Given Name HELEN

GENDER: Feminine
OTHER SCRIPTS: ‘Ελενη (Ancient Greek)
PRONOUNCED: HEL-ən (English)   [details]

Meaning & History

English form of the Greek ‘Ελενη (Helene), probably from Greek ‘ελενη (helene) "torch" or "corposant", or possibly related to σεληνη (selene) "moon". In Greek mythology Helen was the daughter of Zeus and Leda, whose kidnapping by Paris was the cause of the Trojan War. The name was also borne by the 4th-century Saint Helena, mother of the Roman emperor Constantine, who supposedly found the True Cross during a trip to Jerusalem.

The name was originally used among early Christians in honour of the saint, as opposed to the classical character. In England it was commonly spelled Ellen during the Middle Ages, and the spelling Helen was not regularly used until after the Renaissance. A famous bearer was Helen Keller (1880-1968), an American author and lecturer who was both blind and deaf.

Categories

actresses, athletes, authors, celestial, children of Zeus, fire, first ladies of the USA, Greek mythology, Iliad characters, light, moon, mythology, nature, Quantico characters, saints, Shakespearian characters, Simpsons characters, top 10 in the US, uncertain etymology, weather
VARIANTS: Ellen, Helena, Hellen (English), Elin, Elina, Helena, Helene (Swedish), Elin, Helena, Helene (Norwegian), Elin, Helena, Helene (Danish), Helena, Helene (Greek Mythology)
DIMINUTIVES: Ella, Elle, Ellie, Elly, Lena, Nell, Nelle, Nellie, Nelly (English)
OTHER LANGUAGES/CULTURES: Shelena (African American), Helena, Helene (Ancient Greek), Elaine (Arthurian Romance), Elena (Bulgarian), Helena, Jelena, Jela, Jelka (Croatian), Helena, Alena, Lenka (Czech), Heleen, Helena, Heleentje (Dutch), Helena, Jelena, Leena (Estonian), Eliina, Elina, Helena, Ella, Elli, Heleena, Heli, Leena (Finnish), Hélène (French), Elene (Georgian), Elena, Helena, Helene, Alena, Lena, Lene, Leni (German), Elena, Eleni, Elli, Lena (Greek), Heléna (Hungarian), Helena (Icelandic), Léan (Irish), Elena, Ileana (Italian), Elīna, Helēna, Jelena, Jeļena (Latvian), Elena, Jelena (Lithuanian), Elena (Macedonian), Helena, Lena (Polish), Helena, Lena (Portuguese), Elena, Ileana, Ilinca, Lenuța (Romanian), Elena, Yelena, Alyona, Lena (Russian), Elene (Sardinian), Jelena, Jela, Jelka (Serbian), Elena, Helena, Alena, Jela, Lenka (Slovak), Helena, Jelena, Alena, Alenka, Jelka (Slovene), Elena, Ileana (Spanish), Olena, Lesya (Ukrainian), Elen, Elin (Welsh)
USER SUBMISSION: Helén
  United States
2016
  Canada (BC)
not
ranked
2015
  England and Wales
not
ranked
2015
  Norway
not
ranked
2015