Gender: Female Meaning of Lorelei: "alluring, temptress" Origin of Lorelei: German Lorelei's Popularity in 2019: #454

Lorelei Origin and Meaning

The name Lorelei is a girl's name of German origin meaning "alluring, temptress".

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.

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.

Beyond the influence of the show, Lorelei is benefiting from the popularity of girls' names starting with L -- and two Ls are even better than one.

16 names similar to Lorelei

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Lorelei. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Lorelei, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!

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Rank in US: #454

- this week

Famous People Named Lorelei

Pop Culture References for the name Lorelei


Tigris Says:


I had a baby names book that said Lorelei means "Destruction". lol A bit different than "Alluring temptress", which sounds as though they were trying to give the meaning a positive spin.

Princess Hockey Says:


Such a beautiful name, I would hate for it to be shortened to something so common like Lori too!

Princess Hockey Says:


Very obviously due to Gilmore Girls!

Princess Hockey Says:


I wouldn't bother naming my child Lorelei if I wanted such a common nickname such as Lori personally. That's like naming a child Genevieve and calling her Jen.

strawberry1117 Says:


This is my mom’s name (she was named after the Marilyn Monroe film) and I’ve always loved it. She hates it when people call her Lori and I can see why. It’s such a beautiful name and Lori is so....middle aged momish. Her childhood friends called her Lulu which isn’t exactly a super intuitive nickname but it worked when she was 5. The only thing is that people do struggle spelling it.

fearlessfirefly Says:


What about Loralie?

dianatpage Says:


I've always thought that Lorelei was a beautiful name.

laineysophia Says:


Beyond Gilmore Girls, I believe the name is associated with an old irish lullaby as well. Just an FYI for those afraid of purely GG association

autumnreverie Says:


This name means "luring rock," not "alluring, temptress."

Scallion Martin Says:


Rory sounds very masculine to me. More for a boy than a girl. Lori is prettier as a nickname.

abertawe Says:


To me, this is one of those names where a slight change in spelling totally ruins it.

bordercollie Says:


I love Lorelei. It's got this lovely melodic feel, plus the Gilmore Girls association, which I like.

paulapuddephatt Says:


I think you might be right there. Lauren has been used so much now for girls that it feels like a female name. I don't think it would work for boys now, much like Vivian. It's subjective, of course. The idea, promoted by the description on NB, that Ashley is no longer usable for boys, is inaccurate, in my opinion. The site's own stats show that Ashley is used more for boys, but popular for girls also, here in the UK. It might be less usable for boys in USA, but not worldwide.

RoddyThlayli Says:


Lauren was actually unisex for a long time-- if I recall correctly, related to Laurence/Lawrence as well.

paulapuddephatt Says:


His nickname was Laurie, short for his surname, Lawrence. His full name was Theodore Lawrence. Since Lawrence or Laurence can be male first names, Laurie can be used for boys - but not Lorelei, in my opinion. That's like calling him Laura or Lauren. They're female names.

paulapuddephatt Says:


Yes, Lori is lovely, and more logical than Rory. As a female name, to me, Rory is normally short for Aurora.

paulapuddephatt Says:


Lola is so sweet.

paulapuddephatt Says:



Mikayla395 Says:


southern name.

Fluffykitten101 Says:


Why is this so popular all of a sudden? Lorelei and Lorelai are so beautiful! I guess that's the appeal... Or Gilmore Girls... :(

cnb716 Says:


Maybe because of Little Women's Laurie?

autumnreverie Says:


I prefer the spelling of Loreley, which isn't on Nameberry.

CookieCrumbs Says:


A couple of my friends had a new years eve baby named Lorelei Claire (after the two Pokemon gym leaders. >w< ) and I'm in love with the names and the reference. So cute! <3

JessicaRK467 Says:


I think Lorelei is a beautiful name. I would absolutely compliment anyone who had this name. However, there is something unappealing to me with the way it looks written out. I have no idea why.

headintheclouds Says:


Lorelei's pretty and interesting-sounding- I objectively think it's nice and all right, no particular strong feelings of like or dislike for it. To me, it's always seemed like a quintessential single name-brand for a famous model. + I lump Lorelei together with 90's names Brittany, Heather, Ashley etc. in my mind- not sure why since I don't think it was super popular then, was it?

I only recently started watching Gilmore Girls (yay Netflix) so I've never really had the GG association. HATE the Lorelai spelling, BTW, and Rory isn't a very intuitive nickname IMO- that'd be Lori, but then again that would've sounded dated on a teen. I love a previous commenter's suggestion of Lola, though that's also a bit of a stretch :b (Maybe if she's named LOrelei LAvinia/something- that'd be a tongue twister!)

redecker12 Says:


My oldest daughters name so I guess I'm biased! Husband and I have had it picked out since we were in high school. He is a huge classic rock fan and thinks this name is beautiful and I love it so much. ONLY downside is everyone relates her to Gilmore Girls. Her nn is Rory - she hates being called Lori!

wavygirl Says:


Love it! also love Lorelai, Lauralei and Loralei.

Meyling Says:


I don't know why but I can picture this name for a guy too. Sounds nice on either gender though..

SoDallas3 Says:


Oh okay, that makes sense. :)

AldabellaxWulfe Says:


It's not that the characters themselves were bad. It's just that, because its most recent and well known connotation is the Gilmore Girls, Lorelei ends up coming across as less of an ethereal mythological name and more of a modern choice which brings to mind the fast talking sassy girl stereotype that seems rather prevalent in less intelligent tv shows nowadays.

SoDallas3 Says:


Curious what's so negative about The Gilmore Girls association. I'm not a fan of Rory as a nickname either, but both characters have several redeeming qualities so it isn't bad in the least.

axel Says:


I also know of the nickname Lolly

summersnow Says:


I hate this name so much. I don't understand why so many people like it.

DaisyMaisie Says:


i really like this name!

Theodora_Phoenix Says:


Lola could be another nickname.

AldabellaxWulfe Says:


I adore this name, but I absolutely despised The Gilmore Girls and would be terrified of it now being shortened to the masucline "Rory" as a result of that show. :(

ThistleThorn Says:


The nickname Lori makes so much more sense than Rory.

Essa Says:


Lorelei from Gilmore Girls is pronounced Lor-ruh-lie and so is the restaurant near me named this.

Catastroffy Says:


I know a Lorelei and she is "loh-ruh-LIE".

cdz0004 Says:


Lore-uh-lie is the correct way to say it

LcLauver Says:


I think it's pronounced least, that is how i've heard it said.

onlythingbetterthanhairspray Says:


Is it pronounced LoreLAY or LoreLEE or LoreLIE?

heather75402 Says:


This is my daughters name so of course I love it!!