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Origin, Meaning, And History Of Eleanor

A popular name for girls, Eleanor is believed to have originated from Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of France, and later England during the Middle Ages. Eleanor was first married to King Louis VII of France from 1137 to 1152 and then to King Henry II of England from 1154 to 1189. Thus, she is thought to have brought the name Eleanor to England.

Furthermore, it is also believed that the name meant the “other Aenor” since she was the daughter of Aénor de Châtellerault. However, there are also records of the name Eleanor before the time of Eleanor of Aquitaine. For example, Alienor, wife of Aimery II, Viscount of Thouars, appears before Aénor de Châtellerault. It is, therefore, unclear if the name originated from Queen Eleanor. After Eleanor of Aquitaine, two more queens in the following century had the name. They were Eleanor of Provence and Eleanor of Castile.

On the other hand, the name Aenor could have its roots in Proto-West Germanic “Audamār” where “audaz” means “riches” and “mēraz” means “fame.”

In English, the name is also spelled as Elinor, and an alternative spelling in French is Eléonore. Eleonora is a common spelling in many countries, while Spanish and Portuguese prefer Leonor.
In Swedish, the name is spelled as Eleanora, Elleonore, or Elna.

Ella, Ellie, Nell, Nelly, and Nora are some nicknames used for Eleanor.

Eleanor is also a popular name in literature, with many female characters getting different versions of the name. Perhaps, the most notable among them is Elinor Dashwood from Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. Austen seems to favor the name as it had appeared in her earlier work, Northanger Abbey, where Eleanor Tilney is one of the supporting characters. The name also appears as Leonora in the legendary Swedish playwright August Strindberg’s play Easter.


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One with bright and shining personality
English, Greek
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How To Pronounce Eleanor?


Famous People With The Name Eleanor

  • Eleanor RooseveltActivist and First Lady of the US, wife of President Franklin Roosevelt
  • Elinor WylieAmerican poet and novelist popular in the 1920s and 1930s
  • Elinor DonahueAmerican actress best known for the 50s sitcom Father Knows Best
  • Eleanor Winifred Worthington CoxEnglish actress, best known for portraying Matilda Wormwood in Matilda the Musical for which she won a 2012 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
  • Eleanor AudleyAmerican actress, the voice of Lady Tremaine in Cinderella (1950) and Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty (1959).

Eleanor On The Popularity Chart

On the rise since the late 1990s, Eleanor has become a popular choice for baby girls. The graphic representation below will give you more information.

Popularity Over Time

There was no major growth in Eleanor’s popularity through the 1980s and it was only in the late 1990s that we began to see a rise. From the late 2000s, the popularity has been on a sharp rising curve with 7059 babies per million being named Eleanor in 2021. Check the graph to know more.

Source: Social Security Administration

Rank Over Time

Ranked 667 in 1980, the name Eleanor’s popularity dipped further to 693 in 1986. However, from then onwards, the name only got more popular with the years. It entered the top 100 in 2014 with rank 78. By 2021, it attained a rank of 15. The graph below shows the ranking.

Source: Social Security Administration

Names With Similar Sound As Eleanor

Do you call your elder daughter Eleanor and want a similar-sounding name for your younger one? We have some suggestions for you to consider.

Names With Same Meaning As Eleanor

If you are looking for more options similar to Eleanor you need not worry. We have listed some options below.

Name Numerology For Eleanor

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