LABAN m Biblical
Derived from Hebrew לָבָן (lavan)
meaning "white". In the Old Testament this is the name of the father of Rachel and Leah.
LACHESIS f Greek Mythology
Means "apportioner" in Greek. She was one of the three Fates or Μοιραι
(Moirai) in Greek mythology. She was responsible for deciding how long each person had to live.
LACHLAN m Scottish, English (Australian)
Originally a Scottish nickname for a person who was from Norway. In Scotland, Norway was known as the "land of the lochs", or Lochlann
LACHTNA m Irish
Means "milk-coloured" in Irish Gaelic. According to legend this was the name of an ancestor of the Irish king Brian
LACY f & m English
From a surname which was derived from Lassy
, the name of a town in Normandy. The name of the town was Gaulish in origin, perhaps deriving from a personal name which was Latinized as Lascius
LAEL m Biblical
Means "of God" in Hebrew. This was the name of the father of Eliasaph in the Old Testament.
LAELIA f Ancient Roman
Feminine form of Laelius
, a Roman family name of unknown meaning. This is also the name of a type of flower, an orchid found in Mexico and Central America.
LAIMA f Lithuanian, Latvian, Baltic Mythology
From Latvian laime
and Lithuanian laima
which mean "luck, fate". This was the name of the Latvian and Lithuanian goddess of fate, luck, pregnancy and childbirth. She was the sister of the goddesses Dekla and Karta, who were also associated with fate.
LAIUS m Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of Greek Λαιος (Laios)
, which is of unknown meaning. This was the name of a king of Thebes in Greek mythology, the husband of Jocasta
. Due to a prophecy that he would be killed by his son, Laius left his infant Oedipus
for dead. The boy survived but was ignorant of his true parentage. Years later he unwittingly killed Laius in a quarrel on the road.
LAKE m & f English (Rare)
From the English word lake
, for the inland body of water. It is ultimately derived from Latin lacus
LAKSHMANA m Hinduism
Means "having lucky marks" in Sanskrit. In the Hindu epic the 'Ramayana' he is the trusted companion of the hero Rama
, accompanying him into exile.
LAKSHMI f & m Hinduism, Indian, Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi, Hindi
Means "sign, mark" in Sanskrit. This is the name of the Hindu goddess of prosperity, good luck, and beauty. She is the wife of Vishnu
and her symbol is the lotus flower, with which she is often depicted.
LAL m Indian, Hindi, Nepali
Means "boy" in Hindi, derived from Sanskrit लल (lala)
meaning "playing, caressing".
LALA f Bulgarian
From a South Slavic word meaning "tulip". It is derived via Turkish from Persian لاله (laleh)
LALAGE f Literature
Derived from Greek λαλαγεω (lalageo)
meaning "to babble, to prattle". The Roman poet Horace used this name in one of his odes.
LALE f Turkish
Means "tulip" in Turkish, of Persian origin.
LALI f Georgian
Means "ruby" in Georgian, of Sanskrit origin.
LALLA f Literature
Derived from Persian لاله (laleh)
meaning "tulip". This was the name of the heroine of Thomas Moore's poem 'Lalla Rookh' (1817). In the poem, Lalla, the daughter of the emperor of Delhi, listens to a poet sing four tales.
LAMAR m English, African American
From a French and English surname, originally from a place name in Normandy, which was derived from Old French la mare
meaning "the pool".
LAMBAER m Limburgish
Limburgish form of LAMBERT
. Its spelling has been influenced by the French pronunciation of Lambert.
LAMECH m Biblical
Possibly means "to make low" in Hebrew. This is the name of two characters in Genesis in the Old Testament: a descendant of Cain
and the father of Noah
LAMIA (2) f Greek Mythology
Possibly from Greek λαιμος (laimos)
"throat". In Greek mythology this is the name of a queen of Libya who was a mistress of Zeus
, being jealous, kills Lamia's children, causing her to go mad and transform into a monster that hunts the children of others.
LAMONT m English
From a Scottish surname which was derived from the Old Norse given name Logmaðr
meaning "law man".
LAMYA f Arabic
Means "having beautiful dark lips" in Arabic.
LAN 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 land
meaning "land". 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
. His earliest appearance is in the works of the 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes.
LANDON m English
From a surname which 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 which was derived from a place name meaning "long ford" in Old English.
LANI f Hawaiian
Means "sky, heaven, royal, majesty" in Hawaiian.
LARA (1) f Russian, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Hungarian, Slovene, Croatian
Russian short form of LARISA
. It was introduced to the English-speaking world by a character from Boris Pasternak's novel 'Doctor Zhivago' (1957) and the subsequent movie adaptation (1965).
LARISA f Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Latvian, Greek Mythology
Possibly derived from the name of the ancient city of Larisa in Thessaly, which meant "citadel". In Greek legends, the nymph Larisa was either a daughter or mother of Pelasgus, the ancestor of the mythical Pelasgians. This name was later borne by a 4th-century Greek martyr who is venerated as a saint in the Eastern Church. The name (of the city, nymph and saint) is commonly Latinized as Larissa
, with a double s
LARUNDA f Roman Mythology
Possibly connected to Greek λαλεω (laleo)
"to talk, to chatter", or the Latin term Lares
referring to minor guardian gods. In Roman mythology Larunda or Lara was a water nymph who was overly talkative. She revealed to Juno that her husband Jupiter was having an affair with Juturna, so Jupiter had Larunda's tongue removed. By the god Mercury she had two children, who were Lares.
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.
LAUMA f Latvian, Baltic Mythology
Meaning unknown. In Latvian mythology this is the name of a forest spirit sometimes associated with childbirth and weaving.
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' (1594).
LAURA f English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Late Roman
Feminine form of the Late Latin name Laurus
, which meant "laurel". This meaning was favourable, since in ancient Rome the leaves of laurel trees were used to create victors' garlands. The name was borne by the 9th-century Spanish martyr Saint Laura, who was a nun thrown into a vat of molten lead by the Moors. It was also the name of the subject of poems by the 14th-century Italian poet Petrarch.... [more]
LAUREL f English
From the name of the laurel tree, ultimately from Latin laurus
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 which was derived from a French place name, ultimately derived from the Gaulish word vern
meaning "alder". It is sometimes associated with the Roman goddess Laverna
or the Latin word vernus
LAVINIA f Roman Mythology, Romanian
Meaning unknown, probably of Etruscan origin. In Roman legend Lavinia was the daughter of King Latinus, the wife of Aeneas
, and the ancestor of the Roman people. According to the legend Aeneas named the town of Lavinium in honour of his wife.
LAWAN f Thai
Possibly means "beautiful" in Thai.
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.
LAYLA f Arabic, English
Means "night" in Arabic. This was the name of the object of romantic poems written by the 7th-century poet known as Qays. The story of Qays and Layla became a popular romance in medieval Arabia and Persia. The name became used in the English-speaking world after the 1970 release of the song 'Layla' by Derek and the Dominos, the title of which was inspired by the medieval story.
LAYTON m English
From a surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning "settlement with a leek garden" in Old English.
LEAH f English, Hebrew, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
From the Hebrew name לֵאָה (Le'ah)
which was probably derived from the Hebrew word לְאָה (le'ah)
meaning "weary". Alternatively it might derive from a Chaldean name meaning "mistress" or "ruler" in Akkadian. In the Old Testament Leah is the first wife of Jacob
and the mother of seven of his children. Jacob's other wife was Leah's sister Rachel
. Although this name was used by Jews in the Middle Ages, it was not typical as an English Christian name until after the Protestant Reformation, being common among the Puritans.
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.
LEATRICE f English
Possibly a combination of LEAH
. This name was first brought to public attention by the American actress Leatrice Joy (1893-1985).
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 which was derived from Old English leah
meaning "clearing". 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.
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 Biblical, Mormon
From an Old Testament place name meaning "jawbone" in Hebrew. 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.
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
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.
LEILA f Arabic, Persian, English, Georgian
Variant of LAYLA
. This spelling was used by Lord Byron for characters in 'The Giaour' (1813) and 'Don Juan' (1819), and it is through him that the name was introduced to the English-speaking world.
LEILANI f & m Hawaiian
Means "heavenly flowers" or "royal child" from Hawaiian lei
"flowers, lei, child" and lani
"heaven, sky, royal, majesty".
LEIMOMI f Hawaiian
Means "pearl lei" or "pearl child" from Hawaiian lei
"flowers, lei, child" and momi
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 "belonging to 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' (1726).
LENA f Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Polish, Russian, English, Italian, Portuguese, Greek
Short form of names ending in lena
, such as HELENA
LENNON m Scottish, English (Rare)
Anglicized form of the Irish surname Ó Leannáin
, which means "descendant of Leannán". The name Leannán
means "lover" in Gaelic. This surname was borne by musician John Lennon (1940-1980), a member of the Beatles.
LENNOX m Scottish, English (Rare)
From a Scottish surname which was derived from the name of a district in Scotland. The district, called Leamhnachd
in Gaelic, possibly means "place of elms".
LENORE f English
Short form of ELEANOR
. This was the name of the departed love of the narrator in Edgar Allan Poe's poem 'The Raven' (1845).
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
meaning "lion", 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.
LEOCADIA f Spanish, Late Roman
Late Latin name which might be derived from the name of the Greek island of Leucadia
or from Greek λευκος (leukos)
meaning "bright, clear, white" (which is also the root of the island's name). Saint Leocadia was a 3rd-century martyr from Spain.