Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Elin

Elin is the Dutch and Scandinavian equivalent of Helen, but is also used among the Welsh. The Greek Hēlēnē (‘Ελενη) has debatable etymologies. The name either comes from the Greek “hēlios” which is the word for “sun” to indicate a sunbeam or ray of light specifically. In a similar vein the Greek word “‘ελενη” means “fire torch” referring to the rare appearance of St. Elmo’s Fire (off the mast of a ship). Lastly, the name could simply come from the Greek word for “Greek” (Hellēn, as in Hellenistic culture) but this is not widely held. The first suggested meaning is probably the most accurate especially when you consider the Greek mythological beauty Helen. Helen is a name made most famous by Homer’s “Iliad” (written around the 8th century B.C.); she was the beautiful Spartan queen whose abduction by Paris set in motion the mythological Trojan War. She is known as the woman whose face “launched a thousand ships” and therefore came to symbolize womanly perfection in Western Culture. Incidentally, it wasn’t this classical Greek beauty but rather a 3rd/4th century saint (Helena of Constantinople) who served to popularize and spread the name among early Christians in medieval times. Saint Helena was the beloved mother of Roman Emperor Constantine I (272-337) who had the distinction of being the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity (effectively switching the Roman Empire from a pagan one to a Christian one). According to popular legend, Helena is also credited with finding the “True Cross” (relics of the cross on which Christ was crucified) buried at a dig site she orchestrated in Jerusalem (she is thus the patron saint of “new discoveries”). Today, however, most people prefer Helen’s association with the beautiful Greek Queen whose face launched a thousand ships, but she also had the name that practically launched a thousand variations: Helen, Ellen, Eleanor, Elaine (English), Helena (Portuguese), Elena (Italian), Lena, Ella, Elin (Dutch, Scandinavian), Hélène (French), Elena, Iliana (Spanish), Aileen/Eileen (Scottish); Elaine, Elin (Welsh); Aliénor (Provençal). Elin is a Top 20 most favorite girl’s name in Sweden and a Top 25 in the Netherlands. It is also highly common in Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

All About the Baby Name – Elin

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME ELIN

The Master Number Twenty-Two combines the traits of Twos and Fours into a powerful force. The references to The Master Builder and "large undertakings" serve to underscore the massive potential of this personality. They are extremely capable and therefore almost always successful. Twenty-Twos are courageous leaders, innovative thinkers, extremely wise and highly organized. As such, they are able to manifest something of major importance that will have a lasting impact on this world. Master Numbers carry with them a great sense of responsibility, so it can be a burden. However, Twenty-Twos are executors and action-takers. Further, this personality exhibits traits of the Twos, which brings sensitivity, spirituality and harmony, so their endeavors are likely to benefit mankind in some capacity.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME ELIN

Elin only first debuted on the American female naming charts in 2010. No coincidence, Elin’s sudden usage as a name in the United States immediately followed the December 2009 high-profile media story surrounding PGA superstar golfer Tiger Woods’ many extramarital affairs. At the center of this media storm was Woods’s beautiful Swedish wife Elin Nordegren who pretty much removed herself and her two children from the melee in the most dignified of manners. Still there was nothing she could do about her name being pasted all over the newspapers and across the airwaves of America. One result? Future American parents apparently found her Scandinavian name rather charming and it came into circulation for the first time ever. Elin only has a couple years under her belt in the U.S. so we’ll have to wait and see if this one is just a pop-culture fleeting fad. It’s certainly a mainstream name among Nordic countries and elsewhere in Europe, but by American standards is slightly exotic.

Quick Facts

ON ELIN

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

Dutch

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

815

PRONUNCIATION:

EE-lin

SIMPLE MEANING:

Ray of light, sunbeam (Helen)

Characteristics

OF ELIN

The Master Builder

Leader

Large Undertakings

Confidence

Discipline

Organization

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Elin

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME ELIN

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Elin

Popular Songs

ON ELIN

We cannot find any popular or well-known songs with the name of Elin


Famous People

NAMED ELIN

Elin Nordegren (Swedish model and former wife of Tiger Woods)
Elin (11th century Queen consort of Sweden, wife of King Inge the Elder)
Elin i Horsnäs (purported early 17th century Swedish witch executed for sorcery)
Elin Holmlöv (Swedish hockey player)
Elin Jones (Welsh politician)
Elin Kallio (Finnish gymnast)
Elin Lanto (Swedish singer)
Elin Wägner (Swedish writer/feminist)

Children of Famous People

NAMED ELIN

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Elin

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME ELIN

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Elin