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 "Middle name for a First name!".
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.