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English vernacular form of the name (Greek Hēlēnē) borne in classical legend by a famous beauty, wife of Menelaus, whose seizure by the Trojan prince Paris sparked off the Trojan War. Her name is of uncertain origin; it may be connected with a word meaning ‘ray’ or ‘sunbeam’ compare Greek hēlios ‘sun’. It has sometimes been taken as connected with the Greek word meaning ‘Greek’, Hellēn, but this is doubtful. In the early Christian period the name was borne by the mother of the Emperor Constantine, who is now usually known by the Latin version of her name, Helena. She is credited with having found the True Cross in Jerusalem. She was born in about 248, probably in Bithynia. However, in medieval England it was believed that she had been born in Britain, which greatly increased the popularity of the name there.
96th in the U.S.

Nicknames & variations

Quick facts

Hundreds of thousands
of people in the U.S have this name
656,045
to be exact
882,715
if you include dead people (since the government started keeping track)
Pennsylvania
has the most people named Helen per capita
1911
marked the height of its popularity
99.96%
0.04%
79%
55+
15%
30-54
3%
13-29
4%
0-12

Top state populations

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