Nell

Gender: Feminine
Origin: English
(NEL)

The name was originally a diminutive form of Eleanor; one theory suggest that it is a corruption of a term of endearment, mine El, becoming Nel.

The name was borne by Nell Gwyn (1650-1687), the mistress of Charles II of England. Nell Gwyn is a sort of folk heroin, often glamorized as the embodiment of Restoration England and considered one of Britain’s first female actors.

The name has been used as an independent given name since at least the 19th-century as Nell was at one time the 144th most popular female name in the United States, (1886).

As of 2011, Nell does not appear in the U.S. top 1000 but she is the 394th most popular female name in France, (2010).

Eleanor

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Occitanian
Meaning: “the other Aenor”
Eng (EL-e-NOR)

The name is derived from the Latin Alia Aenor, which literally means, the “other Aenor”, according to most historical sources, the most notable bearer, Eleanor of Aquitaine, was named for her mother Aenor and as a way to distinguish her from her mother, she was dubbed Alia Aenor.

The meaning of Aenor is uncertain, but may be connected to the Latin verb ienire, meaning “to heal.”

The name was borne by Eleanor of Aquitaine, known in Old French as Aliénor d’Aquitaine, (1122-1204), the daughter of William X, Duke of Aquitaine, she grew up to be one of the most powerful people in medieval Western Europe and became Queen Consort of both France and England.

Her popularity throughout France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and England. It was also borne by two other queens, Eleanor of Provence and Eleanor of Castile, the former was canonized a saint.

Eleanor has produced several other common offshoots, such as Lenore, the name of the departed love in Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, The Raven (1845); Elnora and Nora.

In modern American history, it was borne by First Lady and humanitarian, Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962).

It is currently the name of the crown princess Infanta of Spain, Leonor.

Currently, Eleanor is the 61st most popular female name in England/Wales, (2010). She is currently the 165th most popular female name in the United States, (2010). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 2 (Leonor, Portugal, 2010)
  • # 125 (Eléonore, France, 2009)

Common English diminutives include: Ella, Ellie, Nell, Nellie and Nora.

Other forms include:

  • Eleanora (Breton/Norwegian
  • Elionor (Catalan)
  • Eleonora Елеонор (Belarusian/Czech/Danish/Dutch/Faroese/Icelandic/Italian/Polish/Swedish)
  • Elenora (Danish)
  • Eleanor (English/Estonian/Romanian)
  • Elnora (English)
  • Lenora (English)
  • Leonora (English/German/Italian/Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Lenore (English/German)
  • Nell (English: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name)
  • Nellie (English: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name)
  • Nora (English/Italian: originally a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name)
  • Eleonoora (Finnish)
  • Noora (Finnish)
  • Éléonore (French)
  • Eleonore (German)
  • Eleōnora Ελεωνόρα (Greek: Modern)
  • Eleonóra (Hungarian/Slovak)
  • Lenóra (Hungarian)
  • Elenóra (Icelandic)
  • Nóra (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Nóirín/Noreen (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Elianora/Elinora (Italian)
  • Noretta (Italian)
  • Norina (Italian)
  • Alienora (Late Latin)
  • Léionore (Norman)
  • Ellinor/Elinor (Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Alienòr (Occitanian)
  • Leonor (Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Aliénor (Provençal)
  • Alenora Альенора (Russian)
  • Eilidh (Scots-Gaelic: originally a diminutive form, now very popular as an independent given name)
  • Eilionoir (Scots-Gaelic)
  • Elna (Swedish: contracted form).

The designated name-day is February 22.

German diminutives are: Lola, Lorle, Lore, Nora and Nordel.

A Dutch diminutive is Noortje.

Hungarian diminutives include: Ella, Leonorka, Lóra, Lórácska, Lóri, Nelli, Nóra, Norcsi, Nóri and Nórici.

Sources

  1. http://www.askoxford.com/firstnames/eleanor?view=uk
  2. http://www.behindthename.com/php/find.php?name=eleanor
  3. Alison Weir, Eleanor of Aquitaine: A Life, Ballantine Books, 2001
  4. Kálmán BélaA nevek világa
  5. Marion MeadeEleanor of Aquitaine: a biography, Hawthorn Books, 1977
  6. Régine PernoudEleanor of Aquitaine, Coward-McCann, 1968

Lore

The name could either be from a German diminutive form of Eleonore or it could be from the Basque meaning, “flower.”

As of 2008, Lore was the 11th most popular female name in Belgium.

Its Italian and Spanish form of Lora was the 98th most popular female name in Croatia, (2009).

In either case the name is pronounced (LOH-reh).

Another Basque form is Lorea.

Noor

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Dutch
(NOOR)

The usage of this name is actually somewhat debated. It could be a Dutch short form of Eleanor, or it could be a variant transcription of the Arabic unisex name نور which is derived from the Arabic word for “light.”

Its usage as a male or female name shifts throughout the Islamic world, in the Arabic-speaking world, it tends to be used as a female name, while in the Turkic world, it tends to be used as a masculine name. Its original usage was in reference to the 24th sura of the Qu’ran.

The name is borne by the former Queen Noor of Jordan who was born as Lisa Najeeb Halaby (b.1951). Upon her marriage to King Hussein she took the Islamic name of Noor Al-Hussein (Light of Hussein).

Other notable and interesting bearers include: Noor Inayat Khan (1914-1944) a British British Special Operations Executive agent and heroin of WWII.

It was also borne by a Mughal Empress, Nur Jahan (1577-1645)

Nur is often used more as a name element in many Kazakh, Tatar and Uzbek given names, both male and female depending on the second element of the name.

Feminine offshoots of its Arabic version include:

  • Nour (Algerian/Moroccan/Tunisian)
  • Nuriya (Amharic)
  • Nura نورة (Arabic/Azeri)
  • Nur Нур (Chechen/Tatar)
  • Nuret Нурет (Circassian)
  • Nuraj Нурай (Kazakh. NOO-rye)
  • Nurija Нурія (Kazakh. NOO-ree-yah)
  • Nursha Нурша (Kazakh: NOOR-shah)
  • Nura Нурa (Tatar)
  • Nuru (Swahili)

Male forms

  • Nur (Afghan/Amharic/Kyrgyz/Ughur/Urdu/Turkish)
  • Nuri (Amharic)
  • Nuru (Amharic/Azeri)
  • Nuro (Kurdish)
Noor is also the name of a river in Belgium.
As of 2008, Noor was the 15th most popular female name in Belgium and the 31st most popular in the Netherlands, (2010).