Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Name of the Day: Helena

Today's Name of the Day is Helena. This name is the Latin form of the name Helen, which has a ton of history. Most notably, there is Helen of Troy who was the daughter of Zeus and Leda in Greek mythology. She was kidnapped by Paris and was the cause of the great Trojan War. And a more modern example was Helen Keller who overcame being blind and deaf.

While Helen is a strong name, I prefer the girlier Helena. I like to pronounce it Hel-AY-na as opposed to Hel-EN-ah, but both are pretty!

This Latin name means "bright, shining one" which is a lovely meaning. Helena was used for two characters in Shakespeare's works, one in "All's Well That Ends Well" and one in "A Midsummer's Night Dream."  Another Helena was a 4th-century saint who was the mother of the Roman emperor Constantine.

The name Helena translates well around the world. In 2012, it ranked at #560 in the US, #328 in England/Wales, #194 in France and #243 in the Netherlands. It is even more popular in Austria (#30), Croatia (#35) Poland (#45) and Belgium (#55).

As for Helena's history in the US, it has always been in the Top 1000, except for 1992 when it dipped down to #1008. It has been a fairly consistent name. It's largest popularity spikes occurred in 1918 with 488 babies born, and 2006 with 595 babies born.

Still, if you consider the 200-500 or so babies born every year named Helena, this name is not very popular when compared to names that spike up to 10,000+ births a year.

I would say this is is a very lovely, classic choice that is both familiar but not overly used. What do you think of Helena? How do you pronounce it? Do you prefer Helen or Ellen instead?  Let me know below!

Sibling Name Ideas:
Sisters: Catherine, Esther, Freya, Isabella, Lucille, Sophia
Brothers: Arthur, Daniel, Edward, James, Michael, Thomas

Middle Name Ideas:
Helena Simone
Helena Juliet
Helena Eve
Helena Mabel
Helena Jane

As a Middle Name:
Natalie Helena
Lucy Helena
Violet Helena
June Helena
Alice Helena

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