Meaning & History
From the Old French name Héloïse, which was probably from the Germanic name Helewidis, composed of the elements heil meaning "hale, healthy" and wid meaning "wide". It is sometimes associated with the Greek word ἥλιος (helios) meaning "sun" or the name Louise, though there is not likely an etymological connection. This name was borne by the 12th-century French scholar and philosopher Héloïse. Secretly marrying the theologian Peter Abelard at a young age, she became a nun (and eventually an abbess) after Abelard was violently castrated by order of her uncle Fulbert.There was a medieval English form of this name, Helewis, though it died out after the 13th century. In the 19th century it was revived in the English-speaking world in the form Eloise.
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Entry updated April 25, 2021