The name Eleanor is primarily a female name of French origin that has an unknown or unconfirmed meaning.
The name Eleanor may be derived from the name Aliénor. The meaning of the name is debated, but it is thought to possibly mean "the other Aenor" or "foreign Aenor." Aenor itself is a Germanic name that means "merciful."
Eleanor became a popular name in England during the Middle Ages, thanks to the influence of Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, who was one of the most powerful and influential women of her time. She was the wife of King Henry II of England and the mother of King Richard the Lionheart and King John. After her marriage, Eleanor introduced the name to the English nobility, and it quickly became popular among the upper classes.
The name has a number of variations and nicknames, such as Ellen, Ellie, and Nell, among others.
Five famous people named Eleanor include:
Eleanor Roosevelt: A prominent American political figure and humanitarian, who served as the First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945 during the presidency of her husband, Franklin D. Roosevelt. She was also a delegate to the United Nations and a champion of human rights.
Eleanor of Aquitaine: Queen Consort of France and later Queen Consort of England as the wife of King Henry II. She was known for her intelligence, political savvy, and patronage of the arts.
Eleanor Tomlinson: An English actress best known for her roles in television series such as "Poldark" and "The White Queen," as well as in films like "Jack the Giant Slayer" and "Colette."
Eleanor Catton: A New Zealand author who won the Man Booker Prize in 2013 for her novel "The Luminaries." She is the youngest-ever winner of the prestigious award.
Eleanor Coppola: An American film director, producer, and screenwriter, known for her work on the documentary "Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse" and the feature film "Paris Can Wait." She is also the wife of filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola.
Five fictional characters named Eleanor include:
Eleanor Shellstrop: A character from the television series "The Good Place." Eleanor, played by Kristen Bell, is a woman who wakes up in the afterlife and must confront her past mistakes in order to earn a place in the "good place."
Eleanor Arroway: The main character in the novel "Contact" by Carl Sagan and its subsequent film adaptation. Eleanor, played by Jodie Foster in the film, is a brilliant astronomer who makes contact with extraterrestrial life.
Eleanor "Nell" Vance: The protagonist of the horror novel "The Haunting of Hill House" by Shirley Jackson. Eleanor, played by Julie Harris in the film adaptation, is a shy and reclusive woman who becomes obsessed with the supernatural events that occur in the titular haunted house.
Eleanor Douglas: A character from the young adult novel "Eleanor and Park" by Rainbow Rowell. Eleanor is a quirky and artistic high school student who falls in love with Park, a Korean-American boy.
Eleanor Henstridge: A character from the television series "The Royals." Eleanor, played by Alexandra Park, is the daughter of the fictional King of England and is known for her wild behavior and rebellious attitude.
Click button to listen on iTunes