Eleanor Name Meaning

baby girl with pig tail

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An intellectual-sounding name of French and Greek origins, Eleanor is an English variation of the Provençal name Alienor. It means "light-hearted" or "shining light" and has been associated with successful women from the Whitehouse to the silver screen, and many places in between. Eleanor (Ellie for short) just might be the perfect name for the 'shining light' in your life.

  • Origin: The name Eleanor is of Greek and French origins meaning "light-hearted; shining light."
  • Gender: Eleanor is a name given most often to girls.
  • Pronunciation: eh- luh-nor

Although many baby names are separated by gender, Verywell Family believes that sex does not need to play a role in your name selection process. It’s important to select a name that you feel suits your new baby the best.

How Popular is the Name Eleanor?

In 1908, Eleanor was in the top 1000 names for boys, ranking 968th. It has not since been seen on the charts as a boy name. But, in the past century, the name Eleanor has remained in the top 1000 names for girls. It is currently quite a popular girls' name.

Over the past century, Eleanor has fluctuated in its popularity and in 2014, it reached the top 100 charts where it has continued to soar. In fact, the name Eleanor is more on-trend now than ever before, reaching its peak position at 22nd place in 2020.

Name Variations

The following are variations of the name Eleanor:

  • Elenor (Greek)
  • Elianora (Greek)
  • Elianore (Greek)
  • Elienora (Greek)
  • Elienore (Greek)
  • Elinor (Greek)
  • Elinore (Greek)
  • Ellenora (Greek)

Similar Names

Similar sounding names to Eleanor:

  • Enora
  • Helenora
  • Leanora
  • Leanore
  • Lenore
  • Nora
  • Norina

Other Greek names for girls:

  • Athena
  • Calista
  • Cynthia
  • Daphne
  • Elena
  • Evangeline
  • Olympia
  • Penelope
  • Thalia

Other girl names that begin with E:

  • Eden
  • Eliza
  • Elma
  • Emerson
  • Emma
  • Ester
  • Estelle
  • Esme
  • Etta
  • Evelyn

Common Nicknames

There are a few nicknames for those with the name Eleanor:

  • Ella
  • Elle
  • Ellie
  • Nell
  • Nora

Suggested Sibling Names

Looking for a sibling name for Eleanor? Here are some suggestions:

  • Adrienne
  • Bea
  • Coraline
  • Edward
  • Faye
  • Georgia
  • Harvey
  • Isaac
  • Harriet
  • Indy
  • Jade
  • Jordan
  • Lydia
  • Maisy
  • Posey
  • Zeke

Famous People Named Eleanor

  • Eleanor Coppola, American documentary filmmaker, artist, and writer; married to director Francis Ford Coppola
  • Eleanor Clift, American political reporter, television pundit, and author
  • Eleanor Parker, American actress who played  Baroness Elsa Schraeder in 'The Sound of Music'
  • Eleanor Roosevelt, Former First Lady of the U.S., diplomat, and activist
  • Eleanor Tomlinson, English actress and singer, known for her role as Princess Isabelle in 'Jack the Giant Slayer'

Still searching for the perfect baby name? Check out these related baby name lists for even more options: 

1 Source
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  1. SSA. Popularity of name Eleanor.

By Shannon Day
Shannon Day is a freelance writer specializing in parenting, lifestyle, and women's humor. She has been published in several online parenting and lifestyle sites as well as in print. Shannon is also the co-author of Martinis & Motherhood: Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?!