Eleanor Name Meaning & Origin


Pronunciation: EH-lə-nohr (key)

Origin of the name Eleanor:

Derived from Alienor, a Provençal form of the Greek Helenē, which is derived from the element ēlē (light, torch, bright).

From A World of Baby Names by Teresa Norman.

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US Popularity of Eleanor Over Time

Sister & Brother Names

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Comments and insights on the name Eleanor

My second daughter is named Eleanor and I think it's a beautiful name that really suits her beautiful personality. Strong and intelligent but also really sweet!

Personally I think Eleanore ending with an 'E' is a much prettier and more feminine spelling.

^I actually like Eleanor better, the 'nore' ending makes me think of 'snoring'.

I want to name my daughter Ellinor.

This is my daughter's third name, after my grandmother, but pronounced El-ay-ah-nor.

It appears the name is becoming more popular. I know a couple who named their baby Eleanor, and a girl on a reality show on TV named her baby Eleanor.

Personal experiences with the name Eleanor

When I was a kid my mom had a friend named Eleanor, and she pronounced it "Ellen-er". My mom also pronounced the name that way. When I got in middle school there was a girl named Eleanore with an "E" on the end, and she pronounced it "ELL-e-nore". I thought that pronounciation was much prettier, even if someone has the name without the "E" on the end of it.

-When I was little, everyone my age was named Jessica or Ashley or Brittany, and no one was named Eleanor (except for really old ladies). I felt left out. Now, all grown up, I like being an Eleanor. I wish as a kid that I'd had a few Eleanor buddies my age!

-I personally love being named Eleanor. Of course, I always liked other names as a kid (Lilly was my favorite,) but I never disliked my own name. To me, Eleanor sounds elegant, smart, strong, sophisticate(please add a 'd' on the end to make it an adjective, please. I'm guessing English is not your first language) etc. I am so glad I am named Eleanor, and it is my favorite name now. My only regret is that Eleanor seems to be (should be 'as' here and not 'to be') perceived to be an older name, where as (it's 'whereas'. It's one word.) my mother's name, Rachel, seemed to most people like a younger name, so I was constantly being called Rachel(WHAT?????). Also, I often hear people start to sing 'Eleanor Rigby' or 'Elenore' by The Turtles when I pass by or walk towards someone(well that's weird), but I've grown to like it. As for nicknames, my mom never liked them much, so they usually didn't stick. To be honest, I don't like many of the nicknames either. I'm not fond of the name 'Ellie,'(neither am I. It's for chavs) though I suppose 'Ella'(that's a completely different name, mate) is alright. The nickname I got stuck the longest with was the name 'Shmeleanor,'(My nickname is 'Smeleanor') by a friend who decided to combine our names and address me as that every time she saw me. Not an ill-intended name, but it sounded a lot like 'smell-eanor.' I also had a best friend named 'Lenore,'(Lenor is a fabric softener) so we pretty much confused everyone we met, much to our amusement.

-I like Nori for a nickname for Eleanor.

-My 2 year old niece is named Eleanor but is called Nelly. I actually forget that her name is Eleanor sometimes but she is a delightful little girl, smart, hilarious, and creative.

-My name is Eleanor Grace. Ellie to friends and family. Eleanor to teachers. I’ve always loved my name. I have a sister named Evelyn Jane.

My mother-in-law was named Grace Eleanor. I thought it was a beautiful combination.

This name is so cute! My name is Ella and I wish it was short for Eleanor.

Nicknames for Eleanor


Meanings and history of the name Eleanor

An alternate theory for Eleanor's origin and meaning appears on the wikipedia article for Eleanor's first notable bearer, Eleanor of Aquitaine:

"Eleanor or Aliénor was the oldest of three children of William X, Duke of Aquitaine, and his duchess Aenor de Châtellerault. ... Eleanor was named for her mother Aenor and called Aliénor, from the Latin alia Aenor, which means the other Aenor. It became Eléanor in the langues d'oïl and Eleanor in English."

Aenor is a Provençal name of unknown meaning, but someone on behindthename postulated that it comes from lenire, "to heal", and adoucir, "to soften."

Famous real-life people named Eleanor

Eleanor Calder
Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States from 1933-1945
Eleanor Parker, American actress
Eleanor "Nora" Robertson, American novelist
Eleanor Porter, American novelist
Eleanor Holmes Norton, American politician
Eleanor Stackhouse Atkinson, American author
Eleanor Smith, First Lady of Tean in the House of Frasier
Eleanor Tomlinson, English actress
Eleanor Austin, Jane Austins goldfish

Eleanor in song, story & screen

"Eleanor," song by Shannon Worrell
"Eleanor", song by the Low Millions
"Elenore", song by the Turtles.
"Eleanor Rigby", a song by the Beatles
Eleanor “Nellie” Crain, character in Shirley Jackson’s book “The Haunting Of Hill House”
Elinor Dashwood, a strong, patient, principled, beloved character in Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Eleanor Tilney, a charming, intelligent, loving character in Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Jody Foster and child actor were named Eleanor "Ellie" Arroway in the movie Contact
"Eleanor," song by Jet
Eleanor "Ellie" Nash, a character on the TV show Degrassi
Eleanor Branstone, a Hufflepuff student in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Eleanor Waldorf-Rose, recurring character (and mother of lead, Blair) on "Gossip Girl".
Lady Eleanor and her daughter "Ella" (full name also Eleanor), characters in the book Ella Enchanted
Elinor Loredan is Meggie's great aunt in the 'Inkheart' trilogy by Cornelia Funke.
Eleanor (Ellie) is the teenaged main character in Meg Cabot's book 'Avalon High'.
Eleanor "Ellie" Emily Bartlet Faison, M.D. is a fictional character played by Nina Siemaszko on the television serial drama The West Wing.
Queen Elinor from "Brave"
My book club just read "Eleanor & Park" by Rainbow Rowell. It was a teenage love story set in the 1980s.
Elanor Gamgee, daughter of Samwise Gamgee in 'The Lord of the Rings' by J.R.R. Tolkien
Eleanor Henstridge in the popular tv show "The Royals"
Eleanor the chipette in alvin and the chipmunks
Eleanor "Ellie" Camacho, Deadpool's daughter in the Deadpool comics
Eleanor is the name of the 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 that Nicolas Cage drives in the 2000 film 'Gone in 60 Seconds' (Wooooooooooow you're a nerd!!!)

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