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.
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, Jeļena, Jelena (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

Categories

actresses, American Horror Story characters, athletes, authors, Catholic saints, celestial, children of Zeus, Claymore characters, female US presidential candidates, fire, first ladies of the USA, Greek mythology, House of Cards US characters, Iliad characters, light, moon, mythology, Narnia characters, nature, never out of the US top 1000, Orthodox Saints, Quantico characters, saints, Shakespearean characters, Simpsons characters, Stephen King characters, The Man in the High Castle characters, top 10 in the US, uncertain etymology, weather
Entry updated December 8, 2017