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- A diminutive of the female given names Eleanor, Ellen and Helen.
- 1591, William Shakespeare, “The Second Part of Henry the Sixt, with the Death of the Good Duke Hvmfrey”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals):: Act i, Scene 2:
- O Nell, sweet Nell, if thou does love thy lord,
- Banish the canker of ambitious thoughts;