Gender: Feminine
Origin: English

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).


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.


  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

Cornelia, Cornelius

Origin: Latin
Meaning: “horn.”
Eng (kore-NEE-lee-ah); (kore-NEE-lee-us).

The names are ultimately derived from a Roman clan name, known as the Cornelii, they were one of the most distinguished and influential clans in both the Roman Republic and Empire. Infact, it is believed that over %30 percent of all consulships were held by members of the Cornelii.

The name is believed to be derived from the Latin word cornu meaning “horn.”

The name is found in the New Testament, in the Acts, as the name of the first gentile convert to Christianity. The female counterpart was borne in history by Cornelia Africana, (2nd century B.C.E), the mother of the reformers known as the Gracchi brothers.

Other forms of the names include:

  • Kerneels (Afrikaans)
  • Kornel (Czech/Polish/Slovak)
  • Cornelis/Kornelis (Dutch)
  • Corneel/Korneel (Dutch)
  • Cees/Cor/Corné/Kees/Neel/Nelis (Dutch: diminutive forms that are sometimes used as independent given names)
  • Cornel/Cornelius (English)
  • Corneille (French: more common form)
  • Cornélius (French)
  • Cornelius/Kornelius (German: diminutives include, Corni, Corny, Neli and Nelli).
  • Niels (German/Dutch: originally a diminutive form, now used exclusively as an independent given name)
  • Kornél (Hungarian: 59th most popular male name of 2005 in Hungary)
  • Cornelio (Italian: diminutive form is Nello)
  • Korneli/Korneliusz (Polish: diminutive is Kornelek)
  • Cornélio (Portuguese)
  • Cornel/Corneliu (Romanian)
  • Cornel (Romansch)
  • Cornelio (Spanish)

Feminine forms include:

  • Kornelia (Czech/German/Polish: Polish diminutive form is Kornelka)
  • Cornelia (Dutch/English/German/Italian/Romanian/Spanish/Swedish: Dutch diminutive forms are Cokkie. In 2007, Cornelia was the 61st most popular female name in Sweden)
  • Neele (Dutch: originally a diminutive form, used as an independent given name)
  • Cornélie (French)
  • Nele (German: initially a diminutive form, now used as an independent given name, and currently very trendy in German speaking countries NEL-e)
  • Kornélia (Hungarian/Slovakian)

English diminutive forms for males are Corey and Neil, and for females they are usually Corey, Nell or Nellie.

Name-days are September 16/November 16 (Austria/Germany), December 17 (Slovakia)


Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek
Eng (pen-NEL-uh-PEE)

The name is of uncertain origins, many scholars believe that the name is pre-Hellenistic and is related to an ancient word, penelops (πηνελοψ), which means “duck,” others argue that the name is Greek compound name composed of the elements, pene (πηνη) meaning “threads.”  Many scholars feel that the latter is the most appropriate since it was the name of Odysseus wife who kept her suitors at bay by pretending to weave.

The name appears in Greek mythology as the name of a wood nymph who was speculated to be the mother of the god Pan.

The name is occasionally used in German, Italian,

Other forms of the name include:

  • Penèlope (Catalan)
  • Penelopa (Croatian/Polish/Romanian/Serbian: Pela, Pelka and Pelcia are the Polish diminutives)
  • Pénélope (French)
  • Penelópē Πηνελόπεια/Πηνελόπη (Greek)
  • Pénelopé (Hungarian)
  • Penelopė (Lithuanian)
  • Penelopeia (Norwegian/Danish/Swedish)
  • Penélope (Spanish/Portuguese)

The name is currenly borne by Spanish actress Penelope Cruz.

Possible English nickname options, include, Penny, Poppy, Lola, and Nell.