LILAC f English (Rare)
From the name of the shrub with purple or white flowers. It is derived via Arabic from Persian.
LILAVATI f Indian, Hindi (Rare)
Means "amusing, charming, graceful" in Sanskrit. The 12th-century mathematician Bhaskara named one of his systems of mathematics after his daughter Lilavati. This was also the name of a 13th-century queen of Sri Lanka.
LILITH f Near Eastern Mythology, Judeo-Christian Legend
Derived from Akkadian lilitu
meaning "of the night". This was the name of a demon in ancient Assyrian myths. In Jewish tradition she was Adam
's first wife, sent out of Eden and replaced by Eve
because she would not submit to him. The offspring of Adam (or Samael
) and Lilith were the evil spirits of the world.
LILLIAN f English
Probably originally a diminutive of ELIZABETH
. It may also be considered an elaborated form of LILY
, from the Latin word for "lily" lilium
. This name has been used in England since the 16th century.
LILOU f French
Either a diminutive of French names containing the sound lee
or a combination of LILI
LILY f English
From the name of the flower, a symbol of purity. The word is ultimately derived from Latin lilium
LIN m & f Chinese
From Chinese 林 (lín)
meaning "forest" or 琳 (lín)
meaning "fine jade, gem". Other characters can also form this name.
LINAS m Lithuanian
Lithuanian form of LINUS
. This is also the Lithuanian word for "flax" (a cognate of the name's root).
LINCOLN m English
From a surname which was originally from the name of a city in England, derived from Brythonic lindo
"lake, pool" and Latin colonia
"colony". This name is usually given in honour of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), president of the United States during the American Civil War.
LINDA f English, Dutch, German, Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, French, Latvian, Finnish, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, Ancient Germanic
Originally a medieval short form of Germanic names containing the element linde
meaning "soft, tender". It also coincides with the Spanish and Portuguese word linda
LINDITA f Albanian
Means "the day is born" in Albanian, from lind
"to give birth" and ditë
LINDSAY f & m English, Scottish
From an English and Scottish surname which was originally derived from the name of the region Lindsey
, which means "LINCOLN
island" in Old English. As a given name it was typically masculine until the 1960s (in Britain) and 1970s (in America) when it became popular for girls, probably due to its similarity to Linda
and because of American actress Lindsay Wagner (1949-).
LINDY m & f English
Originally this was a masculine name, coming into use in America in 1927 when the dance called the Lindy Hop became popular. The dance was probably named for aviator Charles Lindbergh. Later this name was used as a diminutive of LINDA
LINFORD m English (Rare)
From a surname which was originally taken from place names meaning either "flax ford" or "lime tree ford" in Old English.
LING f & m Chinese
From Chinese 灵 (líng)
meaning "spirit, soul", 铃 (líng)
meaning "bell, chime", or other Chinese characters which are pronounced similarly.
LINNÉA f Swedish
From the name of a flower, also known as the twinflower. The Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus named it after himself, it being his favourite flower.
LINTON m English
From a surname which was originally from place names meaning either "flax town" or "lime tree town" in Old English.
LINWOOD m English
From a surname which was originally from a place name meaning "stream forest" in Old English.
LIRON m & f Hebrew
Means "song for me" or "joy for me" in Hebrew.
LISA f English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Italian
Short form of ELIZABETH
. This is the name of the subject of one of the world's most famous paintings, the 'Mona Lisa', the portrait of Lisa del Giocondo by Leonardo da Vinci.
LITA f English
Short form of names ending in lita
. This name was brought to the public eye in the 1920s due to Lita Grey (1908-1995), who was the second wife of Charlie Chaplin. Her birth name was Lillita Louise MacMurray.
LIV (1) f Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Derived from the Old Norse name Hlíf
meaning "protection". Its use has been influenced by the modern Scandinavian word liv
LIVIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name which may be related to either Latin liveo
"to envy" or lividus
"blue, envious". Titus Livius, also known as Livy, was a Roman historian who wrote a history of the city of Rome.
LIZ f English
Short form of ELIZABETH
. This is the familiar name of actress Elizabeth Taylor (1932-).
LLEU m Welsh Mythology
Probably a Welsh form of LUGUS
. In the Mabinogion, Lleu Llaw Gyffes is the son of Arianrhod
. He was raised by his uncle Gwydion
, who helped him overcome the curses that his mother placed upon him.
LLINOS f Welsh
Means "linnet, finch" in Welsh. The linnet (species Linaria cannabina) is a small European bird in the finch family.
LLOYD m English
From a surname which was derived from Welsh llwyd
meaning "grey". The composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (1948-) is a famous bearer of this name.
LLYR m Welsh Mythology
Means "the sea" in Welsh. This was the name of the Welsh god of the sea. He possibly forms the basis for the legendary King Lear of the Britons.
LLYWELYN m Welsh
Possibly a Welsh form of the old Celtic name Lugubelenus
, a combination of the names of the gods LUGUS
. Alternatively it may be derived from Welsh llyw
"leader". This was the name of several Welsh rulers, notably the 13th-century Llywelyn the Great who fought against England.
LÓEGAIRE m Irish Mythology, Ancient Irish
Means "calf herder", derived from Irish loagh
"calf". In Irish mythology Lóegaire Búadach was an Ulster warrior. He saved the life of the poet Áed
, but died in the process. This was also the name of several Irish high kings.
LOGAN m & f Scottish, English
From a surname which was originally derived from a Scottish place name meaning "little hollow" in Scottish Gaelic.
LOIS (1) f English, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Possibly derived from Greek λωιων (loion)
meaning "more desirable" or "better". Lois is mentioned in the New Testament as the mother of Eunice
and the grandmother of Timothy
. As an English name, it came into use after the Protestant Reformation. In fiction, this is the name of the girlfriend of the comic book hero Superman.
LOKI m Norse Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly derived from the Indo-European root *leug
meaning "to break". In Norse legend Loki was a trickster god associated with magic and fire. Over time he became more and more evil, and he was eventually chained to a rock by the other gods.
LOMMÁN m Irish
Means "little bare one", derived from Irish Gaelic lomm
"bare" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of a 5th-century saint, a nephew of Saint Patrick
LON m English
Short form of ALONZO
and other names containing the same sound. Famous bearers were American actors Lon Chaney Sr. (1883-1930) and Lon Chaney Jr. (1906-1973). The elder's birth name was Leonidas.
LONÁN m Irish
Means "little blackbird", derived from Irish Gaelic lon
"blackbird" combined with a diminutive suffix.
LONDON f & m English (Modern)
From the name of the capital city of the United Kingdom, the meaning of which is uncertain. As a surname it was borne by the American author Jack London (1876-1916).
LONGINUS m Ancient Roman
Roman cognomen derived from Latin longus
"long". According to Christian legend Saint Longinus was the name of the Roman soldier who pierced Jesus
' side with a spear, then converted to Christianity and was martyred. The name was also borne by the 3rd-century Greek philosopher Cassius Longinus.
LORCÁN m Irish
Means "little fierce one", derived from Irish Gaelic lorcc
"fierce" combined with a diminutive suffix. This was the name of a 12th-century archbishop of Dublin.
LOREDANA f Italian, Romanian
Used by the French author George Sand for a character in her novel 'Mattea' (1833) and later by the Italian author Luciano Zuccoli in his novel 'L'amore de Loredana' (1908). It was possibly based on the Venetian surname Loredan
, which was derived from the place name Loreo
LORELEI f Germanic Mythology
From a Germanic name meaning "luring rock". This is the name of a rock headland on the Rhine River. Legends say that a maiden named the Lorelei lives on the rock and lures fishermen to their death with her song.
LORENA (2) f English
Latinized form of LAUREN
. This name was first brought to public attention in America by the song 'Lorena' (1856), written by Joseph Webster, who was said to have created the name as an anagram of LENORE
(from the character in Poe's poem 'The Raven').
LORENZO m Italian, Spanish
Italian and Spanish form of Laurentius
(see LAURENCE (1)
). Lorenzo de' Medici (1449-1492), known as the Magnificent, was a ruler of Florence during the Renaissance. He was also a great patron of the arts who employed Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli and other famous artists.
LORETO f & m Italian, Spanish
From the name of a town in Italy, originally called Lauretum
in Latin, meaning "laurel grove". Supposedly in the 13th century the house of the Virgin Mary
was miraculously carried by angels from Nazareth to the town.
LORNA f English
Created by the author R. D. Blackmore for the title character in his novel 'Lorna Doone' (1869), set in southern England, which describes the dangerous love between John Ridd and Lorna Doone. Blackmore may have based the name on the Scottish place name Lorne
or on the title 'Marquis of Lorne' (see LORNE
LORNE m English
From the title 'Marquis of Lorne', which was based on the Scottish place name Lorne
, itself possibly derived from the name of the legendary king of Dál Riata, Loarn mac Eirc. This was the title of the first Governor General of Canada, where it has since been most frequently used as a given name. A famous bearer was the Canadian actor Lorne Greene (1915-1987).
LORRAINE f English
From the name of a region in France, originally meaning "kingdom of LOTHAR
". Lothar was a Frankish king, the great-grandson of Charlemagne
, whose realm was in the part of France that is now called Lorraine
, or in German Lothringen
(from Latin Lothari regnum
). As a given name, it has been used in the English-speaking world since the late 19th century, perhaps due to its similar sound with Laura
. It became popular after World War I when the region was in the news, as it was contested between Germany and France.
LOT (1) m Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Means "covering, veil" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of a nephew of Abraham
. Before Sodom was destroyed by God, he was directed to flee the city without looking back. However, his wife looked back on the destruction and was turned into a pillar of salt.
LOT (2) m Arthurian Romance
From the name of the region of Lothian in southern Scotland, of unknown meaning. A king of Lothian by this name appears in early Latin and Welsh texts (as Leudonus
respectively). He was inserted into Arthurian legend by the 12th-century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth, who makes him the father of Gawain
LOTHAR m German, Ancient Germanic
From the Germanic name Chlodochar
meaning "famous army", derived from the elements hlud
"famous" and hari
"army". This was the name of a 9th-century Frankish king, the son of Louis I, who ruled the region called Lorraine
. It was also borne by medieval kings of France, Italy and the Holy Roman Empire.
LOTUS f English (Rare)
From the name of the lotus flower (species Nelumbo nucifera) or the mythological lotus tree. They are ultimately derived from Greek λωτος (lotos)
. In Greek and Roman mythology the lotus tree was said to produce a fruit causing sleepiness and forgetfulness.
LOU f & m English, French
Short form of LOUISE
. Famous bearers include the baseball player Lou Gehrig (1903-1941) and the musician Lou Reed (1942-2013).
LOUHI f Finnish Mythology
Variant of LOVIATAR
. In Finnish mythology Louhi was another name of the death goddess Loviatar. She appears in the Finnish epic the 'Kalevala' as a witch ruling the northern area known as Pohjola. She is the primary antagonist to the hero Väinämöinen
LOUIS m French, English, Dutch
French form of Ludovicus
, the Latinized form of LUDWIG
. This was the name of 18 kings of France, starting with Louis I the son of Charlemagne
. Others include Louis IX (Saint Louis) who led two crusades and Louis XIV (called the Sun King) who was the ruler of France during the height of its power, the builder of the Palace of Versailles, and the longest reigning monarch in the history of Europe. It was also borne by kings of Germany (as Ludwig
), Hungary (as Lajos
), and other places.... [more]
LOUISA f English, German, Dutch
Latinate feminine form of LOUIS
. A famous bearer was the American novelist Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), the author of 'Little Women'.
LOUP m French
French form of the Late Latin name Lupus
which meant "wolf". Lupus was the name of several early saints, including a 5th-century bishop of Troyes who apparently convinced Attila
to spare the city.
LOURDES f Spanish
From the name of a French town. It became a popular center of pilgrimage after a young girl from the town had visions of the Virgin Mary
in a nearby grotto.
LOVE (2) f English
Simply from the English word love
, derived from Old English lufu
LOWELL m English
From an English surname which was derived from a Norman French nickname, from lou
"wolf" and a diminutive suffix. The surname was borne by American poet and satirist James Russell Lowell (1819-1891).
LUANA f English, Italian, Portuguese
From the movie 'Bird of Paradise' (1932), in which it was borne by the main character, a Polynesian girl. The movie was based on a 1912 play of the same name set in Hawaii.
LUANN f English
Either a combination of LOU
or a variant of LUANA
. It was popularized in the 1950s by the singer Lu Ann Simms (1933-2003).
LUBNA f Arabic
Means "storax tree" in Arabic. According to a 7th-century legend Lubna and Qays were a couple forced to divorce by Qays's father.