I love the names Helena and Eleanor/Leonora/Lenore, but Helena with any of the -nor variants seems too similar to use for sisters. Which is your favorite, and are they too similar?


January 11, 2017 6:59 PM

They're all absolutely beautiful, but I'm biased - I'm naming one of my twins Leonora if one is a girl. I agree Helena and Eleanor/Leonora/Lenore is too similar for sisters. It reminds me a bit of E!'s television show The Royals where there's Queen Helena and her daughter is Princess Eleanor. It's a matter of opinion, but for me it doesn't work. Although I do see that it might somehow work for mother and daughter, but not for sisters.

I can't decide whether I like Leonora or Eleanor better. We have chosen to go with Leonora, because it's an honour name, bit I find Eleanor to be just as beautiful. My next pick would be Helena. My least favourite off the list is Lenore. I feel like the other names roll a bit better off the tongue when said out loud. Also it reminds me a bit of Lenor, which is the brand name of a laundry detergent..Other than that it's still very pretty and one has to come in last :)

What I'm trying to say is you can't go wrong with either name. Pick the one that excites you the most when saying it out loud or when reading it written on paper. Also if you plan to use a middle name try to see which one works best with whatever names you may want to put in the middle name spot.

January 11, 2017 6:30 PM

I'm fighting the same battle. Love all these names/variants. 

I'd just pick one to use though. Go with the one that sounds best with the middle name you like. 

January 11, 2017 6:45 PM

My favourite from the list is Eleanor. You can also spell it Elinor. Lenor is a brand of washing detergent in England so that is my association with Lenore. Leonora has the same problem as Lenore and Helena is not my favourite. However all names are nice names and you can not go wrong with any of them.

I would just choose one name to use out of them all. However if you changed Helena to Helen or Helene you could you Eleanor/Elinor with those I think.

January 11, 2017 10:38 PM

I have to put in another vote for Eleanor. Lenore makes me think of Poe's The Raven, where Lenore was the narrator's dead lover:

"sorrow for the lost Lenore
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore
Nameless here for evermore."

Helena too gives me a bad taste in my mouth because of the My Chemical Romance song. I can't not see it as an emo name now.

I'm not sure what's pushing me away from Leonora, other than the fact I just don't much care for Leo-based names. I also think it's a bit of a mouthful and doesn't roll off the tounge at all.

January 12, 2017 3:06 PM

Yes, all of them are variations of the same name, from the Greek word for "light," so unfortunately you'll have to pick one and let the others go.  (You could use one of the others as a middle name for another daughter, though.  And you may not have more than one daughter, so this might not even be an issue.)

If you go with Helena, do you like any of these other names that include the "or" sound?
Cora, Cordelia, Corina, Coraline, Dorothea, Theodora, Aurelia, Honora, Honoria, Aurora, Victoria, Georgia, Flora, Laura, Lorelei, Isadora, Portia, Deborah, Adora

Or Léonie--Helena and Leona sound too similar, but Helena and Léonie could work.

If you go with Eleanor, Leonora, or Lenore, maybe you'll like some of the following suggestions.
Hermia, Hera, Henrietta, Eloise, Louisa, Lillian, Hestia, Hester*

* Hester is desperately unpopular, but i recently fell in love with it.  It has so much character!

January 12, 2017 3:13 PM

Oh my goodness. Reading your list, I suddenly realized that I have a major thing for names with "or" in them. My daughter's name is Cordelia and I knew that I was seriously attracted to names with the -lia ending, but so many of my favourite names are on this list that NO WONDER I love her name! It has TWO elements that I am apparently drawn to. 

January 12, 2017 4:06 PM

While the origin of Eleanor is vexed, it should not be lumped into the "light" names like Helen/Helena/Ellen/Elena/Helaine/Elaine.  Leona/Leonie/Leontine are lion names.  Leonora/Lenore/Eleanora are variants of Eleanor/Elinor. However, similar these names sound, they have disparate origins and histories.

January 13, 2017 7:54 AM

While Miriam is absolutely right, I also feel like the similarity of sounds makes these a "pick your favorite" sort of proposition. I think they work fine to have on different family members of different generations, as a fun way to honor someone with a nod by preserving name sounds if not name origins (so if your name is Elena, I think calling your daughter Eleanor or Helen or Leonie is fine with me)... but I would not use such similar names for siblings.

That said, especially if one of them is an honor name, I feel like it could be workable to use one as a first name and the other as a middle name that you do not plan on using as the call name... due to their disparate histories, it's not the same as using the same name twice. But two such similar call names would be tongue-tying for me.