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Gender: Female Origin of Eleanor: English variation of French Provencal Alienor, meaning unknown Eleanor's Popularity in 2017: #35

The name Eleanor is a girl's name of English origin. Eleanor is ranked #35 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Antique Baby Names Back in Style and discussed in our forums with posts like "Heaven Hell Purgatory -- GIRLS".

From the experts:

Eleanor, a stately name that has been in and out of fashion since Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine brought it from France to England in the twelfth century, is hot again. Eleanor's straightforward feminine image combined with its royal medieval origins is striking just the right note for parents in search of a girls' name that combines substance and style.

While some think Eleanor is a variation of Helen via Ellen, it actually derives from the Provencal for "other Aenor," used to distinguish the original Eleanor, who was named after her mother Aenor.

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 today's cutest names for baby girls.

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. Currently, Eleanor Shellstrop is the protagonist of television show The Good Place.

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

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

Famous People Named Eleanor

(Anna) Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady of the US as wife of Franklin Roosevelt
Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen consort of Louis VII of France, then Henry II of England
Eleanor of Castile, Queen consort of Edward I of England
Eleanor of Provence, Queen consort of Henry III of England
Eleanor of England, Queen consort of Alfonso VIII of Castile; daughter of Henry II
Eleanor of Castile, Queen consort of James I of Aragon
Eleanor of Castile, Queen consort of Alfonso IV of Aragon
Eleanor of Castile, Queen consort of Charles III of Navarre
Eleanor of Sicily, Queen consort of Peter IV of Aragon
Eleanor of Viseu, Queen consort of John II of Portugal
Eleanor of Austria, Queen consort of Manuel I of Portugal, then Francis I of France
Eleanor Jean Parker, American actress
Eleanor Marie Robertson, birth name of Nora Roberts, American novelist
Ella Augusta "Eleanor" Norcross, American painter
Eleanor Louise "Ellie" Greenwich, American songwriter
Eleanor Suzanne "Ellie" Daniel, American Olympic swimmer
Eleanor Emily Hodgman Porter, American novelist
Eleanor Holmes Norton, U.S. Congressional delegate from D.C.
Eleanor Stackhouse Atkinson, American author
Eleanor Nancy Gow, birth name of Elle Macpherson, Australian supermodel
Eleanor K. Baum, American pioneering electrical engineer
Eleanor "Elle" Logan, American Olympic rower
Eleanor Audley, American actress
Eleanor May Tomlinson, English actress
Eleanor Jessie Coppola, American film director
Eleanor Key Francis "Glo" Helin, American astronomer
Eleanor Winifred Worthington-Cox, English actress
Eleanor Randolph Wilson McAdoo, daughter of US President Woodrow Wilson
(Jenny Julia) Eleanor Marx, daughter of philosopher Karl Marx
Eleanor Calder, former girlfriend of singer Louis Tomlinson of One Direction
Eleanor Stills, daughter of musician Stephen Stills
Eleanor Rose "Ella" Edmondson, English 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

Pop Culture References for the name Eleanor

Eleanor "Ellie" Bishop, character on TV's "NCIS"
Eleanor "Elle" Bishop, character on TV's "Heroes"
Eleanor "Nell" Potter, character on TV's "Smallville"
Eleanor "Nell" Crain Vance/Lance, character in "The Haunting of Hill House"
Eleanor Arroway, character in Carl Sagan's "Contact"
Eleanor "Ellie" Nash, character on TV's "Degrassi: The Next Generation"
Eleanor "Norrie" Calvert-Hill, character on TV's "Under the Dome"
Eleanor, character in video game "Rule of Rose"
Eleanor Lamb, character in video game "Bioshock 2"
Eleanor Douglas, character in "Eleanor and Park" by Rainbow Rowell
"Eleanor Put Your Boots On," song by Franz Ferdinand
"Eleanor Rigby," song by The Beatles
Eleanor Waldorf, character on "Gossip Girl"
Eleanor Henstridge, character on TV's "The Royals"
Eleanor Shellstrop, character on TV's "The Good Place"


janefeb20 Says:


My little sister's name is Eleanor. Our mom wanted her to be called Nora, but everyone mostly just calls her Eleanor. My little brother (her twin) is named Walter, which goes nicely with Eleanor's name.

Daiseymae Says:


Fine example! It isn't a bad name either.

sELEAr Says:


I am in love with this name - head over heels! Definitely my favorite! I am praying to someday have a little red-haired girl to name Eleanor. It was my grandma's name and I am so sad that I never got to meet her. I am named after her as well. I would not use a nickname ever and would hope no one else would. This name is too beautiful to be butchered.

Sara Sioux Says:


I named my daughter (born last year) Eleanor Grace. Lots of people in the family hate it, but I hope she grows up to love it like you do. I think it's just gorgeous.

bordercollie Says:


I used to really dislike Eleanor, but recently, I've grown to love it. Still not a fan of any of the nicknames, but the full version is so vintage, proper, and peaceful. Such a sophisticated, intelligent name. Even though it's starting to become popular, most of the Eleanors I know have a nickname they go by. I know an Eleanor who goes by Ella, another who goes by Nora, and one who goes by Nellie. Never met one who goes by just Eleanor, so an Eleanor without a nickname probably wouldn't meet too many girls called by the same name.

SBR Says:


This has become my favorite girl name!

NameLover 11 Says:


I love this name!! Will probably use it for a daughter later in life. I love the meaning (burning light) and there are so many cute nicknames!! My favorite nn are Nora, Nori, Nellie, Ella and Elsie. I love the Eleanor Roosevelt association, such a strong women to look up to IMO.

Thepandaprincess223 Says:


I think that Eleanor and Adelaide would make such a cute little twin set!

Catgirlmri Says:


I really like Eleanor. It's not really my style, but it's so stately! Then again, my best friend is Eleanor, so that might be why.

morning_glory Says:


Love Eleanor (and Eleanora). If it had a proper meaning and was less popular, it'd definitely be on my favourites list. I like Noor and Nell as nicknames.

briarblossom Says:


I like the name Eleanor. Classic and charming.

FutureMommyTo5 Says:


no, just no. i cringe when i see this name.

TheColourGreen Says:


I keep coming back to this name time and time again.

klaryan Says:


What about nickname Luna? I think that'd be adorable and it'd combine an older name with a more modern name.

lemonqueen Says:


I prefer the other spelling, I think to much of Eleanor Roosevelt. Not that's bad, though.

jaz.fortune Says:


I really love this name :) I love the nickname Ella or Nora. I prounouce it like Elle-a-nor but I have heard it as Eli-nor. I also like the spelling Eleanore. I like this name with my daughter Fiona :)

CASHmeOutsideHowBoutDah Says:


we're calling the baby Nellie like Nellie Oleson lol

Eleanor Says:


My name is Eleanor Grace! I've never been an Ellie and I'm always asked what I preferred to be called, my actual name please! The only downside of Eleanor is that people presume I want to be called something shorter which doesn't suit me. One of my best friends from school was called Eleanor Jayne so she was Ellie and I was Elle. The nickname has stuck around with friends but I don't think my parents could have picked a better name! ❤️

Essa Says:


I like this when pronounced 'EL-luh-nuh' but it sounds too forced as 'el-luh-NOR'. The former is definitely more common where I'm from and I on;t discovered the latter a few years ago.

MaryKathryn Says:


Completely unnecessary. I'm just having a little fun.

Glow Says:


The American pronunciation is ELL-ih-NOR.

AmaliaJane90 Says:


This site is not for fan stupidity. Take this elsewhere, not here!

Catastroffy Says:


I am English and I have known one Eleanor a very long time ago, and if I remember correctly she pronounced it "ELL-uh-NUH", although I am not quite definite.
But recently I started thinking about the name Ellena, and I started pronouncing Eleanor "ell-en-OR" to myself to differentiate between the two.
But is "ell-en-OR" the American pronunciation of the name?

Alsace Says:


If we have another girl, Eleanor is definitely a top contender. I would use either Ella or Nora as a nickname (I like them both but prefer Nora). Although the full name is so great, it might not even need a nickname.

Not a fan of Nell/Nellie - reminds me of a cow.

Vickster Says:


Sounds a bit elderly to me, but I still kind of like it because of Elanor Gamgee, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Queen Elinor from Pixar's "Brave".

Essa Says:


According to other websites, Eleanor means 'shining light' or 'bright, shining one'.

Essa Says:


I so disagree! Names like this are coming back. Vintage is in right now. I love Eleanor. Ella is pretty too though.

Essa Says:


I love Eleanor at the minute and also want to avoid Ellie! I love Nora so thats probably the way I'd go but Enna is so cute too.

Zelliew Says:


I agree. My daughter named her daughter Eleanore & I thought it was so old fashioned. I tend to call her Ella - which I like

pumpkinslouis Says:


I love Eleanor Jane Calder's name.

ThistleThorn Says:


This name is so buttoned up and proper. I absolutely love it.

marythefourth Says:


When we named our daughter Eleanor, we loved the name but wondered what nickname we could use, since Ellie/Ella is terribly overused (our next-door neighbor at the time had an Ellie). Thankfully, my older daughter couldn't pronounce the name and started calling her Enna-nor. The nickname Enna stuck, and I adore it. It is unique but doesn't sound too crazy or weird (it's similar to the popular Emma and Anna). We also sometimes call her Nora. Beautiful name with endless cute nicknames, I love Eleanor!

annwithane Says:


This is a lovely name. Strong and classic. I think it would serve a person well for her entire lifetime. Ellie is an adorable nickname.

Princessnawal Says:


Eleanor means God is my light
Ila noor🌸

headintheclouds Says:


I love this name, for being lovely and classic and mainly for having so many admirable namesakes. My aunt named my cousins names of influential women from history, like Audrey (Hepburn), Marie (Curie) etc. I've always thought that this was great, and if I should follow this naming method when I get around to having kids, I'd use Eleanor in a heartbeat, for Eleanor Roosevelt.

Essa Says:


I never understood when people said this name went out of fashion or is an d lady name. All the Eleanor's I ever met are under 25. I've always loved the name. Sadly I wouldn't consider it now because of how common all the El names are, particularly my chosen nickname for Eleanor, Ellie.

WriterGirl911 Says:


I love that Eleanor is coming back into style. It's a classic, but it's got sort of a modern-sound to it.

Caroline Says:


Still Love It!!

Leah3456 Says:


I love old-fashioned girl names and I am glad this name is making a comeback! It has an upper-class aura to it.

gracexx Says:


Finally someone who hates One Direction! LOL they stink

clairels Says:


Luckily, any baby named this today will come of age in a world where nobody cares about One Direction--just like the world most of us adults live in now.

HatGirl Says:


exactly the same for me! :)

ho_hey Says:


I love this name but I hate Eleanor Calder.

Hydra Says:


Yes, I know. I actually sorta liked it before his "girlfriend" came along-I am extremely picky with girls names. Besides, I just can't get the "nor" part out of my head.

MaryKathryn Says:


GOD BLESS YOU. Air quotes around girlfriend, AMEN!!!

Guest Says:


there are MUCH more notable Eleanors than "Louis Tomlinson's girlfriend" (do air quotations on girlfriend hahahah)

Hydra Says:


Meh. I think of Louis Thompson's girlfriend, and I hate One Direction.

tori101 Says:


A lovely regal name, it's elegant and strong in sound. I also love the nicknames surrounding Eleanor such as Ellie, Ella, Elle, Laney etc.

Theodora_Phoenix Says:


I don't like Eleanor much anymore because there are too many dang variations and alternate spellings! It's very annoying. I find it hard to like names with many different spellings because it is hard to settle on one.

LunaCross Says:


I like it. I think of Eleanor Roosevelt when I hear this name.