Meaning & History
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.
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Entry updated February 28, 2019