From the Old French form of the Occitan name Aliénor. It was first borne by the influential Eleanor of Aquitaine (12th century), who was the queen of Louis VII, the king of France, and later Henry II, the king of England. She was named Aenor after her mother, and was called by the Occitan phrase alia Aenor "the other AENOR" in order to distinguish her from her mother. Aenor is probably a Latinized form of a Germanic name of unknown meaning. This was the name of the mother of Eleanor of Aquitaine. May also be related to Helen, the English form of the Greek ‘Ελενη (Helene), probably from Greek ‘ελενη (helene) "torch" or "corposant", or possibly related to σεληνη (selene) "moon".
The popularity of the name Eleanor in England during the Middle Ages was due to the fame of Eleanor of Aquitaine, as well as two queens of the following century: Eleanor of Provence, the wife of Henry III, and Eleanor of Castile, the wife of Edward I. More recently, it was borne by first lady Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), the wife of American president Franklin Roosevelt. - quoted from Behind The Name
Eleanor started being more popular in the late 1890's and reached #25 in 1920 in the USA, then by the 1940's it went back to being out of the top 100 in the USA. Today Eleanor rates #60 in England and Wales, #78 in the USA, #82 in Australia and #88 in Canada.
Eleanor is unfortunately not on my family tree but I do love it so much! One of my favorite Jane Austen characters is Eleanor Tilney from Northanger Abbey and I also love Elinor Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility. I also like Eleanor with nickname Lena or Ellie. My favorite combos are Eleanor Mary, Eleanor Sally and Eleanor Amelia.
What do you think of the name Eleanor?
Do you know anyone with this name?
What other names would you pair it with?