Is the name “Eleanor” making a comeback, or is it just me? Growing up, I was always the only Eleanor; the kid with an “old lady” and tragically old-fashioned name who grew up to be a woman with a “severe” sounding name. True, it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, forcing an abrupt stop with the letter “r.”
Introductions always almost ended with, “Oh, like the car!” or “Like, Eleanor Rigby?” I’ve never noticed this phenomenon of drawing someone’s name to something else familiar, happen with other people with a more common name. Actually, my name isn’t like the muscle car or the Beatles song at all. It’s actually the Filipino version of the well-known, Greek version. So, my name, Eleonor, is like the name you know: Eleanor. That “o” tends to complicate things even more. My name is actually pronounced “ehl-yah-nor,” though even I pronounce it like the common version. I know it doesn’t make sense how the spelling creates such a sound.
Recently, I’ve spotted “Eleanor” on book covers and venues, or being called out by new mothers bold enough to name their daughters this name. I’ve now noticed Eleanor pop-up in TV shows, too.
I have a bad habit of playing something in the background while I work. Maybe I just enjoy filling the empty space with music and stories (beautiful and intriguing things.) Today, while I tapped away at my computer, The Good Place was playing and I was taken aback when my TV literally called out my name. Foolishly, I looked up. Huh? Me? I thought to myself.
Maybe the Eleanors of the future won’t be compared to a song or a car; they’ll be able to have a name that stands on its own.
Image credit: Eleanor Fortesque Brickdale’s Golden book of famous women (1919) From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository.