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The first known bearer was Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122–1204), Provençal Aliénor, perhaps from Latin alia (other) and her mother's name Aenor, its meaning thereby said to be “the other Aenor”. This Aenor seems to come from earlier Adenordis, which might be some corruption of Adamardis, feminine form of Ademar or Adamarus, from Proto-West Germanic *Audamār, from the Proto-Germanic elements *audaz (riches) + *mēraz (fame).

An Arabic origin from نُور (nūr, light) has also been suggested. Eleanor has often been erroneously interpreted as a variant of Helen.

More at Eleanor. Also see Aenor.


  • IPA(key): /ˈɛlənɚ/
  • (file)

Proper noun[edit]


  1. A female given name.
    • 1591 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Second Part of Henry the Sixt, []”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals, and the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals):
      : 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, published 2004, →ISBN, 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]