The name Elena is a girl's name of Spanish, Italian, Greek origin meaning "bright, shining light". Elena is ranked #66 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Names That Mean Light and discussed in our forums with posts like "Build a sibling set together!".
From the experts:
Elena, a pan-European version of Helen, has never been as popular in the U.S. as it is now thanks to the overall popularity of El-names. It's more exotic than Ellen or Eleanor, but still accessible. It is also ranking other countries as well--it is highly popular in Spain, where it is pronounced ee-LAY-na.
It may be because of the large Spanish-heritage community in the US that the ee-LAY-na pronunciation has traditionally been more common here. But in fact EH-leh-na -- basically Ellen with an a at the end -- is equally appropriate and the usual pronunciation in such countries as Italy and Germany. So English speakers can choose whichever pronunciation they prefer, but know that it will frequently be pronounced -- or in your eyes, mispronounced -- the other way.
A worthy namesake is Elena Kagan, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, the fourth female to hold that position. Pseudonymous Italian writer Elena Ferrante, author of the Neapolitan Novels, is another famous Elena. A fictional bearer is Elena Gilbert, protagonist of The Vampire Diaries. and Elena Lincoln is a character in Fifty Shades of Grey.
Lists containing Elena
Elena in Blog Posts
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16 names similar to Elena
These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Elena. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Elena, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!