Eloise

Gender: Feminine
Origin: French
Meaning: “wide and healthy.”
Eng (EL-o-eez, el-o-EEZ )

The name is an anglicized form of the Old French, Héloïse which is derived from the Germanic name Helewidis, composed of the elements heil (healthy) and wide (wide). The meaning of the name is probably in reference of the parents wishing for an overweight child. In the early Medieval world, being overweight was a sign of wealth and health, especially in the harsh climes of Northern Europe.

The name was borne by a Medieval French philosopher, writer, nun, scholar and abbess, Héloïse d’Argenteuil (1101-1164). She and her lover Abelard are the source of many medieval romances. According to the story, Héloïse became a nun after her jealous uncle castrated her lover, who she was legally yet secretly married to at the time.

The name was also borne by a few early French saints.

In England, the name has been in usage since at least after the Norman Conquest. The common Medieval English form was Helewis, which died off and was later replaced by Eloise in the 19th-century.

Eloise is also the name of a series of childrens’ books written by Kay Thompson in the 1950s.

Currently, its Portuguese form of Heloisa is the 35th most popular female name in Brazil, (2011). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 61 (France, Éloïse, 2009)
  • # 93 (France, Héloïse, 2009)
  • # 530 (United States, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Eloiza (Azeri)
  • Heloïsa (Catalan)
  • Eloise (English/Swedish)
  • Helewis (English)
  • Éloïse (French)
  • Héloïse (French)
  • Helewidis (German)
  • Heloisa (German)
  • Eloisa (Italian)
  • Eloisia (Italian)
  • Heloiza (Polish)
  • Heloísa (Portuguese)
  • Jeloíza Элои́за (Russian)
  • Eloísa (Spanish)

 

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