Finn (EH-lee-nah); Germ/Swe/Nor (eh-LEE-nah)
The name is possibly a Finnish and Belorussian form of Helen. It is also a common name in Central Asia, particularly in Chechnya and Uzbekistan, but in this case, the name is of uncertain meaning.
The name may have been popularized in Finland via the 15th-century ballad The Death of Elina (Elina Surma), published by Elias Lönnrot in the Kanteletar (1840). The ballad recounts the murder of Elina by her husband after he finds her with a lover.
It is also the name of a genus of butterfly.
Currently, it is the 35th most popular female name in German-speaking Switerland, (2010). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:
- # 87 (Sweden, 2010)
- # 114 (France, 2009)
- # 115 (Germany, 2011)
- # 317 (Netherlands, 2010)