|Pronunciation||//, US //|
|Language(s)||Old French / Occitan|
|Region of origin||France (Aquitaine?)|
|Variant form(s)||Elinor, Elenor, Eleanore, Eleonora, etc.|
|Look up Eleanor in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
Eleanor (usually pronounced // in North America but // elsewhere, variants Elinor, Ellinor, Elenor, Eleanore, Eleanour, Eleonor(a) among others; short form Leonor and variants) is a feminine given name. It was the name of a number of women of the high nobility in Western Europe during the High Middle Ages, originally from a Provençal name Aliénor.
In modern times, the name was popularly given in the United States in the 1910s to 1920s, peaking at rank 25 in 1920. It declined below rank 600 by the 1970s, but has again risen above rank 150 in the early 2010s.
The name probably originates as that of Eleanor of Aquitaine (1120s–-1204). She was the daughter of Aénor de Châtellerault, and it has been suggested that having been baptized Aenor after her mother, she was called alia Aenor, i.e. "the other Aenor" in childhood and would have kept that name in adult life; the name Aénor itself appears to be a Latinization of a Germanic name of uncertain form.
While Eleanor of Aquitaine, probably the most powerful woman in Europe during her time, was certainly the reason for the name's later popularity, the name's origin with her, and the explanation of alia Aenor is uncertain; there are records of possible bearers of the name Alienor earlier in the 12th, or even in the 11th or 10th centuries, but the records of these women post-date Eleanor of Aquitaine, at a time when Alienor had come to be seen as an equivalent variant of the name Aenor (so that presumably, these women during their own lifetime used the given name Aenor):
- Alienor, the wife (m. 935) of Aimery II viscount of Thouars and mother of Herbert I (b. 960).
- Alienor, the grandmother of Aénor of Châtellerault, and thus Eleanor of Aquitaine's own great-grandmother, born c. 1050 as a daughter of Aimery IV of Thouars. Her name is also recorded as Ainora, and may have been corrupted to Alienor in genealogies only after the 12th century.
- Eleanor of Normandy (11th century), aunt of William the Conqueror, was so named by the 17th-century genealogist Pierre de Guibours, but de Guibours' sources for this remain unknown and the application of this name may be a mistake of his.
- Eleanor of Champagne (1102–1147), recorded[year needed] as the name of the first wife of Ralph I, Count of Vermandois who was displaced by Eleanor of Aquitaine's sister Petronilla of Aquitaine, leading to a two years' war (1142–44) in Champagne.
- Eleanor of Normandy (b. 1011/1013, d. after 1071), daughter of Richard II of Normandy.
- Eleanor of Aquitaine (ca. 1122–1204), wife of Louis VII of France and Henry II of England, mother of Richard I and King John
- Eleanor of England, Queen of Castile (1161–1214), daughter of Henry II of England, wife of Alfonso VIII of Castile
- Eleanor, Fair Maid of Brittany (1184–1241), daughter of Geoffrey, Duke of Brittany
- Eleanor of Castile (1202-1244) (1202–1244), wife of James I of Aragon
- Eleanor of Leicester (1215–1275), daughter of King John of England, wife of Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester
- Eleanor of Provence (1222–1291), wife of Henry III of England, mother of Edward I
- Eleanor of Castile (1241–1290), wife of Edward I of England, mother of Edward II
- Eleanor of England, Countess of Bar (1269–1298), daughter of Edward I, betrothed to Alfonso III of Aragon, and wife of Henry III of Bar
- Eleanor of Anjou (1289-1341), daughter of Charles II of Naples and Mary of Hungary, and wife of Frederick III of Sicily
- Eleanor of Castile (1307-1359) (1307–1359), wife of Alfonso IV of Aragon
- Eleanor of Woodstock (1318–1355), daughter of Edward II, wife of Reynold II, Count of Gelderland
- Eleanor of Arborea (1347 – 1404), Sardinian judge
- Eleanor of Sicily (1349-1375), wife of Peter IV of Aragon
- Leonor Telles de Menezes (1350–1386), wife of Ferdinand I of Portugal
- Eleanor of Castile (d. 1416) (136x–1416), wife of Charles III of Navarre
- Eleanor of Viseu (1458–1525), wife of John II of Portugal
- Eleanor of Austria (1498–1558), Queen consort of Portugal (1516–1521) and of France (1530–1547)
- Eleanor Bodel (born 1948), Swedish singer
- Eleanor Gwynn (known colloquially as "Nell") (1650-1687), Restoration actress and mistress of Charles II of England
- Ulrika Eleonora of Sweden, its reigning queen 1719-1720
- Eleonora, three 17th century Swedish queens consort
- Countess Palatine Eleonora Catherine of Zweibrücken, Swedish princess
- Eleanor Marx (1855–1898), British writer and daughter of Karl Marx
- Elinor Glyn (1864–1943), British novelist
- Eleanor Porter (1868–1920), American novelist
- Eleanor Rathbone (1872–1946), British politician
- Eleanour Sinclair Rohde (1881-1950), British garden designer
- Eleanor Farjeon (1881–1965), British writer
- Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962), First Lady of U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt
- Eleanor Lansing Dulles (1895–1996), American economist and diplomat
- Elinor Wylie (1885–1928), American writer
- Eleanor Boardman (1898–1991), American actress
- Elinor Fair (1903–1957), American actress
- Eleanor Audley (1905–1991), American actress
- Eleanor Hibbert (1906–1993), British novelist
- Elinor Smith (1911–2010), American aviator
- Eleanor Powell (1912–1982), American tap dancer and actress
- Eleanor Parker (1922-2013), American actress
- Eleanor Helin (1932–2009), American astronomer
- Elinor Ostrom (1933–2012), American political scientist and Nobel prize winner
- Eleanor Duckworth (born 1935), Canadian psychologist and educator
- Elinor Donahue (born 1937), American actress
- Eleanor Holmes Norton (born 1937), American politician
- Eleanor Bron (born 1938), British actress and author
- Eleanor Montgomery (1946–2013), American high jumper
- Eleanor McEvoy (born 1967), Irish musician, singer/songwriter
- Eleanor Friedberger (born 1976), American musician
- Eleonora Dziekiewicz (born 1978), Polish volleyball player
- Eleonora "Ellen" van Dijk (born 1987), Dutch road and track cyclist
- Elinor Joseph (born 1991), Israeli soldier
- Eleanor Tomlinson (born 1992), English actress
- Eleanora, principal woman's rôle in Strindberg's 1901 Easter
- Eleanor Bishop, in the television series NCIS
- Elinor Dashwood, in the 1811 novel Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
- Eleanor of Tristain, fictional character in the novels and anime The Familiar of Zero
- Elanor Gardner, Samwise Gamgee's daughter in the The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
- Eleanor Lamb, one of the main protagonists of BioShock 2 by Irrational Games.
- Eleanor Nash, in Degrassi: The Next Generation
- Eleanor James
- Eleanor Butterbean, in the television series The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy
- Eleanor "Ellie" Arroway, in the 1985 novel Contact by Carl Sagan
- Eleanor Douglas, in the 2013 young adult novel, Eleanor & Park, written by Rainbow Rowell.
- Ellie Woodcomb aka Eleanor "Ellie" Bartowski-Woodcomb, in the television series Chuck (TV series)
- All pages with titles containing "Eleanor OR Elinor OR Elenor OR Eleanore OR Eleonora OR Eleanour OR Elynor"
- All pages beginning with "Eleano"
- All pages beginning with "Elinor"
- All pages beginning with "Elenor"
- All pages beginning with "Elynor"
- Charlotte Mary Yonge (1863). History of Christian names, Volume 1. Parker, Son, and Bourn.
- The suggestion of alia Aenor was considered "ridiculous" already by Gilles Ménage in his Histoire De Sable (1683, p. 70).
- "ELEONORE de Normandie. The Genealogica Comitum Flandriæ Bertiniana refers to 'filiam secundi Ricardi ducis Normannorum' as wife of 'Balduinum Barbatum' after the death of Ogiva. The Annalista Saxo states that the mother of Judith was 'cognatione beati Ethmundi regis', without naming her or giving a more precise origin. Guillaume de Jumièges records that Duke Richard and Judith had three daughters, of whom the second (unnamed) married 'Baudouin de Flandre'. The primary source which confirms her name has not yet been identified" (Cawley, Charles, Medieval Lands Project: NORMANDY,DUKES, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, retrieved May 2013). The first known source giving her name as Eleanor is apparently Pierre de Guibours (d. 1694). De Guibours claims to base this on the authority of William of Jumièges, but the information is not actually found there, suggesting that de Guibours drew from another source, which has not yet been identified. See George Beech in Brown (ed.) Proceedings of the Battle Conference 1986 (1989), p. 8 fn 29.
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