Helen (given name)

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For other uses, see Helen (disambiguation)
Brosen icon constantine helena.jpg
Eastern Orthodox icon of Saint Constantine the Great and Saint Helena, his mother.
Gender Female
Name day August 18
Word/name Greek
Meaning 'light' or 'bright'
Other names
Nickname(s) Len, Lena, Leny, Lenie, Lennie
Related names Elen, Elene, Ellen, Elena, Helena, Helene
Popularity see popular names

Helen is a feminine given name derived from the Greek Ἑλένη Helenē, meaning "torch" or "corposant."[1] Another possible derivation is from Greek Σελήνη Selene, meaning 'moon'.[2] Helen of Troy is a character in Greek mythology. The name was widely used by early Christians due to Saint Helena, the mother of the emperor Constantine I, who according to legend found a piece of the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified when she traveled to Jerusalem.[3] Helen enjoyed a massive burst of popularity in the US during the first two decades of the 20th century where it was one of the top ten names for baby girls, but became less common by 1920.[citation needed]

Name variants[edit]

Alternate forms of Helen, including short forms and diminutives, include:

  • Aileen (Scots)
  • Aili (Estonian, Finnish)
  • Alena (Czech, German, Slovakian, Spanish)
  • Alenka (Slovenian)
  • Aliona (Russian)
  • Alyena (Russian)
  • Alyiona (Russian)
  • Alyona (Russian)
  • Eileen (Irish)
  • Eilidh (Scottish Gaelic)
  • Elaine (English)
  • Ela (Polish)
  • Elea (English)
  • Elen (Estonian, Norwegian, Welsh)
  • Elena (Bulgarian, Greek, Italian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Manx, Persian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovakian, Spanish)
  • Elene (Georgian)
  • Eleni (Greek)
  • Elenie (Georgian, Greek)
  • Elenka (Czech)
  • Eli (Norwegian)
  • Eliana (Portuguese)
  • Éliane (French)
  • Elien (Dutch)
  • Eliina (Finnish)
  • Elin (Estonian, Norwegian, Welsh, Swedish)
  • Elina (Estonian, Finnish, Russian)
  • Eline (Dutch, French)
  • Ella (English, Finnish, Polish)
  • Elle (English, Estonian)
  • Ellen (Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Swedish)
  • Elli (Finnish)
  • Ellie (English)
  • Ellin (Welsh)
  • Elly (English)
  • Elna (Danish, Finnish)
  • Elya (Russian)
  • Ena (Irish)
  • Galina (Russian)
  • Galya (Russian)
  • Helana
  • Haliana (Polish)
  • Halina (Polish)
  • Halya (Ukrainian)
  • Halyna (Ukrainian)
  • Hela (Polish)
  • Heleainná (Sami)
  • Heleen (Dutch)
  • Heleena (Finnish)
  • Heleentje (Dutch)
  • Helen (Estonian, Turkish)
  • Helená (Sami)
  • Helena (Catalan, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Faroese, Finnish, Galician, German, Greek, Greenlandic, Latvian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Slovakian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Polish, Turkish)
  • Hélène (French)
  • Helene (Danish, Finnish, German, Norwegian, Swedish)
  • Helenka (Hungarian, Polish)
  • Heli (Estonian, Finnish)
  • Hellae (Greek)
  • Hellais (Greek)
  • Helle (Danish)
  • Hellen (English)
  • Iiliit Greenlandic
  • Ileana (Romanian, Spanish)
  • Ili (Hungarian)
  • Iliana (Spanish)
  • Ilka (Hungarian)
  • Ilona (Finnish, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish)
  • Ilonka (Hungarian, Polish)
  • Iluska (Hungarian)
  • Jelena (Croatian, Latvian, Russian, Serbian)
  • Jelka (Croatian, Slovenian)
  • Laina (Finnish)
  • Laine (Estonian, Latvian)
  • Lainey (English)
  • Laney (English)
  • Léan (Irish)
  • Léana (Irish)
  • Leena (Estonian, Finnish)
  • Lele (German)
  • Lelya (Russian)
  • Lena (Danish, English, Finnish, German, Greek, Norwegian, Russian, Swedish, Polish)
  • Lenchen (German)
  • Lenci (Hungarian)
  • Lene (Danish, German, Norwegian)
  • Leni (German)
  • Lenka (Slovenian, Slovakian)
  • Lenuţa (Romanian)
  • Liena (Latvian)
  • Liene (Latvian)
  • Liina (Estonian, Finnish)
  • Lina (Italian, Swedish)
  • Line (Dutch)
  • Liolya (Russian)
  • Nel (Dutch)
  • Nelda (English)
  • Nélida (Spanish)
  • Nell (English)
  • Nelle (English)
  • Nelli (Russian, Finnish, Hungarian)
  • Nellie (English)
  • Nelly (English)
  • Nelya (Russian)
  • Olena (Ukrainian)
  • Olenka (Ukrainian)
  • Onella (Hungarian)
  • Yelena (Russian)
  • Yelina (Russian)


  • هيلين (Hiilin) (Arabic)
  • Հեղինե (Hełine), Հեղինէ (Hełinē) (Armenian)
  • Хелен (Chielien) (Belarusian)
  • হেলেন (Hēlēna) (Bengali)
  • 海伦 (Hǎilún) (Chinese Simplified)
  • 海倫 (Hǎilún) (Chinese Traditional)
  • Helena (Croatian)
  • Helena (Dutch)
  • ელენე (Elene) (Georgian)
  • Ελένη (Eléni̱) (Greek)
  • હેલેન (Hēlēna) (Gujarati)
  • הלן (Hebrew)
  • हेलेन (Hēlēna) (Hindi)
  • ヘレン (Heren) (Japanese)
  • ಹೆಲೆನ್ (Helen) (Kannada)
  • 헬렌 (Hellen) (Korean)
  • हेलन (Hēlana) (Marathi)
  • हेलेन (Hēlēna) (Nepali)
  • هلن (Persian)
  • ਹੈਲਨ (Hailana) (Punjabi)
  • Хелен (Khelen) (Russian)
  • Хелена (Helena) (Serbian)
  • ஹெலன் (Helaṉ) (Tamil)
  • హెలెన్(Helen) (Telugu)
  • เฮเลน (Ḥelen) (Thai)
  • Хелен (Khelen) (Ukrainian)
  • ہیلن (Urdu)
  • העלען (Hʻlʻn) (Yiddish)

People with the given name Helen[edit]

See also[edit]