Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Lenore

Ellie, Ella, Nora, Norah, Leonora, Lenora and Lenore are all generally considered contracted and/or pet forms of Eleanor. Eleanor is a name made popular by Eleanor of Aquitaine (c. 1122-1204), one of the most glamorous, wealthy, powerful and adventurous women in all of medieval Europe. If “celebrity” were a word in the English dictionary in the 12th century, she may very well have been the poster girl definition. She holds the exclusive distinction of having been Queen Consorts of both France (Louis VII) and England (Henry II). No one is quite certain from where her name comes, but there are several educated theories. For one, it’s commonly believed to have been derived from the medieval Provençal (a southeastern French dialect) female name “Aliénor” from the Germanic “aljis” meaning “other, foreign” (from the Proto-Indo-European root “al” meaning “beyond”). Some believe Aliénor d’Aquitaine (Eleanor of Aquitaine) was given the moniker Aliénor in homage to her mother, Aénor of Châtellerault, but altered in order to specify “the other” Aénor. Still, other etymologists surmise Aliénor was merely the Provençal dialectical form of Elena (the Spanish form of Helen). Helen comes from the Greek (Ελένη) from “hēlios” meaning “sun, ray of light” or “the bright one”. The pet form of Lenore owes much of its popularity to Edgar Allen Poe’s 1845 gothic poem “The Raven” in which the narrator laments the loss of his one true love Lenore (“a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore”). To which the raven repeatedly responds “Nevermore.”

All About the Baby Name – Lenore



Romance is the hallmark of the Six personality. They exude nurturing, loving, and caring energy. Sixes are in love with the idea of love in its idealized form - and with their magnetic personalities, they easily draw people toward them. Like the number Two personality, they seek balance and harmony in their life and the world at large. They are conscientious and service-oriented, and a champion for the underdog. These personalities naturally attract money and are usually surrounded by lovely material objects - but their human relationships are always primary. They thrive in giving back to others rather than being motivated by their own desires. This is when they achieve great things. Sixes are natural teachers, ministers and counselors.



Lenore is essentially a literary name, made popular by poet Edgar Allen Poe in the mid 19th century. It’s a haunting, dark poem in Poe’s typical gothic style, but Lenore represents the perfect woman with whom the speaker hopes to be reunited in Paradise. Only the raven doesn’t seem to give him much hope (see literary references below). At the end of the 1800s up through the 1930s, Lenore enjoyed some quasi-respectable levels of usage (never a Top 300 choice, although she did come close in the 1920s). The name retreated into hibernation from the 1950s onward, and then fell off America’s Top 1000 list in 1974. Lenore has yet to return to the charts after 40 long years – clearly a forgotten name. Yet we find this one a high-brow literary choice for lovers of the gothic style, and it’s also quaintly old-fashioned in the same way as other turn-of-the-century favorites. Lenore is a name to consider in our book. Read the poem. You’ll be as haunted by this name as we were.

Quick Facts













The Other One; or The Bright One










Cultural References to the Baby Name – Lenore

Literary Characters


Lenore is the title character of Edgar Allen Poe’s 1843 poem, “Lenore”, which was a paean to the lost love, the young and beautiful Lenore. Her lover, Guy de Vere, bemoans her passing, eulogizing her as the epitome of goodness and beauty and striking out against those he believed had wished her ill in life. His bitterness is offset by the remembrance of her angelic nature and by his belief in an eternity in which they will be reunited.

Lenore is a character in Edgar Allen Poe’s 1845 poem, “The Raven”, which was perhaps his best known piece. The raven gets the title, but Lenore gets the focus. Obviously young, beautiful and too soon take to her heavenly reward, Lenore is remembered with heart-wrenching melancholy by the narrator. He is visited by the raven, to whom he poses his metaphysical questions, and whose every response is “Nevermore”. The tone of the poem is bleakly unyielding in its refusal to bestow the comfort of eternal reunion. Lenore is fated to be either remembered or forgotten - but joined? – nevermore.

Lenore is the title character of Gottfried August Burger’s 1773 ballad, “Lenore”. She has been waiting impatiently for her fiancé to return to her after the Seven Years’ War; she had not heard from him, and she bitterly chastises God for her plight. Lenore’s mother in turn chastises her, knowing this to be blasphemy, and suggests to the young girl that perhaps William has taken up with another woman. At midnight, a young man on horseback, looking like William, comes to the house and asks a very happy Lenore to ride with him to their marriage bed. They ride to a cemetery where William’s corpse lies, and where Lenore is to meet her death as well, for having quarreled with God. She just has time to ask divine forgiveness before succumbing to her fate. Lenore, for all her sorry luck, can be thanked for giving rise to that favorite of literary genres, the Gothic Romance.

The Raven is the title of Edgar Allen Poe’s perhaps most famous poem, first published in 1845. The Raven visits the poet, who is mourning the death of his love, Lenore, and perches upon a bust of Pallas Athena, the goddess of wisdom. Upon being asked his name, our Raven replies: “Nevermore”. Well, it rhymes with Lenore, so, good choice in a poem. This, in fact, is the Raven’s only word, a word he uses to judicious effect when prompted by the narrator. Asked if he, too, will leave the poet, as have so many friends before, he replies: “Nevermore”. Is he, demands the poet, sent here by avenging angels? “Nevermore”. Asked if he may meet the lovely Lenore once more in heaven, the answer is “Nevermore”. When the poet, driven to distraction, bids the Raven to leave him alone to his sorrows and be gone, again, the ominous answer is “Nevermore”. And so the Raven sits on his classic perch, and the poet lies beneath…”And my soul…Shall be lifted – nevermore!”.

Childrens Books


We cannot find any childrens books with the first name Lenore

Popular Songs


Interlude for Lenore
an instrumental by Ode Hazelwood

Poor, Poor Lenore
a song by The Handsome Family

Lenore's Song
a song by Yunyu

Lenore (I Miss You)
a song by MC Lars

My Lost Lenore
a song by Tristania

The Lost Lenore
a song by Joe Locke

Poor Lenore
a song by the Wavves

a song by Chick Corea

Famous People


Lenore Romney (mother of Mitt Romney)
Lenore Marshall (author)
Lenore J. Coffee (screenwriter)
Lenore Ulric (actress)
Lenore Kasdorf (actress)

Children of Famous People


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

Historic Figures


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