ear, or husk.
  3. To throw shells or bombs upon or into; to bombard; as, to shell a town.
verb Shell
  1. To fall off, as a shell, crust, etc.
  2. To cast the shell, or exterior covering; to fall out of the pod or husk; as, nuts shell in falling.
  3. To be disengaged from the ear or husk; as, wheat or rye shells in reaping.
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. Hard outer covering or case of certain organisms such as arthropods and turtles
  2. The hard largely calcareous covering of a mollusc or a brachiopod
  3. A metal sheathing of uniform thickness (such as the shield attached to an artillery piece to protect the gunners)
  4. Ammunition consisting of a cylindrical metal casing containing an explosive charge and a projectile; fired from a large gun
  5. The housing or outer covering of something
  6. A very light narrow racing boat
  7. A rigid covering that envelops an object ("the satellite is covered with a smooth shell of ice")
  8. The exterior covering of a bird's egg
  9. The hard usually fibrous outer layer of some fruits especially nuts
  10. The material that forms the hard outer covering of many animals
  11. Remove the husks from
  12. Remove from its shell or outer covering ("shell the legumes" and "shell mussels")
  13. Come out better in a competition, race, or conflict
  14. Use explosives on ("The enemy has been shelling us all day")
  15. Look for and collect shells by the seashore
  16. Hit the pitches of hard and regularly ("He shelled the pitcher for eight runs in the first inning")
  17. Fall out of the pod or husk ("The corn shelled")
  18. Create by using explosives

From Middle English schelle, from Old English (Anglian) scell 'eggshell, seashell', (South) sciell, sciel, from Proto-Germanic *skaljō, from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kelH- (“to split, cleave”). Compare West Frisian skyl (“peel, rind”), Dutch schil (“peel, skin, rink”), Low German Schell (“shell, scale”), Irish scelec (“pebble”), Latin silex (“pebble, flint”), siliqua (“pod”), Old Church Slavonic сколика (skolika, “shell”). More at shale. Doublet of sheal.

  1. A hard external covering of an animal.
    1. The calcareous or chitinous external covering of mollusks, crustaceans, and some other invertebrates.
      In some mollusks, as the cuttlefish, the is concealed by the animal's outer mantle and is considered internal.
      Genuine mother-of-pearl buttons are made from sea .
    2. (by extension) Any mollusk having such a covering.
    3. (entomology) The exoskeleton or wing covers of certain insects.
    4. The conjoined scutes that constitute the "shell" (carapace) of a tortoise or turtle.
    5. The overlapping hard plates comprising the armor covering the armadillo's body.
  2. The hard calcareous covering of a bird egg.
  3. The hard external covering of various plant seed forms.
    1. The covering, or outside part, of a nut.
      The black walnut and the hickory nut, both of the same Genus as the pecan, have much thicker and harder than the pecan.
    2. A pod containing the seeds of certain plants, such as the legume Phaseolus vulgaris.
    3. (in the plural) Husks of cacao seeds, a decoction of which is sometimes used as a substitute or adulterant for cocoa and its products such as chocolate.
  4. The accreted mineral formed around a hollow geode.
  5. The casing of a self-contained single-unit artillery projectile.
  6. A hollow usually spherical or cylindrical projectile fired from a siege mortar or a smoothbore cannon. It contains an explosive substance designed to be ignited by a fuse or by percussion at the target site so that it will burst and scattered at high velocity its contents and fragments. Formerly called a bomb.
  7. The cartridge of a breechloading firearm; a load; a bullet; a round.
  8. Any slight hollow structure; a framework, or exterior structure, regarded as not complete or filled in, as the of a house.
  9. A garment, usually worn by women, such as a shirt, blouse, or top, with short sleeves or no sleeves, that often fastens in the rear.
  10. A coarse or flimsy coffin; a thin interior coffin enclosed within a more substantial one.
  11. (music) A string instrument, as a lyre, whose acoustical chamber is formed like a shell.
    The first lyre may have been made by drawing strings over the underside of a tortoise shell.
  12. (music) The body of a drum; the often wooden, often cylindrical acoustic chamber, with or without rims added for tuning and for attaching the drum head.
  13. An engraved copper roller used in print works.
  14. (nautical) The watertight outer covering of the hull of a vessel, often made with planking or metal plating.
  15. (nautical, rigging) The outer frame or case of a block within which the sheaves revolve.
  16. (nautical) A light boat whose frame is covered with thin wood, impermeable fabric, or water-proofed paper; a racing shell or dragon boat.
  17. (computing) An operating system software user interface, whose primary purpose is to launch other programs and control their interactions; the user's command interpreter.
    The name originates from it being viewed as an outer layer of interface between the user and the internals of the operating system.
    The name "Bash" is an acronym which stands for "Bourne-again shell", itself a pun on the name of the "Bourne shell", an earlier Unix designed by Stephen Bourne, and the Christian concept of being "born again".
  18. (chemistry) A set of atomic orbitals that have the same principal quantum number.
  19. An emaciated person.
    He's lost so much weight from illness; he's a of his former self.
  20. A psychological barrier to social interaction.
    Even after months of therapy he's still in his .
  21. (business) A legal entity that has no operations.
    A corporation was formed to acquire the old factory.
  22. A concave rough cast-iron tool in which a convex lens is ground to shape.
  23. (engineering) A gouge bit or shell bit.

Notable Persons Named Shell

Notable Persons Named Shell

Shell Kepler

Shell Kepler was an actress. Shell was given the name Michelle Alaine Kepler on October 5th, 1958 in Painesville, Ohio, U.S. She breathed her last breath on February 1st, 2008.

Shell Dockley

Shell is also known as Nikki Wade and Naughty Nikki.

Shell Danielson

Shell was born on September 25th, 1962.

Shell Scott

Shell Busey


Notable Persons With the Last Name Shell

Notable Persons With the Last Name Shell

Art Shell

Art Shell is a football player. He was most active from 1968 to 1982. Art was born on November 26th, 1946 in Charleston, South Carolina.

Rushel Shell

Rushel Shell is a football player. Rushel was born on September 7th, 1993.

Donnie Shell

Donnie Shell is a football player for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Donnie was born on August 26th, 1952 in Whitmire, South Carolina.

Brandon Shell

Brandon Shell is a football player. Brandon was born on February 6th, 1992 in Goose Creek, South Carolina.

Donald Shell

Donald Shell was a scientist in the fields of mathematics and computer science. Donald was born on March 1st, 1924. He passed away on November 2nd, 2015.

Suzanne Shell

She left this life on October 1st, 2013.

  • Steven Shell
    Baseball Player
  • George Washington Shell

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Shell U.S.
  White 75.17% 64.26%
  African American 18.48% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.78% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 1.22% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 2.15% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 2.20% 16.26%

Of Last Name Shell

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

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Shell

  • How Popular is the name Shell? Shell is the 22,022nd most popular name of all time. As a last name Shell was the 2,696th most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name Shell have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2019, the Social Security Administration has recorded 311 babies born with the first name Shell in the United States. That's more than enough people named Shell 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 Shell? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1951 when it was given as a first name to 5 new born babies.
  • When was Shell first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Shell is Wednesday, August 22nd, 1877.
  • What year had the most people named Shell born? The highest recorded use of the first name Shell was in 1963 with a total of 16 babies.
  • Weird things about the name Shell: The name spelled backwards is Llehs. A random rearrangement of the letters in the name (anagram) will give Lshle. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Shell? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 13,369 people with the last name Shell.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Shell? If you manage to meet 100,000 people in your life, chances are that 5 of them will have Shell as their last name.
  • Shell name meaning

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