Usage: Literature, English
Personal remark: Rhenish Siren, also Lorelai, Loreley, Lorely, Lorelay
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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.
In the English-speaking world this name has been occasionally given since the early 20th century. It started rising in America after the variant Lorelai was used for the main character (and her daughter, nicknamed Rory) on the television series Gilmore Girls (2000-2007).