Gender Feminine
Scripts Ἑλένη(Ancient Greek)
Pronounced Pron. HEHL-ən(English)
  [key·IPA]

Meaning & History

English form of the Greek Ἑλένη (Helene), probably from Greek ἑλένη (helene) meaning "torch" or "corposant", or possibly related to σελήνη (selene) meaning "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.

Related Names

VariantsEllen, Helena, Hellen, Elena(English) Elin, Elina, Helena, Helene(Swedish) Elin, Eline, Helena, Helene(Norwegian) Elin, Eline, Helena, Helene(Danish) Elena, Elina, Helena(Estonian) Helena, Helene(Greek Mythology)
DiminutivesElla, Elle, Ellie, Elly, Lena, Nell, Nelle, Nellie, Nelly(English)
Other Languages & CulturesShelena(African American) Helena, Helene(Ancient Greek) Elaine(Arthurian Romance) Alena(Belarusian) Elena(Bulgarian) Helena(Catalan) Helena, Jelena, Ela, Jela, Jelka(Croatian) Helena, Alena, Elen, Helenka, Lenka(Czech) Heleen, Helena, Eline, Heleentje(Dutch) Elena, Eliina, Elina, Ellen, Helena, Ella, Elli, Heleena, Heli, Leena, Nelli(Finnish) Hélène, Léna, Nelly(French) Elene(Georgian) Elena, Ellen, Helena, Helene, Alena, Ella, Hella, Lena, Lene, Leni(German) Elena, Eleni, Lena(Greek) Heléna, Ella, Léna(Hungarian) Helena(Icelandic) Léan(Irish) Elena, Ileana(Italian) Elīna, Helēna, Jeļena, Elēna, Ina, Līna(Latvian) Elena, Jelena(Lithuanian) Elena(Macedonian) Helena, Helenka, Lena(Polish) Helena, Lena(Portuguese) Elena, Ileana, Ilinca, Lenuța(Romanian) Elena, Yelena, Aliona, Alyona, Alyonka, Lena, Nelli(Russian) Elene(Sardinian) Jelena, Ela, Jela, Jelka(Serbian) Elena, Helena, Alena, Jela, Lenka(Slovak) Helena, Jelena, Alena, Alenka, Ela, Jelka(Slovene) Helena(Sorbian) Elena, Ileana(Spanish) Olena, Aliona, Alyona(Ukrainian) Elen, Elin(Welsh)
User SubmissionHelén

Popularity

Images

Helen of TroyHelen of Troy

People think this name is

classic   mature   formal   upper class   natural   wholesome   strong   refined   simple   serious   nerdy  

Name Days

Estonia: August 18
Hungary: October 14 (as Helén)

Categories

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Entry updated November 20, 2020