Elaine

Elaine is an Old French form of Helen, the English form of Greek Helene  an Ancient Greek name of uncertain etymology though it’s been linked to Greek helene meaning “torch” or “corposant”, though it might also be linked to selene meaning “moon”. There are several characters in Arthurian legend named Elaine, such as the name of the mother of Lancelot; Elaine of Corbenic, the mother of Lancelot’s illegitimate son Galahad; and Elaine of Astolat, who features in Lord Alfred Tennyson’s poem The Lady of Shalott, a maiden who falls into an unrequited love with Lancelot.

Origin: Ancient Greek

 

Variants:

  • Elayne (English)
  • Elaina (English)
  • Elene (Georgian, Sardinian)
  • Elena (Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Slovak, Lithuanian, Russian, Greek, German, Medieval Slavic, English)

 

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Ella

Ella comes from Germanic element alja meaning “other, another, foreign” and from which the name Eleanor/Alianor comes from. Ella could also be a nickname for names beginning and ending with ella such as Gabriella (feminine form of Gabriel meaning “God is my strong man” or “God is my strength”) and Daniella (feminine form of Daniel meaning “God is my judge”), Elizabeth (meaning “God is an oath” or “my God is abundance”) and Eleanor, which comes from Old French form of Occitan name Aliénor which could mean “the other Aenor” from Latin alia meaning “another” and the given name Aenor, possibly a Germanic name of unknown meaning, though it’s been linked to Adenorde or Adenor, made up of Germanic elements adal (noble) and nord (north), or even as a contracted form of Azenor, a Breton name of uncertain meaning and etymology though it could also be derived from Breton enor “honor”. Another possible origin of Eleanor is that it originated from the name Helen, an Ancient Greek name of uncertain etymology though it’s been linked to Greek helene meaning “torch” or “corposant”, though it might also be linked to selene meaning “moon ”. Ella is also the Spanish and Italian word for “she”.

Origin: Ancient Germanic, Hebrew, Latin, Ancient Greek

Variants:

  • Alia (Ancient Germanic)

 

Lenora

Lenora is a short form of Elenora, a variant form of Eleanor which comes from Old French form of Occitan name Aliénor which could mean “the other Aenor” from Latin alia meaning “another” and the given name Aenor, possibly a Germanic name of unknown meaning, though it’s been linked to Adenorde or Adenor, made up of Germanic elements adal (noble) and nord (north), or even as a contracted form of Azenor, a Breton name of uncertain meaning and etymology though it could also be derived from Breton enor “honor”. Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen Consort of France and England during the 12th century, is said to have been named after her mother Aenor, and Aliénor distinguished her as the other Aenor. However, since the name had been used well before Eleanor of Aquitaine’s birth, it seems likely that that particular meaning was only used for mother and daughter.

Another possible origin of Eleanor is that it originated from the name Helen, an Ancient Greek name of uncertain etymology though it’s been linked to Greek helene meaning “torch” or “corposant”, though it might also be linked to selene meaning “moon ”

Origin: Germanic, Latin, Ancient Greek

Variants:

  • Elenora (English)
  • Eleanora (English)
  • Lenore (English)
  • Leanora (English)
  • Alienor (Occitan)
  • Aliénor (Occitan)
  • Alianor (French, English)
  • Alienora (Latin)

 

Helena

Helena is the Latinate form of Helen, the English form of Helene, an Ancient Greek name of uncertain etymology though it’s been linked to Greek helene meaning “torch” or “corposant”, though it might also be linked to selene meaning “moon”. Helena has different pronounciations depending on where you’re from. It’s he-LE-nah, hay-LAY-nah or he-le-nah. I prefer the he-le-nah pronounciation.

Origin: Ancient Greek

Variants:

  • Helen (English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Greek)
  • Helene (Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Greek,
  • Heleen (Dutch)

 

Brandy

Brandy is the name of an alcoholic drink, the shortened for of brandywine which is derived from Dutch brandewijn meaning “distilled wine” or “burnt wine”. It could also be a short form, or a feminine form, of Brandon, an English surname derived from a place name meaning “hill covered with broom” from Old English brom (broom, gorse) and dun (hill), likely referring to someone who lived near a place covered with gorse or broom shrubs.

However, Brandon could also be derived from Old French brandon from Frankish *brand meaning “firebrand, torch, sword” which ultimately comes from Proto-Germanic *brandaz, a cognate of Old Norse brandr.

Origin: Dutch, Old English, Proto-Germanic

 

Variants:

  • Brandee (English)
  • Brandi (English)
  • Brandie (English)
  • Brande (English)
  • Branda (English)

 

Male forms:

  • Brandon
  • Branden

 

Brandon

Brandon is from an English surname derived from a place name meaning “hill covered with broom” from Old English brom (broom, gorse) and dun (hill), likely referring to someone who lived near a place covered with gorse or broom shrubs.

However, Brandon could also be derived from Old French brandon from Frankish *brand meaning “firebrand, torch, sword” which ultimately comes from Proto-Germanic *brandaz, a cognate of Old Norse brandr.

It could also be a various form of Brendan, an Irish name derived from Welsh brenin meaning “prince” from Celtic brigantinos meaning “king, prince”, “lord” or “high one”.

Origin: Old English, Proto-Germanic, Old Norse, Celtic

Variants:

  • Branden (English)
  • Brendan (Irish, English)

 

Elena

Origin: Greek

Meaning: Elena is a cognate of Helen, the English form of Helene, a name of uncertain etymology though it could be related to Greek helene meaning “torch” or “corposant”, though it might also be linked to selene meaning “moon”.

Elena is also a variant transcription of Yelena, which is the Russian form of Helen.

Variants:

  • Elene (Georgian)
  • Helen (Greek, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish)
  • Helena (German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Portuguese, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Finnish, Estonian, Slovene, Croatian, English)
  • Helene (English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish)
  • Elin (Scandinavian, Welsh, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish)
  • Elina (Finnish, Swedish)
  • Ileana (Romanian, Spanish, Italian)
  • Yelena (Russian)
  • Eleni (Modern Greek)
  • Elaine (Old French form of Helen)