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Helen

Helen (f) The name of this famous Greek beauty,
renowned in literature, has long been a favourite with
Scottish parents. The name itself derives from a word
meaning ‘bright’ or ‘light,’ and it occurs in many forms—
Elaine, Ellen, Elanor, Elinor, etc. Eileen and Aileen
have also been associated with it. Helen was the 10th most frequently used girls’ name in Scotland in 1858, and in 8th position in 1958. A count made in 1975 reveals that it may at last be going out of fashion, a fate which has already befallen it in the U.S.A. and Canada. The name there also enjoyed at least a hundred years of intensive usage, but in the 1950’s it was largely
replaced by Ellen. In England and Wales the reverse
happened, with Helen coming into fashion in 1970 to oust
Ellen. Helen is still more popular in England and Wales
than anywhere else in the English-speaking world, though
Scottish parents have not completely deserted it. The
Latin Helena (with Lena as its pet form) and French
Helene occasionally occur iu Scotland. The diminutive Nellie is sometimes found as an independent name. The
Gaelic form of the name is Eilidh, and this too is used in
Scotland.

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