Shell is a diminutive of Michelle. Michelle originates in Hebrew language. It is a French feminine form of Michel, which is a French form of Michael. It used to be extremely popular only in France at first, in the English-speaking countries it has been popular since the 1940s. The name Michel is ultimately derived from Hebrew and means "which man is like God?", which is a rhetorical question suggesting a negative answer. Michelle can also be used as a surname.