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 Literature
From German Loreley
, the name of a rock headland on the Rhine River. It is of uncertain meaning, though the second element is probably old German ley
meaning "rock" (of Celtic origin). German romantic poets and songwriters, beginning with Clemens Brentano in 1801, tell that a maiden named the Lorelei lives on the rock and lures boaters 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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
LUCASTA f Literature
This name was first used by the poet Richard Lovelace for a collection of poems called Lucasta
(1649). The poems were dedicated to Lucasta, a nickname for the woman he loved Lucy Sacheverel, who he called lux casta "pure light"
LUCETTA f Italian
Diminutive of LUCE
. Shakespeare used this name for a character in his play The Two Gentlemen of Verona
LUCÍA f Spanish
Spanish form of LUCIA
. This is the most popular name for girls in Spain beginning in 2003.
LUCIA f Italian, German, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Romanian, Slovak, Ancient Roman
Feminine form of LUCIUS
. Saint Lucia was a 4th-century martyr from Syracuse. She was said to have had her eyes gouged out, and thus she is the patron saint of the blind. She was widely revered in the Middle Ages, and her name has been used throughout Christian Europe (in various spellings). It has been used in the England since the 12th century, usually in the spellings Lucy
LUCINA f Roman Mythology
Derived from Latin lucus
, but later associated with lux "light"
. This was the name of a Roman goddess of childbirth.
LUCINDA f English, Portuguese, Literature
An elaboration of LUCIA
created by Cervantes for his novel Don Quixote
(1605). It was subsequently used by Molière in his play The Doctor in Spite of Himself
LUCRETIA f Ancient Roman, Roman Mythology
Feminine form of the Roman family name Lucretius
, possibly from Latin lucrum "profit, wealth"
. In Roman legend Lucretia was a maiden who was raped by the son of the king of Rome. This caused a great uproar among the Roman citizens, and the monarchy was overthrown. This name was also borne by a saint and martyr from Spain.
LUDIVINE f French
Possibly from a feminine form of LEUTWIN
. It was popularized in the 1970s by a character from the television miniseries Les Gens de Mogador
LUDMILA f Czech, Latvian, Russian
Means "favour of the people"
from the Slavic elements lyudu
"people" and milu
"gracious, dear". Saint Ludmila was a 10th-century duchess of Bohemia, the grandmother of Saint Václav. She was murdered on the orders of her daughter-in-law Drahomíra.... [more]
LUITGARD f German, Ancient Germanic
From the Germanic name Leutgard
, which was derived from the elements leud
"people" and gard
"enclosure". This was the name of a 13th-century Flemish nun, the patron saint of easy deliveries.
LULJETA f Albanian
Means "flower of life"
in Albanian, from lule
"flower" and jetë
LUMINIȚA f Romanian
Means "little light"
, derived from Romanian lumina
"light" combined with a diminutive suffix.
LUX f & m Various
Derived from Latin lux
LUZ f Spanish
in Spanish. It is taken from the title of the Virgin Mary
, Nuestra Señora de la Luz
, meaning "Our Lady of Light".
LYKKE f Danish
Means "good fortune, happiness"
LYNN f & m English
From an English surname that was derived from Welsh llyn
. Before the start of the 20th century it was primarily used for boys, but it has since come to be more common for girls. In some cases it may be thought of as a short form of LINDA
or names that end in lyn
LYRA f Astronomy
The name of the constellation in the northern sky containing the star Vega. It is said to be shaped after the lyre of Orpheus.
LYS f Frisian
Frisian diminutive of ELISABETH
. It also coincides with the French word for "lily".
LYSSA (2) f Greek Mythology
Means "rage, fury, anger"
in Greek. In Greek mythology Lyssa is a goddess associated with uncontrolled rage.
MABEL f English
Medieval feminine form of AMABILIS
. This spelling and Amabel
were common during the Middle Ages, though they became rare after the 15th century. It was revived in the 19th century after the publication of C. M. Yonge's novel The Heir of Redclyffe
(1854), which featured a character named Mabel (as well as one named Amabel).
MABELLE f English
Variant of MABEL
. It also coincides with the French phrase ma belle
meaning "my beautiful".
MABYN f Welsh
in Welsh. This was the name of an obscure 6th-century Welsh saint. She was one of the daughters of Saint Brychan.
MACARENA f Spanish
From the name of a barrio (district) in Seville, which got its name from a temple that may have been named for a person named Macarius
). The Virgin of Macarena, that is Mary
, is widely venerated in Seville.
MACKENZIE f & m English
From the Gaelic surname Mac Coinnich
, which means "son of COINNEACH"
. A famous bearer of the surname was William Lyon MacKenzie (1795-1861), a Canadian journalist and political rebel. As a feminine given name, it was popularized by the American actress Mackenzie Phillips (1959-). In the United Kingdom it is more common as a masculine name.
MACY f English
From an English surname that was from various towns named Massy
in France. The towns themselves were originally named from a Gallo-Roman personal name that was Latinized as Maccius
. This is the name of a chain of American department stores founded by Rowland Hussey Macy (1822-1877).
MADARA f Latvian
From the Latvian name for a type of flowering plant, known as cleavers or bedstraw in English.
MÄDCHEN f Various
in German. It is not used as a name in Germany itself.
MADE m & f Indonesian, Balinese
From Sanskrit मध्य (madhya)
. This name is traditionally given to the family's second-born child.
MADELINE f English, French
English form of MAGDALENE
. This is the name of the heroine in a series of children's books by Ludwig Bemelmans, first published 1939.
MADINA f Kazakh, Avar, Chechen
From the name of the city of Medina, Arabic المدينة (al-Madinah)
, which means "the city". The Saudi city is considered an Islamic holy site because the Prophet Muhammad
was based there for a period.
MADISON f & m English
From an English surname meaning "son of MAUD"
. It was not commonly used as a feminine name until after the movie Splash
(1984), in which the main character adopted it as her name after seeing a street sign for Madison Avenue in New York City. It was ranked second for girls in the United States by 2001. This rise from obscurity to prominence in only 18 years represents an unprecedented 550,000 percent increase in usage.... [more]
MADONNA f English
From a title of the Virgin Mary
meaning "my lady" in Italian. A famous bearer of the name is American singer Madonna Ciccone (1958-), known simply as Madonna.
MAE f English
Variant of MAY
. A famous bearer was the American actress Mae West (1893-1980), whose birth name was Mary.
MAEVA f Tahitian, French
in Tahitian. It gained popularity in France during the 1980s.
MAEVE f Irish, Irish Mythology
Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Medb
. In Irish legend this was the name of a warrior queen of Connacht. Her fight against Ulster and the hero Cúchulainn
is told in the Irish epic The Cattle Raid of Cooley
MAGDA f German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Czech, Slovak, Polish, Hungarian, Croatian, Romanian, Portuguese, Greek
Short form of MAGDALENA
MAGDALENA f Polish, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Spanish, Catalan, Occitan, Slovene, Czech, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Croatian, Serbian, Romanian, English
Latinate form of MAGDALENE
MAGDALENE f German, English, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
From a title meaning "of Magdala"
Magdalene, a character in the New Testament, was named thus because she was from Magdala - a village on the Sea of Galilee whose name meant "tower" in Hebrew. She was cleaned of evil spirits by Jesus
and then remained with him during his ministry, witnessing the crucifixion and the resurrection. She was a popular saint in the Middle Ages, and the name became common then. In England it is traditionally rendered Madeline
, while Magdalene
is the learned form.
MAGNHILD f Norwegian
Derived from Old Norse magn
"mighty, strong" and hildr
"battle". This was the name of a novel by the Norwegian author Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson.
MAGNOLIA f English
From the English word magnolia
for the flower, which was named for the French botanist Pierre Magnol.
MAHA f Arabic
in Arabic. The oryx is a variety of antelope that is said to represent beauty.
MAHALA f English
Variant of MAHALAH
. It has occasionally been used as an English Christian name since the Protestant Reformation.
MAHLAH f & m Biblical
From the Hebrew name מַחְלָה (Machlah)
, possibly from חָלָה (chalah)
meaning "weak, sick"
. This name is used in the Old Testament as both a feminine and masculine name. In some versions of the Bible the masculine name is spelled Mahalah
MAHULENA f Czech
Possibly inspired by MAGDALENA
. The Czech author Julius Zeyer created it for a character in his play Radúz and Mahulena
MAI (1) f Vietnamese
From Sino-Vietnamese 梅 (mai)
meaning "plum, apricot"
(refers specifically to the species Prunus mume).
MAI (2) f Japanese
From Japanese 舞 (mai)
meaning "dance" or 麻衣 (mai)
meaning "linen robe". It can also come from 真 (ma)
meaning "real, genuine" combined with 愛 (ai)
meaning "love, affection". Other kanji or kanji combinations can also form this name.
MAIA (2) f Roman Mythology
Probably from Latin maior
. This was the name of a Roman goddess of spring, a companion (sometimes wife) of Vulcan
. She was later conflated with the Greek goddess Maia
. The month of May is named for her.
MAILE f Hawaiian
From the name of a type of vine that grows in Hawaii and is used in making leis.