Tell name meaning

First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010

Meaning and Origin

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

Origin and Meaning of Tell

User Submitted Origins


User Submitted Meanings

  1. A submission from Nigeria says the name Tell means "Marion" and is of English origin.
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International Interest
Also see international interest
Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
verb Tell
  1. To mention one by one, or piece by piece; to recount; to enumerate; to reckon; to number; to count; as, to tell money."An heap of coin he told." [Spenser.]"He telleth the number of the stars." [Ps. cxlvii. 4.]" Tell the joints of the body." [Jer. Taylor.]
  2. To utter or recite in detail; to give an account of; to narrate."Of which I shall tell all the array." [Chaucer.]"And not a man appears to tell their fate." [Pope.]
  3. To make known; to publish; to disclose; to divulge."Why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?" [Gen. xii. 18.]
  4. To give instruction to; to make report to; to acquaint; to teach; to inform."A secret pilgrimage, That you to-day promised to tell me of?" [Shak.]
  5. To order; to request; to command."He told her not to be frightened." [Dickens.]
  6. To discern so as to report; to ascertain by observing; to find out; to discover; as, I can not tell where one color ends and the other begins.
  7. To make account of; to regard; to reckon; to value; to estimate.(Obs)"I ne told no dainity of her love." [Chaucer.]
    synonyms: To communicate; impart; reveal; disclose; inform; acquaint; report; repeat; rehearse; recite.

Note: Tell, though equivalent in some respect to speak and say, has not always the same application. We say, to tell truth or falsehood, to tell a number, to tell the reasons, to tell something or nothing; but we never say, to tell a speech, discourse, or oration, or to tell an argument or a lesson. It is much used in commands; as, tell me the whole story; tell me all you know.

Etymology: AS. tellan, from talu tale, number, speech; akin to D. tellen to count, G. zählen, OHG. zellen to count, tell, say, Icel. telja, Dan. tale to speak, tælle to count. See Tale that which is told

verb Tell
  1. To give an account; to make report."That I may publish with the voice of thankgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works." [Ps. xxvi. 7.]
  2. To take effect; to produce a marked effect; as, every shot tells; every expression tells ."Lest they should tell on us, saying, So did David." [1 Sam. xxvii. 11.]
noun Tell
That which is told; tale; account.
noun Tell
A hill or mound.

Etymology: Ar

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A Swiss patriot who lived in the early 14th century and who was renowned for his skill as an archer; according to legend an Austrian governor compelled him to shoot an apple from his son's head with his crossbow (which he did successfully without mishap)
  2. Mark as different
  3. Discern or comprehend ("He could tell that she was unhappy")
  4. Give instructions to or direct somebody to do something with authority
  5. Let something be known ("Tell them that you will be late")
  6. Narrate or give a detailed account of ("Tell what happened")
  7. Give evidence ("he was telling on all his former colleague")
  8. Express in words ("tell me what is bothering you")
  9. Inform positively and with certainty and confidence ("I tell you that man is a crook!")

From Middle English tellen (“to count, tell”), from Old English tellan (“to count, tell”), from Proto-Germanic *taljaną, *talzijaną (“to count, enumerate”), from Proto-Germanic *talą, *talǭ (“number, counting”), from Proto-Indo-European *dol- (“calculation, fraud”). Cognate with Saterland Frisian tälle (“to say; tell”), West Frisian telle (“to count”), West Frisian fertelle (“to tell, narrate”), Dutch tellen (“to count”), Low German tellen (“to count”), German zählen, Faroese telja. More at tale.

  1. A reflexive, often habitual behavior, especially one occurring in a context that often features attempts at deception by persons under psychological stress (such as a poker game or police interrogation), that reveals information that the person exhibiting the behavior is attempting to withhold.
  2. (archaic) That which is told; a tale or account.
  3. (Internet) A private message to an individual in a chat room; a whisper.

From Arabic تَلّ‎ (tall, “hill, elevation”) or Hebrew תֵּל‎ (tél, “hill”), from Proto-Semitic *tall- (“hill”).

  1. (archaeology) A hill or mound, originally and especially in the Middle East, over or consisting of the ruins of ancient settlements.

    tell was also found in the following language(s): Norwegian Bokmål

    Notable Persons Named Tell

    Notable Persons Named Tell

    Tell Berna

    Tell was born on July 24th, 1891 in Pelham Manor, New York, United States. He breathed his last breath on April 5th, 1975.

    Tell Aristide Frederic Antoine Chapel

    Tell was born on July 1st, 1849. He breathed his last breath on August 11th, 1932.

    Tell Voudjo

    Tell Voudjo is an athlete for the AS Auteuil.

    Tell Gnipate

    Tell Gnipate is an athlete for the USC Nouméa.


    Notable Persons With the Last Name Tell

    Notable Persons With the Last Name Tell

    William Tell

    William was given the name William John Tell on February 7th, 1980 in Mission Viejo, California, U.S.

    Diane Tell

    Diane Tell is a musician. Her ongoing career started in 1977. Diane was given the name Diane Fortin on December 24th, 1958 in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

    Alma Tell

    Alma was born on March 27th, 1898. She left this life in 1934.

    Olive Tell

    She was most active from 1917 to 1938. Olive was born on September 27th, 1894 in New York City. She left this life on June 6th, 1951.

    Christine Tell

    Christine Tell is an MLA for Regina Wascana Plains. She was most prominent from 2007 to present.

    David Tell

    • Shone Tell

    Ethnicity Distribution

    Ethnicity Tell U.S.
      White 59.44% 64.26%
      African American 29.95% 11.96%
      Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 2.28% 4.85%
      American Indian and Alaska Native 0.39% 0.69%
      Two or More Ethnicities 3.26% 1.76%
      Hispanic or Latino 4.69% 16.26%

    Of Last Name Tell

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

    Entire United States

    Fun Facts about the name Tell

  1. How Popular is the name Tell? Tell is the 29,530th most popular name of all time. As a last name Tell was the 18,128th most popular name in 2010.
  2. How many people with the first name Tell have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2019, the Social Security Administration has recorded 175 babies born with the first name Tell in the United States. That's more than enough people named Tell to occupy the territory of Pitcairn Islands (United Kingdom) with an estimated population of 66 (as of July 1, 2008).
  3. What year were 5 or more babies first named Tell? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1982 when it was given as a first name to 6 new born babies.
  4. When was Tell first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Tell is Friday, December 27th, 1867.
  5. What year had the most people named Tell born? The highest recorded use of the first name Tell was in 1988 with a total of 13 babies.
  6. Weird things about the name Tell: The name spelled backwards is Llet. A random rearrangement of the letters in the name (anagram) will give Tell. How do you pronounce that?
  7. How many people have the last name Tell? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 1,536 people with the last name Tell.
  8. How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Tell? Chances are, most people haven't met someone with Tell as their last name since less than 1 person in 192k people have that last name. If you know one, consider yourself lucky!
  9. Tell name meaning

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