< FrenchHélène < LatinHelena < GreekHelénē, of obscure origin, probably the name of a pre-Greek vegetation goddess; often linked by folk etymology with helénē, helánē torch, St. Elmo's fire, an unrelated word
fem. proper name, from Fr. Hélène, from L. Helena, from Gk. Helene, fem. proper name, probably fem. of helenos "the bright one." Among the top 10 popular names for girl babies in the U.S. born between 1890 and 1934.