Baby Girl Names


Baby Names



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The baby name Eleanor is one with a mysterious meaning. No one is quite sure what it means or who exactly it began with. Most assume that Queen Eleanor of Aquitane was the first with the name, but some scholars believe there were even others before her. Despite the origins of the name, it is a beautiful and vintage-sounding name perfect for a girl.

Meaning and Origin of the name Eleanor:

Eleanor is a French girl's name meaning “sun ray,” “shining light,” “light-hearted,” or “old north.”

No one knows the true meaning of the baby name Eleanor, but it is known that it comes from the French name Aliénor. The origin of Aliénor may have come from the Germanic name Aldenor, which is derived from the word aenor (meaning “old north”). It may also have come from the Arabic name Nurah, which uses the Arabic root n-w-r (meaning “light,” “luminous,” “radiant,” and “brilliant”). Even though the exact origin and meaning are unknown, we can assume the name Eleanor means “sun ray,” “shining light,” “light-hearted,” or “old north.”

Eleanor of Aquitane is one of the earliest women with the name, though it is also said that she was known by “alia Aenor.” This translates to “the other Aenor” since her mother was called the same. Eleanor of Aquitane did live during the Middle Ages, helping to increase the popularity of this traditional name.

Symbolism of the name Eleanor:

The baby name Eleanor likely comes from the combination of “alie Aenor” as aforementioned. Queen Eleanor came from France to England during the twelfth century, spreading this name.

Nicknames for the name Eleanor:

Eleanor is a formal sounding name that garners respect. There are many nicknames for Eleanor that sound light-hearted and bright, just like the possible meaning of the name. Below is a list of nicknames we compiled to help you find the perfect one for your baby girl.

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Style of the name Eleanor:


Gender of the name Eleanor:

Eleanor is a girl's name.

Pronunciation of the name Eleanor:


Number of syllables in the name Eleanor:


Emotion evoked from the name Eleanor:

Eleanor is a very serious name with still a lot of regality and nobility. It is very wholesome and very feminine.

Alternative spellings for the name Eleanor:

  • Elanor
  • Eleanore
  • Elinor 
  • Elinore
  • Elenor
  • Elanore
  • Elenore

Popularity of the name Eleanor:

The baby name Eleanor was on the top 100 list from 1900 to 1910, then on the top 50 list until 1936 until it went back on the top 100 list. The name significantly declined during the mid and late twentieth century but is back on the top 50 list due to the popularity of vintage names. In 2020, the name ranked at number 22 for girls.

Great middle names for Eleanor and their meanings:

Famous people with the name Eleanor:

  • Eleanor Roosevelt (wife to President Theodore Roosevelt)
  • Eleanor of Castile (queen to Edward the First in England)
  • Eleanor of Sicily (queen to Peter the Fourth of Aragon)
  • Eleanor Parker (actress, “The Sound of Music”)
  • Eleanor Robertson (Nora Roberts, novelist, “Year One”)
  • Eleanor Greenwich (songwriter, “The Sunshine After the Rain”)
  • Eleanor Atkinson (author, “Challenge to Lassie”)
  • Eleanor Logan (Olympic rower)
  • “Eleanor Rigby” (title of a song by The Beatles)
  • Eleanor Waldorf (character from “Gossip Girl”)
  • Eleanor Bishop (character from “NCIS”)
  • Eleanor Potter (character from “Smallville”)
  • Eleanor Lamb (character from “Bioshock 2” video game)
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