KRISTINA f Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Russian, German, Slovene, Czech, Lithuanian, Serbian, Croatian, Faroese, English, Bulgarian
Form of CHRISTINA
, and a Bulgarian variant of HRISTINA
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.
LEIA f Biblical Greek, Popular Culture
Form of LEAH
used in the Greek Old Testament. This is the name of a princess in the 'Star Wars' movies by George Lucas, who probably based it on Leah
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.
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').
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
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).
MABELLE f English
Variant of MABEL
. It also coincides with the French phrase ma belle
meaning "my beautiful".
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.
MAËL m French, Breton
French form of Breton Mael
, which was derived from a Celtic word meaning "chief" or "prince". Saint Mael was a 5th-century Breton hermit who lived in Wales.
MAHALA f English
Variant of MAHALAH
. It has occasionally been used as an English Christian name since the Protestant Reformation.
MAHULENA f Czech
Possibly inspired by MAGDALENA
. The Czech author Julius Zeyer created it for a character in his play 'Radúz and Mahulena' (1898).
MARGAUX f French
Variant of MARGOT
influenced by the name of the wine-producing French town. It was borne by Margaux Hemingway (1954-1996), granddaughter of author Ernest Hemingway, who had it changed from Margot
MARIAH f English
Variant of MARIA
. It is usually pronounced in a way that reflects an older English pronunciation of Maria
. The name was popularized in the early 1990s by the American singer Mariah Carey (1970-).
MARIAN (1) f English
Variant of MARION (1)
. This name was borne in English legend by Maid Marian, Robin Hood's love. It is sometimes considered a combination of MARY
MARJORIE f English
Medieval variant of MARGERY
, influenced by the name of the herb marjoram
. After the Middle Ages this name was rare, but it was revived at the end of the 19th century.
MATTHIAS m Greek, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, French, Dutch, Biblical, Biblical Latin, Biblical Greek
Variant of Matthaios
) which appears in the New Testament as the name of the apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas
Iscariot. This was also the name of kings of Hungary, including Matthias I who made important reforms to the kingdom in the 15th century.
MAUD f English, Dutch
Usual medieval form of MATILDA
. Though it became rare after the 14th century, it was revived and once more grew popular in the 19th century, perhaps due to Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem 'Maud' (1855).
MERCIA f English (Rare)
Latinate form of MERCY
. This was also the name of an old Anglo-Saxon kingdom, though it has a different origin.
MERLE f & m English
Variant of MERRILL
. The spelling has been influenced by the word merle
meaning "blackbird" (via French, from Latin merula
MERLYN m & f English
Variant of MERLIN
, sometimes used as a feminine form. It has perhaps been influenced by the Welsh word merlyn
MERYL f English
Variant of MURIEL
, influenced by the spelling of the name CHERYL
. A famous bearer is American actress Meryl Streep (1949-), whose real name is Mary Louise Streep.