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I'm a half Croatian, half Montenegrean living in Croatia and I could tell you as a fact that name JELENA does not have much to do with HELENA simply because JELEN in Serbo-Croatian means DEER and JELENA would directly mean 'from the deer' or even the female deer.
zeljko  12/15/2004
Jelena is a very nice name. Jelena is pronounced Yelena. In Serbian jelen means deer.
jelena36  3/29/2005
Hello I am from Croatia. Jelena is south Slavic variation of the name Helena. It is not a Croatian name. It is used in Serbia or Monte Negro. Croatians rather use original Helena and we know why.
hp22er22  7/1/2005
It's not true that Jelena isn't a Croatian name! The Croats even had royalty named Jelena, so...
beatrice  12/26/2005
My name is Jelena (pronounced Yelena). I am from Serbia and know for sure that the meaning of this name is the same as for Helena. It's the same name, only a Slavic version.
Jelen - does mean deer in Serbocroatian, but the name is not related to this.
As well as I know, Jelena or Helena has old Greek origin and means something like Sunshine.
Jelenaa  10/22/2005
My name is Jelena (yeh-leh-nah), and I strongly dislike it. I live in the U.S., and people always say it wrong. For example, on the first day of every new school year when teachers call roll, they say 'Jeh-leeh-nah', and it takes me at least 20 seconds for me to explain the pronunciation to them. It is a lovely name, but if you name your daughter this, beware of mispronunciations.
sumboD  2/5/2006
Jelena Katina is a Russian singer from the group Taty.
Maggie_Simpson  8/4/2006
I was told that the name is derived from the male version of Julias. From my Italian side. My second son is named Julian after my mother's father meaning fair-haired one. Not knowing he ended up with blonde hair, blue eyes. So far as origin, I have never heard of Serbian meaning "deer". If you are from certain areas in Italy, you would pronounce "Jelena" as "J" sound or as an "H" sound. I think that is where Helen came from.
jelena puccio  9/22/2006
It also means 'deer' in Serbian.
Lumosnight  12/20/2006
A girl I knew with this name had so much trouble with people mispronouncing it, she started spelling it 'Yellina' just to avoid being called 'Ja-LEE-nah' one more time.
trista  12/23/2006
Also used in Slovenia.
earthnut  7/18/2007
Jelena Jankovic with Jamie Murray won the mixed doubles at Wimbledon.
lowcal historyan  11/24/2007
Jelena Dokiæ is an Australian tennis player with a Serbian and Croatian background.
katis  2/5/2009
Jelena is a Slavic name. It's a very common mistake that people connect it to Helen/Helena. Very similar but not even close in etymology. Slavic people in pre-Christian times had very strong bond with nature and many names derive from flowers and trees as well as animals. The name comes from the word "jela" meaning "fir tree" with a VERY common ending "-ena" or "-ena" (although the "-en"/"-an" are from the stem word in adjective form). Alternatively the name could be from the word for "deer" as animal names are used in personal names as well. The name was equated to Helen due to its similar spelling and pronunciation. The name is found amongst Slavic peoples even before Slavic-Greek interaction. Amongst Slavs the Greek name is usually found as Elena both an equivalent to Greek Helena/Elena. Russians have Elena, as do Macedonians and Bulgarians but also Jelena.
― Anonymous User  7/4/2009
Male: Jelen, Jelenko, Jelibor, Jelimil, Jelimir, Jelinko.

Female: Jela, Jelena, Jelenka, Jelibora, Jeliborka, Jelika, Jelina, Jelinka, Jelica, Jelka, Jelkica, Jeluša.

All of these names are found in old Slavic records, placenames etc. When Slavs practically haven't heard of Greek Helen/Helena. The male names and other variations prove without a doubt that the name is either from "deer" or "fir tree" or both.

Jelka, Jelkica clearly show that the name means fir tree because the former name is also a noun for the Christmas tree and the latter a diminutive of the former. Jela is a synonym for "jelka".
mssdm  7/4/2009
The proper Latvian spelling is Jeļena, not Jelena. It's probably best to create a separate entry for the Latvian form. [noted -ed]
Lucille  9/7/2010
It's more likely that it derives from the word for the fir tree. There is even a Serbian idiom "vita kao jela" (slender as a fir tree) when referring to a girl or a female in general. It is of course a positive thing. And I think it should be added to the information given for the name, that it is associated with "jela" (fir tree) as well as "jelen" although the former is more probable. [noted -ed]
Anonymous user  1/17/2011
Another small note: while "jelen" does mean deer in general, it also denotes the male (of red deer in particular), i.e. a stag/hart/buck. [noted -ed]
― Anonymous User  7/27/2012
Jelena= ship name for Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. At least in writing it's the name- not out loud! Still, ugh...
SimoneKadele  4/8/2015
Jelena Tomašević is a Serbian pop singer famed for her strong vocal performances. She has won numerous awards for her songs and represented Serbia at 2008 Eurovision Song Contest, coming sixth with the song "Oro".
cutenose  5/30/2016
Jelena Noura Hadid was Gigi Hadid's birth name.
Eileen1209864  6/28/2016
49 girls born in the USA (2015) were given Jelena.
lilolaf  8/5/2016
Jelena Jensen is the stage name of an American entrepreneur, pornographic actress, nude model, webcam model and radio personality. Jensen was born in Los Angeles, California. She is of German, Russian and Jewish descent. She attended Chapman University in Orange County, California and graduated Magna Cum Laude in May 2003 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Television Production with an Emphasis in Producing. During her college years, she started working as production manager and marketing manager for an online adult DVD retail website.
cutenose  5/5/2017
Jelena Janković is a Serbian professional tennis player. Janković is a former World No. 1 in singles, a ranking achieved preceding her finals appearance at the 2008 US Open. Janković's career highlights include winning the 2007 Wimbledon Mixed Doubles title with Jamie Murray, the 2010 BNP Paribas Open, the Internazionali BNL d'Italia twice, in 2007 and 2008, and the aforementioned appearance in the finals of the 2008 US Open. She is coached by her brother Marko. Speculation had been rife that the Serbian tennis player announced her retirement from sports, at age 32, with immediate effect.
cutenose  5/5/2017
Jelena Rozga is a Croatian pop singer and one of the most famous singers in Croatia and the Balkans. Jelena Rozga was born in Split, Croatia. In childhood Jelena danced ballet. After primary school, she went to high school for ballet dancers and joined the ballet crew in the Croatian National Theatre. She performed in Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Nutckracker, etc. Jelena left her ballet career when an opportunity showed up to become the lead singer in popular music group from Split - Magazin.
cutenose  5/5/2017
The name Jelena is a Russian baby name. In Russian the meaning of the name Jelena is: Shining light.
― Anonymous User  1/14/2018

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