Helen

Helen is the name of a figure in Greek mythology, the daughter of the god Zeus and the Spartan queen Leda. Helen was considered one of the most beautiful women in the world and her kidnapping by Paris led to the Trojan war, which lasted for 10 years, led to the destruction of the city of Troy, and was immortalized in the Iliad and Odyssey.

The origin of Helen is uncertain although it’s been linked to Ancient Greek helene meaning “torch”, likely in reference to something that shines or illuminates; another possible origin is Ancient Greek selene “moon”.

Origin: uncertain though it may be derived from a pre-Greek source

Meaning: uncertain though it’s been linked to Ancient Greek helene “torch” or selene “moon”

Usage: English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Latinized Ancient Greek

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Variants:

  • Elena (Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Slovak, Lithuanian, Russian, Greek, German, English)
  • Elene (Georgian, Sardinian)
  • Eleni (Modern Greek)
  • Helena (English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Portuguese, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Finnish, Estonian, Slovene, Croatian)
  • Helene (French, English, Ancient Greek, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, German)
  • Hélène (French)
  • Heléna (Hungarian)
  • Elin (Scandinavian, Welsh, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish)
  • Elīna (Latvian)
  • Helēna (Latvian)
  • Elēna (Latvian)
  • Jeļena (Latvian)
  • Elina (Finnish, Swedish)
  • Eliina (Finnish)
  • Heleena (Finnish)
  • Eline (Norwegian, Danish, Dutch)
  • Ileana (Romanian, Spanish, Italian)
  • Yelena (Russian)
  • Alyona (originally a Russian diminutive of Yelena)
  • Elaine (English, Old French)
  • Elaina (English)
  • Alena (Belarusian)
  • Jelena (Serbian, Croatian, Estonian, Slovene, Lithuanian)
  • Heleen (Dutch)
  • Ellen (English)
  • Léan (Irish)
  • Olena (Ukrainian)
  • Elen (Welsh)

 

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