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”).
- A female given name.
- 1591, William Shakespeare, “The Second Part of Henry the Sixt, […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, (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 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 - - -