(en proper noun
A diminutive of the female given names Eleanor and Helen. Popular as a formal given name at the turn of the 20th century.
* 1860 Mary Jane Holmes: Cousin Maude . BiblioBazaar,LLC, 2007. ISBN 1434652122 page 14:
- "Then we will call her Matilda," said he, "as it is a maxim of mine never to spoil children by giving them pet names."
- "But you call your daughter Nellie ," suggested the little widow, and in her soft, blue eye there shone a mischievous twinkle, as if she fancied she had beaten him in his own argument. - - -
* 2007 Rachel M. Harper: Brass Ankle Blues . Simon&Schuster 2007. ISBN 0743296583 page 88:
- "That is sister Kelsey's idea, and as she is very fond of Nellie I do not interfere.
English diminutives of female given names
- "Eleanor, that's kind of an old lady name. I like Nellie' better. ' Nellie Kincaid, that's got a nice ring to it. It sounds like you're a singer or something.
(Greek mythology) the daughter of Zeus and Leda, considered to be the most beautiful woman in the world; her abduction by Paris brought about the Trojan War.
* 1602 William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida , Act I, Scene I
- Fools on both sides! Helen must needs be fair,
* 1928 , The Mystery of the Blue Train
- When with your blood you daily paint her thus.
- "Is her name Ellen or Helen , Miss Viner? I thought - "
- Miss Viner closed her eyes.
* 1993 , The Fourteen Sisters of Emilio Montez O'Brien , ISBN 0-14-023028-9, page 6:
- "I can sound my h's, dear, as well as anyone, but Helen is not a suitable name for a servant. I don't know what the mothers in the lower classes are coming to nowadays."
* 2003 , A Share in Death'', HarperCollins, ISBN 0060534389, page 189
- - - - in 1910 she brought Helen' into the world, the little female, or "''mujercita''", as her mother called all the babies, naming her after the glittery label on a facial ointment, The ' Helen of Troy Beauty Pomade, said to eradicate wrinkles, to soften and add a youthful glow to the user's skin - a fortuitous choice because, of all the sisters, she would be the most beautiful and, never growing old, would always possess the face of a winsome adolescent beauty.
- Gemma followed her, thinking that Helen seemed rather an old-fashioned and elegant name for this rumpled young mother.