Its double role as the mother and daughter -- and even grandmother -- on TV's The Gilmore Girls modernized, humanized, and popularized a name previously associated with the mythic seductive siren and the gold digger portrayed by Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
In old German legend, Lorelei was the name of the beautiful Rhine River seductress whose haunting voice led sailors to hazardous rocks that would cause them to be shipwrecked. And this siren image clung to the name for ages.
The popularity of the name has zigzagged in tandem with the more modern cultural references. There was something of an upswing following the Marilyn incarnation of 1953, and again starting in 2004 via Gilmore Girls -- who, by the way, used an alternate spelling, Lorelai. The show's pop culture impact got a lift in 2014, when it started streaming on Netflix -- boosting Lorelei into the Top 450 for the first time.
Gilmore Girls also demonstrated that the dated Lori wasn't the only short form of the name: daughter Lorelai was known as Rory; Grandma's seemingly unrelated nickname was Trix.