80% of the times I introduce myself, they end up questioning the meaning and origin of my name. In this post I clarify it!
Despite being simple, I always repeat: there are only 2 vowels and 2 consonants ;-) But always there's someone that have difficult to speak. Here in Brazil I've been called: Eli, Elis, Elias, Elsi, Elvis (yes, Elvis!)... But the North East's people (and from Portugal) they speak correct and very well at the first time.
The name Esli is male! Yes, I've seen women with this name (yes, we had a community on Orkut: "I'm called Esli" lol).
Let's go to the meaning of the name
The name Esli (or Hesli, according to the New American Standard Bible) occurs only once in the Bible, in the genealogy of Jesus according to Luke (Luke 3:25), which traces the ancestry of Jesus to Nathan (Esli is the tenth before Joseph), son of David, while Matthew passes through Solomon and does not mention Esli.
Esli, Greek (Εσλι) transliteration of the Hebrew name אצלי (reads from right to left). The name Esli does not occur in the Old Testament and comes from the preposition אצל ('esel). It has a similar Arabic verb (אצל), meaning together/united.
The pronunciation is es'-li (es-lee', Eslei, Esli; probably for Hebrew it would be 'atsalyahu) That is, the ancient Hebrew name "Atsalyahu" ( אֲצַלְיָ֫הוּ ) has the same etymological origin (meaning) as the Biblical Hebrew name "Esli".
The pronunciation in Hebrew (click play):
Atsalyahu: Means "YAHWEH reserved" or "Yahweh reserved" in Hebrew, which some sources seem to believe a figurative meaning of "(being kept) close to God". The name derives from the Hebrew אָצַל (atsal), which means "to set aside, to set aside" combined with the Hebrew יָהּ (yah), which means "Yahweh". The biblical Hebrew name ESLI, which seems to have the same etymological origin.
Other forms of Atsalyahu: Asalyah, Asalyahu, Atsalyah, Atzalyah, Atzalyahu, Azalyah, Azalyahu
Meaning: With Me, Reserved, Approaching Yah, Close to God, Reserved by Jehovah, close to me, in mine, the one I united, United with God.
Etymology: The verb אצל ('asal), for "to draw near" and יה (yah), the abbreviated name of the Lord.
Below, the family tree of Jesus (Esli is in Joseph tree, from the Nathan origin):
Returning to the focus of the name, I don't believe in signs (but I warn those who believe I'm an Aries) nor in numerology (although lately I'm reading Kabbalah) and regarding the name Esli, I found the following descriptions:
Soul's Desire Number: 5 People with that name have a deep inner desire for travel and adventure, and want to establish their own pace of life without being ruled by tradition.
Expression Number: 9 People with this name tend to be passionate, compassionate, intuitive, romantic and have magnetic personalities. They are generally humanitarian, open-minded and generous, and tend to pursue professions where they can serve humanity. Because they are so affectionate and generous, they can be imposed. They are romantic and fall in love easily, but they can be hurt easily and are sometimes quick-tempered.