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Elena Name Meaning: What Does the Name Elena Mean?

Looking for the meaning of the name Elena? Or maybe you’re looking for the origin of the name Elena?

Well, you’re in luck, since this article is going to focus on both of those things.

In this post, I’ll cover the origins, meaning, pronunciation, and other facts about the common name Elena.

How to Pronounce The Name Elena?

Elena is a very popular female name in Italy, Spain, Russia, Ukraine, and the former Soviet Union. Depending on the country the name Elena can be pronounced eh-LAY-nah, eh-LEN-ah, or even EL-en-ah.

What Does The Name Elena Mean?

The name Elena means “lady of God”, “bright, shining light”, “lady of heaven,” “dear one,” or “women in general”. The name Elena has been used by many Russian and Ukrainian women, but also by others from other countries (including Italy, Spain, Greece, Germany, France). 

Elena is also one of two names that appear most often on a baby girl’s birth certificate in Ukraine (the other being Anna). It is not a popular name among Russian girls born between 2001 and 2010, as only 17% chose it as their first choice for a given year.

The name Elena may be a derivative of the Greek word for “dear one” ( ελατωνις ). It is used throughout the languages in which it is found and can mean:

1. A saint

2. A woman

3. A protector

4. A friend or lover

Origin of The Name Elena

Elena is a name most often associated with Italy, Spain, Russia, and Ukraine. However, there are also other origins of the name Elena. The name Elena is a variation of the name Helen. Helen is a name that came from Greek mythology. The name Helen means “shining light.” There are two possible explanations of how the name Helen came about. It is either from the Greek word for sun (helios) or it is from the Greek word for Greek (Hellen). Elena just so happens to be the Italian and Spanish variation of Helen.

What Are The Variations of The Name Elena?

There are many variations of the name Elena in different cultures – for example, Helen, Hélѐne, Ellen, Elaine, Eleanor, Elin, Elina, Elinah, and Ella are all versions of the same name. If you prefer something more unique but similar, try Alena, Alyona, Ilene, Eline, Ileana, or Ilona.

Famous People Named Elena

  • Elena of Avalor – Disney princess, 
  • Elena Kagan – Supreme Court justice, 
  • Elena Paparizou – pop singer, 
  • Elena Ferrante – writer, novelist
  • Elena Gheorghe – Romanian pop singer, 


Elena means “lady of God”, “bright, shining light”, “lady of heaven,” “dear one,” or “women in general”. This name is quite popular in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. 

It is one of the most popular names of the decade and has enjoyed its popularity for at least two decades now. In fact, the name Elena has been around since the 16th century but it only became more common during the 20th century when it was especially popular with women born between 1940 through 1950.

The name Elena has been known by many different spellings including Elene, Elanie, Elina, Elisea, Elenor, Elena, and many others. However, most of these spellings are variations on the same root word. 



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Housam is a content marketing expert with a knack for writing articles. He loves to name and nickname things creatively, so much so that he started a blog in which he writes about names and their meanings. He is also an avid reader, the dad of two wonderful dogs, and a full-time RV traveler with no definite destination.

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