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The first known bearer was Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122–1204), Provençal Aliénor, possibly from Germanic or Latin ali(a) "other" and her mother's name Aenor. It's meaning thereby said to be 'the other Aenor'. Arabic origin has also been suggested. Eleanor has often been erroneously interpreted as a variant of Helen.

Proper noun[edit]


  1. A female given name.
    • 1593, William Shakespeare, King Henry VI, Part 2: Act I, Scene II:
      Nay, Eleanor, then must I chide outright: / Presumptuous dame! ill-nurtured Eleanor! / Art thou not second woman in the realm, / And the protector's wife, belov'd of him?
    • 1866 William 'Wilkie' Collins: Armadale. Kissinger Publishing 2004. ISBN 1417911972 page 288:
      When you hear a young lady called Eleanor, you think of a tall, beautiful, interesting creature directly - the very opposite of me! With my personal appearance, Eleanor sounds ridiculous - and Neelie, as you yourself remarked, is just the thing. No! no! don't say any more - - -

Related terms[edit]