Helene: Meaning, Popularity, Origin of Baby Name Helene
Origin of the name Helene:
Greek name derived from the root ēlē (light, torch, bright). The name is borne in Greek legend by the beautiful wife of the king of Sparta. Her abduction by the Trojan prince Paris sparked off the Trojan War.
From A World of Baby Names by Teresa Norman.
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- Comments and insights on the name Helene: | Edit
Thinking about this name for baby on the way. Have known a Helene, always thought it was a nice name; suggested it to my husband and he loved it, so it's our front runner. Of course now I am reading on the Web how there is confusion about how to pronounce it. The one person I knew with the name pronounced it "huh'-leen" which I thought was perfect. The other commenter on this thread sounds like the name is pronounced the same as "helena" ("hel'-aina"?) which wasn't what I had in mind. Love the look of "Helene" and the sound that I had in mind ... but am worried now about saddling a future daughter with a name no one can pronounce? We want a distinctive name but not one that will be wacky. Any thoughts much appreciated.
It is pronunced huh-leen it as my great grandmother's name and she turned out just fine
It can be pronounced in a variety of ways. I am one and mine is pronounced /helaine/.
- Personal experiences with the name Helene: | Edit
My mother's name is Helene. She was born in the late 30's to Irish immigrant parents, and apparently my grandmother was going to name her "Helen" but her doctor suggested adding an "e". It is pronounced "heh-LEEN." As others have noted, she is occasionally called "Helen" and needs to spell her name for people ("Helen with an e"), but otherwise, she has a beautiful, as well as rare but traditional/classical name. I am considering it if we have a daughter
My daughter's name is Helene. We picked the name because it is beautiful, is nice for a girl but also an adult and works well with the German and Russian parts of our family (read: the grandparents from both sides of the family can pronounce it without difficulties). In German the name used to be common but is now considered a bit old-fashioned but not in a bad way. The Russian equivalent "Elena" is a very popular name today. However, living in the US a lot of people have problems pronouncing the name properly and some people simply assume that it is Helena and "Helene" is a misspelling or a type-o.
My name is Helene, pronounced "Huh-leen." Teachers have always had trouble pronouncing my name, usually completely ignoring the third e and calling me "Helen." But I just correct them and it's no big deal. Sometimes I complain about how no one can ever pronounce my name right, but really I'm proud that I have an original name and I wouldn't want to change it. Parents may be hesitant to name their children "Helene" because they don't want to saddle their child with a name no one will be able to pronounce, but once you explain to the person how Helene is pronounced there's no problem with it, and it's a very nice name that I have gotten compliments on many times throughout my life.
I am a Helene and mine is pronounced 'Heh-len', the way Helen would be pronounced if both 'e' were pronounced as 'eh' and not the second as 'uh'. In my opinion you wouldn't have much problem with people's pronunciation as people always assume my name is pronounced either Heh-leen or Heh-lain, followed by Heh-len-ah or even Heh-lun or Heh-len-eey. After a few corrections people can pronounce mine and I'd say it's one of the more uncommon pronunciations (never met anyone with the same pronunciation so far) and Heh-leen or Heh-lain are definitely people's first guesses in my experience. I've chosen to use a nickname throughout my teenage years but that was my own choice, mainly as I loved the nickname Lenny and find it suits me, however I have never disliked my real name and would definitely never change it! Now that I'm an adult I also use Helene and when people know me better they can call me Lenny, along with some people who really struggled to pronounce it (I work with many Spanish speakers).
- Nicknames for Helene: | Edit
Lena, Lene, Lenchen (German diminutive), Len (Russian diminutive), Laney, Lenie
- Meanings and history of the name Helene: | Edit
From Greek, variation of Helen, meaning "light". It is the standard French and German form of the name, spelled Hélène in French.
In English, it may be pronouced either "huh-LEEN" or "heh-LAINE". In German, it is pronounced "heh-LAY-neh". In French, it is pronounced "eh-LEN".
- Famous real-life people named Helene: | Edit
Hélène Cixous, French feminist
Helene Langevin, French physicist
Helene Deutsch, German-American physicist
Helene Madsion, American swimmer
Helene Weigel, German actress and wife of Bertolt Brecht
Helene "Leni" Klum, daughter of supermodel Heidi Klum and race driver Flavio Briatore - they pronounce it the German way, "he-LAY-neh" instead of "huh-leen", so Leni is pronounced "laney".
- Helene in song, story & screen: | Edit
"Die fromme Helene" (Wilhelm Busch, German author 1832-1908), Helen of Troy