English variation of French Provencal Alienor, meaning unknown

Eleanor Origin and Meaning

The name Eleanor is a girl's name of English origin.

Eleanor's straightforward feminine image combined with its royal medieval history is striking just the right note for parents in search of a girls' name that combines substance and style.

Big plus: Eleanor is a serious name, with two nicknames—Ellie and Nell/Nellie—that are seriously endearing. Nell is more distinctive, but Ellie is undeniably one of today's top cute girl names.

While some think Eleanor is a variation of Helen via Ellen, it actually derives from the Provencal name Aliénor, of highly-debated meaning. It may come from the Germanic name Adenorde, meaning "ancient north" or "noble north". Another theory is that it derives from the Latin phrase alia Aenor, meaning "other Aenor," used to distinguish some original Eleanor, who was named after her mother Aenor. Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine brought it from France to England in the twelfth century. Other spellings include Elinor and Eleanore.

Diane Lane has an Eleanor, and Katie Couric has an Elinor, using the variant spelling. (Jane Austen used both versions—Eleanor in Northanger Abbey and Elinor in Sense and Sensibility.)

A notable namesake is First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Two other English queens bore the name: the wives of Henry III and Edward I. Eleanor Shellstrop was the protagonist of television show The Good Place.

Eleanora and Leonora are pretty, more feminine variations. Ellen and Lenore are shorter forms.

# 14 in the US

Eleanor Rank in US Top 1000

# 13 on Nameberry

Eleanor Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Eleanor Popularity

Famous People Named Eleanor

  • (Anna) Eleanor Rooseveltformer First Lady of the US as wife of Franklin Roosevelt
  • Eleanor of AquitaineQueen consort of Louis VII of France, then Henry II of England
  • Eleanor of CastileQueen consort of Edward I of England
  • Eleanor of ProvenceQueen consort of Henry III of England
  • Eleanor of EnglandQueen consort of Alfonso VIII of Castile; daughter of Henry II
  • Eleanor of CastileQueen consort of James I of Aragon
  • Eleanor of CastileQueen consort of Alfonso IV of Aragon
  • Eleanor of CastileQueen consort of Charles III of Navarre
  • Eleanor of SicilyQueen consort of Peter IV of Aragon
  • Eleanor of ViseuQueen consort of John II of Portugal
  • Eleanor of AustriaQueen consort of Manuel I of Portugal, then Francis I of France
  • Eleanor Jean ParkerAmerican actress
  • Eleanor Marie Robertsonbirth name of Nora Roberts, American novelist
  • Ella Augusta "Eleanor" NorcrossAmerican painter
  • Eleanor Louise "Ellie" GreenwichAmerican songwriter
  • Eleanor Suzanne "Ellie" DanielAmerican Olympic swimmer
  • Eleanor Emily Hodgman PorterAmerican novelist
  • Eleanor Holmes NortonU.S. Congressional delegate from D.C.
  • Eleanor Stackhouse AtkinsonAmerican author
  • Eleanor Nancy Gowbirth name of Elle Macpherson, Australian supermodel
  • Eleanor K. BaumAmerican pioneering electrical engineer
  • Eleanor "Elle" LoganAmerican Olympic rower
  • Eleanor AudleyAmerican actress
  • Eleanor May TomlinsonEnglish actress
  • Eleanor Jessie CoppolaAmerican film director
  • Eleanor Key Francis "Glo" HelinAmerican astronomer
  • Eleanor Winifred WorthingtonCox, English actress
  • Eleanor Randolph Wilson McAdoodaughter of US President Woodrow Wilson
  • (Jenny Julia) Eleanor Marxdaughter of philosopher Karl Marx
  • Eleanor Stillsdaughter of musician Stephen Stills
  • Eleanor Rose "Ella" EdmondsonEnglish singer; daughter of actress Jennifer Saunders and Adrian Edmondson
  • Eleanor Patricia Columbus (b. 1989)daughter of director Chris Columbus
  • Eleanor Jasmine Lambert (b. 1993)daughter of actors Christopher Lambert and Diane Lane
  • Eleanor Grace Dennis (b. 2008)daughter of actor and TV presenter Les Dennis
  • Eleanor "Ellie" Kennedy (b. 2015)daughter of politician Joseph P. Kennedy III
  • Eleanor Talitha Baileydaughter of Devon Aoki and James Bailey
  • Eleanor Jane CalderEnglish model and fashion blogger who's best known for dating Louis Tomlinson

Eleanor in Pop Culture

  • "Eleanor" has connections to multiple characters in William Shakespeare's playsnotably in Henry VI, King John, etc.
  • "Eleanor Rigby" song by The Beatles
  • "Eleanor Put Your Boots On" song by Franz Ferdinand
  • Eleanor Waldorfcharacter on "Gossip Girl"
  • Eleanor Henstridgecharacter on TV's "The Royals"
  • Eleanor Shellstropcharacter on TV's "The Good Place"
  • Eleanor "Ellie" Bishopcharacter on TV's "NCIS"
  • Eleanor "Elle" Bishopcharacter on TV's "Heroes"
  • Eleanor "Nell" Pottercharacter on TV's "Smallville"
  • Eleanor "Nell" Crain/Vancecharacter in "The Haunting of Hill House"
  • Eleanor Arrowaycharacter in Carl Sagan's "Contact"
  • Eleanor "Ellie" Nashcharacter on TV's "Degrassi: The Next Generation"
  • Eleanor "Norrie" CalvertHill, character on TV's "Under the Dome"
  • Eleanorcharacter in video game "Rule of Rose"
  • Eleanor Lambcharacter in video game "Bioshock 2"
  • Eleanor Douglascharacter in "Eleanor and Park" by Rainbow Rowell
  • Eleanor Oliphantprotagonist of book "Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine" by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor in Nameberry Blog Posts