French and Scottish
"bright, shining light"

Elaine Origin and Meaning

The name Elaine is a girl's name of French, Scottish origin meaning "bright, shining light".

This old Scottish form of Helen has had quite a history, going from appearing as one of the shining heroines of the Arthurian legends, the princess who fell in love with Sir Lancelot and became the mother of Sir Galahad, referred to as 'Elaine the fair' and 'Elaine the lovable', to being the name of the most famous of New York's celebrity restaurants, to being the archetypal New York neurotic on Seinfeld.

Elaine is a homophone for French Helene, just one of many names that a was imported to Scotland during the centuries that Scotland and France had a mutual enemy in England.

Elaine entered the Top 100 in the early 1920s, and remained there for close to forty years, peaking at Number 42. Now, after a long slump, we see signs of a possible rise along with all the other El-names. For parents looking for a more unusual name, try Yvaine.

# 381 in the US

Elaine Rank in US Top 1000

# 300 on Nameberry

Elaine Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Elaine Popularity

Famous People Named Elaine

  • (Katherine) Elaine HendrixAmerican actress
  • Elaine Iva MayAmerican director/actress
  • Elaine YiuHong Kong actress
  • Elaine Paige (born Elaine Jill Bickerstaff)English singer and actress
  • Elaine InghamAmerican microbiologist
  • Elaine HamiltonO'Neal, American painter
  • Elaine Lobl (E.L.) KonigsburgAmerican children's novelist
  • Elaine MilesAmerican actress
  • Elaine StritchAmerican actress and singer
  • Elaine Marie Catherine de Kooning (born Elaine Marie Fried)American painter, wife of painter Willem de Kooning
  • Elaine JinChinese actress
  • Elaine YoungsAmerican Olympic beach volleyball player
  • Elaine Tyler MayAmerican historian and author
  • Elaine ShowalterAmerican literary critic
  • Elaine FifieldAustralian ballerina

Elaine in Pop Culture

  • Elaine Marie Benesa main character on TV's "Seinfeld"'
  • Elaine of AstolatArthurian legendary figure
  • Elaine Jenkinsonfrom the British TV series "Broadchurch"
  • Lady Elainecharacter in Barbara Cartland's book The Ruthless Rake
  • Elaine Austencharacter in video game "Sims 3" Moonlight Bay
  • Elaine Robinsoncharacter in book/movie "The Graduate"
  • "The Exploits of Elaine" 1914 film serial
  • "Elaine" song by ABBA
  • "Miss Elaine"song by Run–D.M.C.
  • Elaine Marleymain character in video game series Monkey Island
  • "Elaine" opera by Herman Bemberg
  • Elaine of Corbeniclegendary Arthurian figure
  • Elaine "Ellie" character in novel "Avalon High"
  • "Elaine's Big Day" episode of TV's 'New Girl'
  • Elaine Dickinsoncharacter in the movie "Airplane!"
  • Elainecharacter in the manga/anime "Seven Deadly Sins"
  • Elainemain character in the movie 'The Love Witch'