LAN (1) f & m Chinese, Vietnamese
From Chinese 兰 (lán)
meaning "orchid, elegant" (which is usually only feminine) or 岚 (lán)
meaning "mountain mist". Other Chinese characters can form this name as well. As a Vietnamese name, it is derived from Sino-Vietnamese 蘭
LANCE m English
From the Germanic name Lanzo
, originally a short form of names that began with the element landa
. During the Middle Ages it became associated with Old French lance
"spear, lance". A famous bearer is American cyclist Lance Armstrong (1971-).
LANCELOT m Arthurian Romance
Meaning unknown, possibly an Old French diminutive of Lanzo
). In Arthurian legend Lancelot was the bravest of the Knights of the Round Table. He became the lover of Arthur
's wife Guinevere
, ultimately causing the destruction of Arthur's kingdom. His earliest appearance is in the works of the 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes.
LANDON m English
From a surname that was derived from an Old English place name meaning "long hill"
(effectively meaning "ridge"
). Use of the name may have been inspired in part by the actor Michael Landon (1936-1991).
LANE m English
From a surname meaning "lane, path"
, which originally belonged to a person who lived near a lane.
LANFORD m English (Rare)
From a surname that was derived from a place name meaning "long ford"
in Old English.
LASHA m Georgian
Possibly from a Northwest Caucasian word meaning "light"
. This was a name of Giorgi IV, a 13th-century king of Georgia.
LÁSZLÓ m Hungarian
Hungarian form of VLADISLAV
. Saint László was an 11th-century king of Hungary, looked upon as the embodiment of Christian virtue and bravery.
LATIF m Arabic
Means "gentle, kind"
in Arabic. In Islamic tradition اللطيف (al-Latif)
is one of the 99 names of Allah.
LAUNCE m Literature
Short form of Launcelot
, a variant of LANCELOT
. This was the name of a clownish character in Shakespeare's play The Two Gentlemen of Verona
LAUREN f & m English
Variant or feminine form of LAURENCE (1)
. Originally a masculine name, it was first popularized as a feminine name by actress Betty Jean Perske (1924-), who used Lauren Bacall as her stage name.
LAURENCE (1) m English
From the Roman cognomen Laurentius
, which meant "from Laurentum"
. Laurentum was a city in ancient Italy, its name probably deriving from Latin laurus
"laurel". Saint Laurence was a 3rd-century deacon and martyr from Rome. According to tradition he was roasted alive on a gridiron because, when ordered to hand over the church's treasures, he presented the sick and poor. Due to the saint's popularity, the name came into general use in the Christian world (in various spellings).... [more]
LAVERNE f & m English
From a surname that was derived from a French place name, ultimately derived from the Gaulish word vern
. It is sometimes associated with the Roman goddess Laverna
or the Latin word vernus
LAWRENCE m English
Variant of LAURENCE (1)
. This spelling of the name is now more common than Laurence
in the English-speaking world, probably because Lawrence
is the usual spelling of the surname. The surname was borne by the author and poet D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930), as well as the revolutionary T. E. Lawrence (1888-1935), who was known as Lawrence of Arabia.
LAYTON m English
From a surname that was originally derived from the name of English towns meaning "town with a leek garden"
in Old English.
LAZER m Yiddish
Yiddish variant of ELIEZER
. This is the name of a character in the musical Fiddler on the Roof
LEANDER m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Λεανδρος (Leandros)
, derived from λεων (leon)
meaning "lion" and ανηρ (aner)
meaning "man" (genitive ανδρος
). In Greek legend Leander was the lover of Hero. Every night he swam across the Hellespont to meet her, but on one occasion he was drowned when a storm arose. When Hero saw his dead body she threw herself into the waters and perished.
LEBERECHT m German (Rare)
Means "live rightly"
from German lebe
"live" and recht
"right". This name was created in the 17th century.
LECH m Polish, Slavic Mythology
From the name of the Slavic tribe the Lendians, called the Lędzianie
in Polish. According to Slavic legend this was the name of the founder of the Polish people. A famous bearer was the Polish president Lech Wałęsa (1943-).
LEE m & f English
From a surname that was derived from Old English leah
. The surname belonged to Robert E. Lee (1807-1870), commander of the Confederate forces during the American Civil War. In his honour, it has been commonly used as a given name in the American South.
LEGEND m English (Modern)
From the English word, referring to a story about the past (or by extension, a heroic character in such a story), ultimately from Latin legere
LEGOLAS m Literature
Means "green leaves"
in Sindarin, from laeg
"green" combined with go-lass
"collection of leaves". In The Lord of the Rings
(1954) by J. R. R. Tolkien, Legolas is the son of the elf lord Thranduil and a member of the Fellowship of the Ring.
LEHI m Mormon
From an Old Testament place name meaning "jawbone"
in Hebrew, so called because it was the site where the hero Samson
defeated 1,000 warriors using only the jawbone of a donkey as a weapon. It is also used in the Book of Mormon as the name of a prophet.
LEI (2) m & f Chinese
From Chinese 磊 (lěi)
meaning "pile of stones" (which is typically masculine) or 蕾 (lěi)
meaning "bud" (typically feminine). Other characters can also form this name.
LEIF m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From the Old Norse name Leifr
meaning "descendant, heir"
. Leif Eriksson was a Norse explorer who reached North America in the early 11th century. He was the son of Erik the Red.
LEIGONG m Chinese Mythology
Means "lord of thunder"
, from Chinese 雷 (léi)
meaning "thunder" and 公 (gōng)
meaning "lord, prince". This is the name of a Chinese thunder god.
LEILANI f & m Hawaiian
Means "heavenly flowers"
or "royal child"
from Hawaiian lei
"flowers, lei, child" and lani
"heaven, sky, royal, majesty".
LEITH m & f English (Rare)
From a surname, originally from the name of a Scottish town (now a district of Edinburgh), which is derived from Gaelic lìte
"wet, damp". It is also the name of the river that flows though Edinburgh.
LELAND m English
From a surname, originally from an English place name, which meant "fallow land"
in Old English. A famous bearer was the politician, businessman and Stanford University founder Leland Stanford (1824-1893).
LEMMINKÄINEN m Finnish Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly related to Finnish lempi "love"
. In the Finnish epic the Kalevala
this is the name of an arrogant hero. After he was killed his mother fetched his body from the River of Death and restored him to life. He is sometimes identified with the god Ahti
LEMUEL m Biblical, Mormon, Biblical Hebrew
Means "for God"
in Hebrew. This was the name of a king briefly mentioned in Proverbs in the Old Testament. In the Book of Mormon it is the name of a son of Lehi and Sariah. It is also borne by the hero of Jonathan Swift's novel Gulliver's Travels
LENNON m & f English (Modern)
From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Ó Leannáin
, which means "descendant of Leannán"
. The name Leannán
means "lover" in Irish. This surname was borne by musician John Lennon (1940-1980), a member of the Beatles.
LENNOX m & f Scottish, English (Modern)
From a Scottish surname that was derived from the name of a district in Scotland. The district, called Leamhnachd
in Gaelic, possibly means "place of elms".
LENZ m German
Short form of LORENZ
. This is also a German poetic word referring to the springtime.
LEO m German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, English, Croatian, Late Roman
Derived from Latin leo
, a cognate of LEON
. It was popular among early Christians and was the name of 13 popes, including Saint Leo the Great who asserted the dominance of the Roman bishops (the popes) over all others in the 5th century. It was also borne by six Byzantine emperors and five Armenian kings. Another famous bearer was Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), a Russian novelist whose works include War and Peace
and Anna Karenina
. Leo is also the name of a constellation and the fifth sign of the zodiac.
LEOFWINE m Anglo-Saxon
Means "dear friend"
, derived from the Old English elements leof
"dear, agreeable, beloved" and wine
"friend". This was the name of an 8th-century English saint, also known as Lebuin, who did missionary work in Frisia.
LEÓN m Spanish
Spanish form of LEON
is also the name of a province in Spain, though the etymology is unrelated.
LEON m English, German, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Dutch, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek λεων (leon)
. During the Christian era this Greek name was merged with the Latin cognate Leo
, with the result that the two forms are used somewhat interchangeably across European languages. In England during the Middle Ages this was a common name among Jews. A famous bearer was Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), a Russian Communist revolutionary.
LEONARD m English, Dutch, German, Ancient Germanic
Means "brave lion"
, derived from the Germanic elements lewo
"lion" (of Latin origin) and hard
"brave, hardy". This was the name of a 5th-century Frankish saint from Noblac who is the patron of prisoners and horses. The Normans brought this name to England, where it was used steadily through the Middle Ages, becoming even more common in the 20th century.
LEONARDO m Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Italian, Spanish and Portuguese form of LEONARD
. A notable bearer was Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), an Italian artist and scientist of the Renaissance. He is known as the inventor of several contraptions, including flying machines, as well as the painter of the Mona Lisa
. Another famous bearer was Leonardo Fibonacci, a 13th-century Italian mathematician. A more recent bearer is American actor Leonardo DiCaprio (1974-).
LEONHARD m German
German form of LEONARD
. A famous bearer was the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler (1707-1783), who made many important contributions to calculus, number theory, geometry and theoretical physics.
LEONIDAS m Greek, Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek λεων (leon)
meaning "lion" combined with the patronymic suffix ιδης (ides)
. Leonidas was a Spartan king of the 5th century BC who sacrificed his life and his army defending the pass of Thermopylae from the Persians. This was also the name of a 3rd-century saint and martyr, the father of Origen, from Alexandria.
LEONTIOS m Ancient Greek
Derived from Greek λεων (leon)
. This was the name of various early saints and martyrs. It was also borne by a 7th-century Byzantine emperor.
LEOPOLD m German, Dutch, English, Slovene, Polish
Derived from the Germanic elements leud
"people" and bald
"bold". The spelling was altered due to association with Latin leo
"lion". This name was common among German royalty, first with the Babenbergs and then the Habsburgs. Saint Leopold was a 12th-century Babenberg margrave of Austria, who is now considered the patron of that country. It was also borne by two Habsburg Holy Roman emperors, as well as three kings of Belgium. Since the 19th century this name has been occasionally used in England, originally in honour of Queen Victoria's uncle, a king of Belgium, after whom she named one of her sons. It was later used by James Joyce for the main character, Leopold Bloom, in his novel Ulysses
LEROY m English
From the French nickname le roi
meaning "the king"
. It has been common as an English given name since the 19th century.
LESLIE f & m English
From a Scottish surname that was derived from a Scottish place name, probably derived from Gaelic leas celyn
meaning "garden of holly"
. It has been used as a given name since the 19th century. In America it was more common as a feminine name after the 1940s.
LESTAT m Literature
Name used by author Anne Rice for a character in her Vampire Chronicles
series of novels, first released in 1976, where it belongs to the French vampire Lestat de Lioncourt. Rice possibly intended the name to appear derived from Old French or Occitan l'estat "state, status"
, though apparently her husband's name Stan
LESTER m English
From a surname that was derived from the name of the city of Leicester, originally denoting a person who was from that place. The city's name is derived from the river name Ligore
combined with Latin castra
LEV (1) m Russian
in Russian, functioning as a vernacular form of Leo
. This was the real Russian name of both author Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) and revolutionary Leon Trotsky (1879-1940).
LEVENT m Turkish
From the Ottoman Turkish term levend
, referring to a member of the navy, which is possibly ultimately derived from Italian levante
"person from the eastern Mediterranean". The Turkish word has now come to mean "tall, handsome, roguish"
LEVENTE m Hungarian
Old Hungarian name, possibly of Slavic origin, or possibly from Hungarian lesz "will be"
. This name was used by the Árpád royal family since at least the 10th century.
LEVI m Hebrew, English, Dutch, Biblical, Biblical Latin
Possibly means "joined, attached"
in Hebrew. As told in the Old Testament, Levi was the third son of Jacob
, and the ancestor of one of the twelve tribes of the Israelites, known as the Levites. This was the tribe that formed the priestly class of the Israelites. The brothers Moses
were members. In the New Testament this is another name for the apostle Matthew
. As an English Christian name, Levi
came into use after the Protestant Reformation.
LEVON m Armenian
Armenian form of LEON
. This was the name of several kings of Cilician Armenia, including the first king Levon I the Magnificent.
LEWIS m English
Medieval English form of LOUIS
. A famous bearer was Lewis Carroll (1832-1898), the author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
. This was also the surname of C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), the author of the Chronicles of Narnia
LI (1) f & m Chinese
From Chinese 理 (lǐ)
meaning "reason, logic", 立 (lì)
meaning "stand, establish", 黎 (lí)
meaning "black, dawn", 力 (lì)
meaning "power, capability, influence" (which is usually only masculine) or 丽 (lì)
meaning "beautiful" (usually only feminine). Other Chinese characters are also possible.
LIAN (2) m & f Chinese
From Chinese 莲 (lián)
meaning "lotus, water lily", 濂 (lián)
meaning "waterfall", or other Chinese characters that are pronounced similarly.
LIBERIUS m Late Roman
Late Latin name that was derived from Latin liber "free"
. This name was borne by a 2nd-century saint and a 4th-century pope.
LIBORIUS m Late Roman
Possibly a variant of LIBERIUS
, or possibly a Latinized form of a Gaulish name. Saint Liborius was a 4th-century bishop of Le Mans.
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 that was originally from the name of a city in England, called Lindum Colonia
by the Romans, 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.
LINDEN m English
From a German surname that was derived from Old High German linta
meaning "linden tree"
LINDSAY f & m English, Scottish
From an English and Scottish surname that 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 that was originally taken from place names meaning either "flax ford" or "linden 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 that are pronounced similarly.
LINTON m English
From a surname that was originally from place names meaning either "flax town" or "linden tree town" in Old English.
LINWOOD m English
From a surname that was originally from a place name meaning "stream forest"
in Old English.
LIRON m & f Hebrew
Means "song for me"
or "joy for me"
LIVIUS m Ancient Roman
Roman family name that 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.
LJUBIŠA m Serbian
From the Slavic element lyuby
combined with a diminutive suffix.
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.
LLOYD m English
From a surname that was derived from Welsh llwyd
. 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 that was originally derived from a Scottish place name meaning "little hollow"
in Scottish Gaelic.
LOKI m Norse Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly derived from the Germanic root *luka
meaning "knot, lock"
. 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).