The name Helen is a girl's name of Greek origin meaning "bright, shining light". Helen is ranked #413 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Old Lady Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "Pick 5 (GIRLS)".
From the experts:
Helen is a name that has connoted beauty since ancient times (the mythological "face that launched a thousand
ships," over whom the ten-year Trojan War was fought).
The name Helen has moved in and out of favor over the centuries, often alternating with Ellen. It was a Top 5 name for several decades of the early twentieth century, falling out of the Top 100 in the '50s. Now, after being unfashionable for decades, we see signs of a comeback for Helen—it's the kind of serious, unadorned classic many parents are returning to.
If Helen is too much of an old lady name for you, you might consider one of its many variations that may be tastier for the modern palate: Helena, Eleanor, Elena, Ella, Nell, or Leonora, to mention just a few.
In Greek myth, Helen is the daughter of Leda and Zeus, who came to her mother in the form of a swan.
Helen has legions of eminent namesakes, including author and activist Helen Keller, politician Helen Gahaghan Douglas, newspaper reporter Helen Thomas, Cosmo force Helen Gurley Brown, Bridget Jones creator Helen Fielding, artist Helen Frankenthaler, and actresses Hayes, Mirren, and Hunt. Beatrix Potter's birth name was Helen.
Lists containing Helen
Helen in Blog Posts
Helen in the Forums
16 names similar to Helen
These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Helen. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Helen, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!