Girl Baby Name

Elena

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4.5 / 5
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Quick Facts on Elena

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • Italian, Spanish
  • Number of syllables:
  • 3
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 132
Pronunciation:
eh-LAY-na
Simple meaning:
Ray, sunbeam

Characteristics of Elena

  • Independent
  • Individualistic
  • Ambitious
  • Strong-willed
  • Inventive
  • Successful

Etymology & Historical Origin - Elena

The name Elena is the Italian and Spanish version of the name Helen which originated from the Greek Hēlēnē, the name of the famous beauty of the Trojan War story in Greek mythology. There are two possible etymologies for this name. One, it’s a form of “hēlios” which is the Greek word for ‘sun’ so Helen is thought to mean ‘ray or sunbeam.’ Secondly, it could be the Greek word for “Greek” (Hellēn) but this is not widely held. Given the legendary beauty of Helen of Troy (the face that could launch a thousand ships), a sunbeam or ray of light seems much more fitting. (For more information, see the name Helen.) In any case, this ancient name of Greek origin produced many variations throughout Europe such as Helen, Hélѐne, Ellen, Elaine, Eleanor, Ella and even Nell. Elena just so happens to be the Italian and Spanish form of Helen.

Popularity of the Name Elena

The name Elena has been in use in America for well over 100 years; however, its popularity has been moderate at best. The name starts off the 20th century at relatively low usage, but has been climbing quietly up the charts ever since. As the Spanish version of the name Helen, Elena’s usage is more than likely influenced by the growing Latino and Hispanic population in the United States, but the name is also widely adopted by those of English-speaking descent. Evidence of this can be found at a state level. Elena is a Top 100 favorite in New Mexico, which has the highest concentration per capita of Latinos in the country (46% of the population is Hispanic and Latino). However, Elena is also on the Top 100 list of most-favored girls’ names in the states of Rhode Island (12% Hispanic/Latino) and New Hampshire (only 3% Hispanic/Latino). Elena is a soft and lyrical three-syllable name that’s easy to say and quick to spell. Having originated from the romance languages, Elena sounds so much more poetic than the harsher Helen. In fact, the name Elena is beautiful enough to launch a thousand ships herself!
Popularity of the Girl Name Elena
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Elena

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Elena

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Elena

    Elena We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Elena.

  • Popular Songs on Elena

    Popular Songs on Elena

    Maria Elena - a song by Jim Reeves

    Maria Elena - a song by the Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

    Maria Elena - a song by Ry Cooder

    Maria Elena - a song by The Smithereens

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Elena

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Elena

    Elena (Diane Stanley) - The moving story of one woman's struggle to obtain an education, marry the man of her choice, and survive the Mexican Revolution. Stanley's fictional account, based on true events, follows Elena through all her difficulties and intertwines not only the history of Mexico, but also the cultural attitudes of the early 1900s. A fascinating character study. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Elena's Serenade (Campbell Geeslin) - A delightfully fresh take on the "anything you can do, I can do better" theme, Elena's Serenade follows a feisty little Mexican girl on a quest to prove to her father--and herself--that she can be a glassblower, even if she is a girl. Magic realism abounds as Elena journeys (dressed as a boy) to Monterrey to learn from the great glassblowers. Along the way she meets a burro, a roadrunner, and a coyote, helping each of them accomplish their goals as she blows tunes through her father's cast-off glassblowing pipe. Arriving in Monterrey, our little "muchacho" is mocked at first, but soon silences her detractors (who continue to think she's a boy) when she creates beautiful glass stars through her pipe. If only her Papa could see what she can do! Perhaps if she blows a giant bird (golondrina), she can fly home. A lovely story penned by Campbell Geeslin, with lyrical acrylic and crayon art by the illustrator of Jonah Winter's Frida, Ana Juan. Readers will revel in the whole experience--words, pictures, message, and all. (review by Emilie Coulter). Recommended for ages 4-8.

  • Famous People Named Elena

    Famous People Named Elena

    Famous People Named Elena - Elena Anaya (Spanish actress); Elena Baltacha (tennis player); Elena Berezhnaya (figure skater); Elena Grushina (figure skater); Elena Liashenko (figure skater); Elena Nikolaidi (opera singer); Elena Souliotis (opera singer)

  • Children of Famous People Named Elena

    Children of Famous People Named Elena

    Famous People who Named their Daughter Elena - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Elena.

  • Historic Figures

    Elena - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Elena - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Elena.

Personality of the Girl Name Elena

The number one personality is a leader - strong and competitive. They are willing to initiate action and take risks. One personalities work hard toward their endeavors and have the ability to apply their creative and innovative thinking skills with strong determination. They believe in their ability to succeed and are too stubborn to be hindered by obstacles. Ones meet obstacles head-on with such mental vigor and energy that you better step aside. They resent taking orders, so don't try telling them what to do either. This is an intensely active personality, but they are also known as starters rather than finishers. They have a propensity to become bored and will move quickly to the next project if not properly challenged.  They are the ones to think up and put into action new and brilliant ideas, but they are not the ones to stick around and manage them. This personality has an enthusiastic and pioneering spirit. They are distinctly original.

Variations of the Baby Name - Elena

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