Lena

Eng (LEE-nuh; LAY-nuh); Germ (LEH-nah)

The name is currently very popular in German-speaking countries and the most popular consensus is that it is a contraction of Magdalena or Helena.

It also happens to be the name of a river in Siberia, of which, Lenin took his name. Lena’s usage in Russia may be in reference to the river, but I have been unable to confirm if this is so.

In Poland, its usage as an independent given name is recorded as early as 1418, though the name did not become popular in Poland until the last 10 years.

It was also very in vogue at the turn of the 20th-century in the United States.

It is currently the 3rd most popular female name in Austria, (2010) and her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 9 (Poland, 2010)
  • # 10 (Germany, 2011)
  • # 16 (France, 2009)
  • # 44 (Belgium, 2009)
  • # 47 (Hungary, 2010)
  • # 68 (Croatian, 2010)
  • # 83 (Ireland, 2010)
  • # 94 (Slovenia, 2010)
  • # 121 (Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 382 (United States, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Lena Лена (Croatian/Dutch/English/French/German/Hungarian/Italian/Polish/Russian/Scandinavian/Slovene/Ukrainian)
  • Lenka Ленка (Czech/Slovak/Slovene/Serbian/Sorbian)
  • Lene (Danish/German/Norwegian)
  • Leni (Danish/German)
  • Lenette (Danish)
  • Lenna (Estonian)
  • Leena (Finnish)
  • Leeni (Finnish)
  • Lenke (Hungarian)
  • Lejna (Sorbian)
  • Leńka (Sorbian)
The name was borne by singer, actress and civil rights activist, Lena Horne (1917-2010). It is also borne by Swedish actress, Lena Olin (b.1955) and Swedish pop singer, Lena Philipsson (b.1966)
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