A reader named Diane writes:
My Mother passed away 2 years ago and I would like to name my daughter after her. Her name was Elaine. I have already used her name as a middle name for my first daughter. I would like to find a variation of Elaine to use as a first name. My husband is Irish and would love if there was an an Irish connection with the name as well. Any suggestions?
I love that Diane wants to use her mother’s name again. I think both daughters will appreciate having a form of their grandmother’s name to carry with them.
Let’s see…Elaine is an Old French form of Helen. Irish forms of Helen include Léan and Léana, which I believe are pronounced “layn” and layna” (please correct me if I’m wrong). The Irish name Eileen is sometimes considered to be a form of Helen, though technically the names aren’t related to one another.
Other variants and pet forms of Helen/Elaine include Ella, Ellen, Ellie, Helena, Lena, Nell and Nelly. And of course there’s always Helen itself. None of these are specifically Irish, but they’re all used in Ireland — perhaps that’s just as good.
What other ideas can you come up with?
UPDATE – The baby is here! Scroll down to the last comment to see the name.