- this week

Gender: Female Meaning of Elaine: "bright, shining light" Origin of Elaine: Old French form of Helen Elaine's Popularity in 2017: #588

The name Elaine is a girl's name of French, Scottish origin meaning "bright, shining light". Elaine is ranked #588 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Names That Mean Hope and discussed in our forums with posts like "Love, Like, Lose: Similar Names (Girls)".

From the experts:

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.

Find other names based on Elaine using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Elaine

Elaine Hendrix, American actress
Elaine May, American director/actress
Elaine Yiu, Hong Kong actress
Elaine Paige (born Elaine Jill Bickerstaff), English singer and actress
Elaine Ingham, American microbiologist
Elaine Hamilton-O'Neal, American painter
Elaine Lobl (E.L.) Konigsburg, American children's novelist
Elaine Miles, American actress
Elaine Stritch, American actress and singer
Elaine de Kooning (born Elaine Marie Fried), American painter, wife of painter Willem de Kooning
Elaine Jin, Chinese actress
Elaine Youngs, American Olympic beach volleyball player
Elaine Tyler May, American historian and author

Pop Culture References for the name Elaine

Elaine Marie Benes, a main character on TV's "Seinfeld"'
Elaine of Astolat, Arthurian legendary figure
Elaine Jenkinson, from the British TV series "Broadchurch"
Lady Elaine, character in Barbara Cartland's book The Ruthless Rake
Elaine Austen, character in video game "Sims 3" Moonlight Bay
Elaine Robinson, character 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 Marley, main character in video game series Monkey Island
"Elaine," opera by Herman Bemberg
Elaine of Corbenic, legendary Arthurian figure
Elaine "Ellie," character in novel "Avalon High"
"Elaine's Big Day," episode of TV's 'New Girl'
Elaine Dickinson, character in the movie "Airplane!"
Elaine, character in the manga/anime "Seven Deadly Sins"

Elaine's International Variations

Elaina (French) Eline (Scandinavian) Elena (Italian)