The name has several possible derivations, the most popular being that it is a Czech contracted form of Magdalena or Helena. Other sources contend that it is derived from an archaic Russian diminutive form of Olga or Alexandra. It has even been suggested to be an earlier Czech feminine form of Alan.
It is possible that it is derived from the Norman female name, Alenn, again, a form of Magdalena.
In Belarus, the name used as a form of Helen.
Currently, it is 226th most popular female name in Germany, (2011).
Other forms of the name include:
- Alena (Belarusian/Croatian/Czech/German/Russian/Slovak/Slovene)
- Aléna (Hungarian)
- Alenka (Slovene)
In Czech and Slovak, Alenka is the diminutive form.
The name is borne by Czech supermodel Alena Šeredová Buffon (b.1978).