Queen Eleanor of Aquitane (1122 or 1124–1 April 1204), painted 1858 by Frederick Sandys
The name Eleanor, in the U.S. Top 100 in 1895 and again from 1897–42 (with its highest rank of #25 in 1920), is now quite trendy again. It began slowly rising in 1987, and was up to #32 in 2018. It’s not such a secret that more than a few parents choosing this name just want the trendy nicknames Ella and Nora.
Eleanor is also fairly popular in England and Wales, at #54, and New Zealand, at #76.
The name derives from the Old French form of the Occitan name Aliénor. One of the earliest known bearers was the above-pictured Queen Eleanor of Aquitane, named for her mother Aenor (of unknown etymology) and called alia Aenor, “the other Aenor,” to tell them apart.
It’s uncertain if other early bearers were Aenors to whom the name was retroactively recorded, or if the name has an alternate etymology.
Other forms of this name include:
1. Eleonore is German and Breton.
2. Eléonore is French. A variant is Éléonore.
3. Eleonora is Russian, Polish, Italian, German, Dutch, Scandinavian, Ukrainian, Greek, Bulgarian, Georgian, Czech, Latvian, Slovenian, Croatian, and Icelandic. The variant Eleonóra is Hungarian and Slovak.
4. Eleonoora is Finnish.
5. Eleonor is a Swedish variant.
6. Leonor is Portuguese and Spanish.
7. Leonora is Spanish, Italian, and Latvian.
8. Ellinor is Scandinavian.
9. Eilionoir is Scottish. The nickname is Eilidh.
10. Elinor is English.
Holy Roman Empress Eleonora Gonzaga (1598–1655), painted ca. 1623/24 by Justus Sustermans
11. Eleanora is English and Belarusian.
12. Elenora is also English.
13. Elnora is another English form.
14. Lenora is English, and is also an independent invented Soviet name meaning “Lenin is our weapon.” Some fool at Behind the Name thought my comment indicated I believed the name was created in the USSR and has no other etymology or history. Absolutely nowhere did I indicate I was ignorant of its other usage!
15. Leanora is English.
16. Lenore is English, most famous as the dead love interest in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.” I have a character by this name, who indeed was named for the literary character.
17. Elionor is Catalan.
18. Alionor is Aragonese.
19. Eilénóra is Irish.
20. Eilionora is also Irish.
British novelist Elinor Glyn (1864–1943), whose work was hugely influential on early 20th century popular culture
21. Ailionóra is a rare Irish form.
22. Elenola is Hawaiian.
23. Eleonoor is Dutch.
24. Elianora is Sardinian.
25. Elinore is English.
26. Ellinoora is Finnish.
27. Léionore is Norman.
28. Lenoa is Provençal.
29. Llinor is Welsh.
30. Lonore is a rare Basque form. The variant Lonôre is Jèrriais.