Eleanor Name Meaning

An English variant of the Old French Alienor, Eleanor is of unknown meaning but rich history, with wearers presiding as European queens and America’s First Lady alike. She’s also graced the stage with actors and dancers alike.

Eleanor has always appeared on the U.S. Top 1000 names for girls since its creation in 1900, though her popularity has risen and fallen throughout the years. She’s been making a triumphant return recently, beloved for her vintage charm and fitting in the granny chic movement seen in similar names like Edith, Agnes, and Hazel.

A literary darling, Eleanor and her spelling variants have appeared in a number of books including The Lord of the Rings, Sense and Sensibility, and Contact. She’s also made appearances in music, most notably in Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles.

Eleanor wears well regardless of age, serious and stately yet fashionably feminine. She’s a strong name for a girl to grow with, standing apart from the Paisleys and Zoeys on the playground with her maturity. She’s also spunky, the perfect name for a girl ready for adventure.

Eleanor has alternate spellings including Eleanore and Elinor as well as the melodic variant Eleanora. She’s also ripe with nickname choices like Elle, Ellie, Nora, and Ella.

Infographic of Eleanor name meaning, which is An English variant of the Old French Alienor, Eleanor is of unknown meaning.
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Eleanor Name Popularity

How popular is the name Eleanor? Here’s everything we know.

Year Rank # Births % Births
1910 55 1,789 0.5081%
1911 49 2,026 0.5441%
1912 39 3,114 0.6175%
1913 34 3,920 0.6914%
1914 28 5,370 0.7706%
1915 28 7,033 0.7741%
1916 27 7,405 0.7666%
1917 26 7,665 0.7662%
1918 26 8,172 0.7614%
1919 30 7,605 0.7263%
1920 25 8,497 0.7642%
1921 29 8,053 0.7033%
1922 28 7,845 0.7042%
1923 28 7,769 0.6936%
1924 29 8,190 0.7053%
1925 31 7,721 0.6831%
1926 32 7,298 0.6635%
1927 33 6,950 0.6279%
1928 36 6,530 0.6103%
1929 38 5,862 0.5659%
1930 39 5,814 0.5566%
1931 40 5,254 0.5323%
1932 45 4,832 0.4891%
1933 37 5,097 0.5471%
1934 44 4,710 0.4872%
1935 48 4,160 0.4281%
1936 47 4,336 0.4501%
1937 53 4,267 0.433%
1938 60 4,044 0.395%
1939 63 3,803 0.3739%
1940 68 3,578 0.3366%
1941 78 3,237 0.2876%
1942 87 3,154 0.2498%
1943 107 2,714 0.2079%
1944 122 2,180 0.1759%
1945 130 1,858 0.1523%
1946 139 1,916 0.1298%
1947 161 1,824 0.1093%
1948 168 1,641 0.1028%
1949 180 1,502 0.0934%
1950 197 1,356 0.0842%
1951 209 1,271 0.075%
1952 220 1,220 0.0699%
1953 227 1,230 0.0695%
1954 241 1,091 0.0597%
1955 256 1,018 0.0553%
1956 261 1,021 0.0541%
1957 291 932 0.0484%
1958 306 829 0.0439%
1959 317 826 0.0435%
1960 328 786 0.0415%
1961 346 717 0.038%
1962 343 714 0.0389%
1963 374 629 0.035%
1964 375 613 0.0348%
1965 370 568 0.0347%
1966 426 431 0.0276%
1967 447 403 0.0266%
1968 474 367 0.0244%
1969 521 313 0.0203%
1970 529 314 0.0197%
1971 553 278 0.0185%
1972 542 261 0.0192%
1973 592 216 0.0167%
1974 683 163 0.0125%
1975 672 171 0.0133%
1976 617 204 0.0158%
1977 747 153 0.0114%
1978 612 226 0.0168%
1979 657 215 0.0152%
1980 699 195 0.0133%
1981 660 220 0.015%
1982 679 208 0.0139%
1983 643 216 0.0146%
1984 676 200 0.0134%
1985 679 213 0.014%
1986 698 208 0.0138%
1987 643 243 0.0159%
1988 624 272 0.0175%
1989 592 320 0.0198%
1990 599 336 0.0203%
1991 586 344 0.0211%
1992 577 360 0.0226%
1993 540 402 0.0258%
1994 572 355 0.0231%
1995 536 403 0.0267%
1996 487 451 0.0301%
1997 470 495 0.0335%
1998 384 690 0.0461%
1999 407 652 0.0435%
2000 373 746 0.0488%
2001 359 801 0.0532%
2002 317 939 0.0627%
2003 312 969 0.0637%
2004 300 1,040 0.0682%
2005 263 1,215 0.0795%
2006 272 1,191 0.0761%
2007 267 1,254 0.0795%
2008 253 1,330 0.0861%
2009 217 1,459 0.0976%
2010 166 1,832 0.1271%
2011 149 2,077 0.1458%
2012 134 2,370 0.1663%
2013 106 2,997 0.2105%
2014 78 3,732 0.2562%
2015 60 4,430 0.3045%
2016 41 5,128 0.3557%
2017 35 5,519 0.3954%
2018 32 5,694 0.4144%
2019 27 6,164 0.4553%

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Data via SSA.gov.


Names Like Eleanor

If you like Eleanor, you’ll love these other names like Eleanor.


What names are diminutives of Eleanor?

A diminutive is a name that’s like Eleanor sounds, you might also like these names that sound like Eleanor, but shorter.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
El

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Ella

Other goddess

Hebrew

Elle

She

French

Elli

Noble, exalted; sun ray, shining light; other, foreign

Greek

Ellie

Shortened form of El- names

English

Nell

Horn; sun ray, shining light

Latin

Nelle

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Nelley

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Nelli

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Nellie

Horn; sun ray, shining light

Latin

Nelly

A diminutive form of Helen.

Greek

Nonnie

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Nora

Honorable one

Latin

Norah

Honorable one

Latin

Nore

Sun ray, shining light

Greek


What names are variants of Eleanor?

Mix it up with these names that are a variation of the name Eleanor.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Aleanor

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Alenor

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Aleonore

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Allinor

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Eileanoir

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Elanor

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Eleanora

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Eleanore

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Elenor

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Elenora

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Elenore

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Eleonor

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Eleonora

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Eleonore

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Elianora

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Elianore

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Elienora

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Elienore

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Elinor

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Elinore

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Elleanor

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Elleanora

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Ellenor

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Ellenora

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Ellenore

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Elleonor

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Elliner

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Ellinor

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Ellinore

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Elnora

Compassion

Greek

Enora

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Heleanor

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Helenora

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Leanora

Sun ray, shining light; compassion; light

Greek

Lenora

Sun ray, shining light; compassion; light

Greek

Lenore

Light

Greek

Leonor

Sun ray, shining light; compassion; light

Greek

Leonora

Compassion; light

Greek

Leonore

Sun ray, shining light; compassion; light

Greek

Norina

Sun ray, shining light

Greek


What names sound like Eleanor?

If you like how Eleanor sounds, you might also like these names that sound like Eleanor.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Elaine

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Elena

Shining light

Greek

Ellen

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Elodie

Marsh flower

Greek

Hannelore

He (God) has favored me

Hebrew


What names are similar to Eleanor?

Find a name that’s like Eleanor, but just a little bit different.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Edith

Strife for wealth

English

Evelyn

Desired one

English

Gwendolyn

Blessed ring

Welsh

Harriet

Home ruler

German

Helen

Sun ray, shining light

Greek

Judith

From Judea; Jewish

Hebrew

Louise

Famous warrior

German

Lucille

Of the light

French

Marie

A French form of Mary.

French

Sadie

Princess

Hebrew


Lists With Eleanor

Find inspiration in these baby girl name lists featuring the name Eleanor.


Siblings of Eleanor

Mamas with kids named Eleanor also have kids with these names.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Alfie

Elf or magical counsel; ready for battle

German

Beatrix

Voyager (through life); blessed

Latin

Zella
Grace

Gracious one

English

Elizabeth

God is my oath

Hebrew

Josephine

God will increase

Hebrew

Henry

Home ruler

English

Amelia

Work

German

Imogene

Maiden

Irish

Karen

A Scandinavian form of Catherine.

Danish

17 Comments

  1. We chose Eleanor because it was on both my and my husband’s side of the family and we liked that it is a traditional name but one with cute nickname options. We’re calling her Ellie.

  2. Eleanor Rose is our baby girl name. I always loved the name Eleanor and Rose is a family name on both sides of the family and was the first name we came up with together and aagreed upon.

  3. We chose Eleanor because we like classic names. We will primarily call her “Ellie“. Her middle name is “Jean” which is my mom’s name. She will be called “Ellie Jean” quite a bit.

  4. Nola, another nickname for Eleanor, has a feeling of bright spring scenery. For now, Nola is also used as a nickname for Annora, Enola, Finola, Honora, Leonor, Leonora and Magnolia, which makes it much more popular than it really is.

  5. My husband and I both love the ’67 Shelby mustang gt500 .. we went though many names and wanted something that didn’t clash with our other daughters names and didn’t want to repeat a letter. We so far had Natalie , Audrianna, Charlotte & Melody. We both kept seeing Eleanor in random places . Getting messages it seemed that it should be her name. It stuck with us . We didn’t find anything that could top it for us. We chose for sure after we saw her that she was going to be Eleanor Azalea. I had been searching for a flower or herb name not overdone for months . Azalea sounded just right and springy for our spring baby girl.

  6. My grandmother’s name was Eleanor

  7. My baby girls name is Eleanor Genevieve. I actually wanted to name her Genevieve Lynn after my grandmother and myself. However, my husband kept telling me he couldn’t spell Genevieve! haha He also loved the name Eleanor and since we love older names we landed on Eleanor Genevieve. He didn’t get the name from Gone in 60 seconds but he likes to tell people she’s named after a mustang. Fun fact there is an Eleanor Genevieve that survived the Titanic!

  8. I love the traditional feel of the name. Also all the options for nicknames. We are going to call our little one Ellie for short.

  9. I’ve always loved the name Eleanor! We did get a lot of push back when we told people her name. They thought it was too old fashioned. My spouse and I didn’t care! We wanted our daughter to have a strong name! Now that shes 6 months old everyone loves her name when we introduce her!

  10. We loved Ellie as a nickname, but wanted to give our daughter a longer more formal name.
    Our choices were between Eleanor, Eliana, and Elora. I preferred Eliana. My husband preferred Elora. We both liked Eleanor and so went with that as the more classic option.

  11. I loved the meaning of this name as well as the potential nickname of Ellie down the road if we wanted.

    • To clarify, when we were looking at the name Eleanor the baby name book said the meaning was “shining light”.

  12. Our daughter, 3 1/2, is an Eleanor. We loved the name because of the versatility: while she’s little, Ellie suits her beautifully and then as an adult, Eleanor is a strong name. She is a gorgeous little soul, full of life and loves everyone.

  13. Family Name

  14. Eleanor (Ellie) is our third daughter and is almost four. She is the most loveable child I’ve ever known. She frequently takes time to say how much she loves us. (As big as the whole world) she is always ready for snuggles. Her middle name is Jo.

  15. I’ve loved the name for years. I’m drawn to classic/older names, especially ones that are just a tad off the mainstream or that have a particular ring to them.

  16. We wanted something more traditional or historic. Also, as a teacher, it was important to me that others would know how to spell it easily.


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