The name Elaine ranked 600th in popularity for females of all ages in a sample of 2000-2003 Social Security Administration statistics and 127th in popularity for females of all ages in a sample of the 1990 US Census.
This name is highly rated in the 1990 U.S. Census popularity survey of all ages, but after 1960 does not appear in the state data listing the most popular baby names.
Though this name is conventionally considered to be a French-inspired variation of the Greek-derived Helen, there is evidence that it could have originated from an entirely different source.
The Arthurian legends feature a character named Elaine, who falls in love with the righteous knight Sir Lancelot. First appearing in Thomas Malory's 15th century re-telling of those tales, Le Morte d'Arthur, the character was picked up by Tennyson for his 1859 Idylls of the King. Tennyson's work was probably instrumental in introducing Elaine to the list of English girls' names.
Many names from the Arthurian legends are of ancient Celtic origin. This has led scholars to suggest a derivation for Elaine from a Welsh expression meaning ''young deer.''
Arts and Music
Elaine de Kooning (born 1920, died 1989)
American art critic and Abstract Expressionist painter. Wife of painter Willem de Kooning