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Gender: Female Meaning of Lorelei: "alluring, temptress" Origin of Lorelei: German Lorelei's Popularity in 2017: #462

The name Lorelei is a girl's name of German origin meaning "alluring, temptress". Lorelei is ranked #462 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Mythology Baby Names for Girls and discussed in our forums with posts like "Baby a Day".

From the experts:

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.

Find other names based on Lorelei using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Lorelei

Lorelei Elizabeth King, American actress
Lorelei Mahoney, American singer/actress
Lorelei DeCora Means, Native American civil rights activist; sister-in-law of Russell Means
Lorelei Lee, American adult film actress
Lorelei Lee, ring name of Amy Janas, American pro wrestler
Lorelei Grace Linklater, American actress; daughter of director Richard Linklater
Lorelei Judith Krone (b. 2005), daughter of jockey Julie Krone
Lorelei Toley (b. 2007), daughter of bridal designer Claire Pettibone and Guy Patrick Toley
Lorelei Jade Anderson (b. 2010), daughter of singer Jessa Anderson
Luisana Loreley Lopilato de la Torre, Argentine actress and model; wife of singer Michael Buble
Bronwyn Lorelei, American artist

Pop Culture References for the name Lorelei

"Loreley," song by Blackmore's Night
"Die Lorelei," German poem by Heinrich Heine (beginning "I know not what it means, that I am so sad...")
Lorelei Lee, beautiful showgirl who does well ("A girl can't keep on laughing all the time") in Anita Loos' "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (1925); played by Marilyn Monroe in the 1953 film adaptation; based on the actress Lillian Lorraine
Lorelei, one of the Elite Four trainers in the Pokemon series
Lorelei, two characters in Marvel comics
Lorelei Rox, character in Spirit comics
Lorelei Ambrosia, character in movie "Superman III"
Lorelei Martins, character on TV's "The Mentalist"
Lorelei the Chicken, character on TV's "The Electric Company"
"Lorelei" song by The Pogues
"Lorelei," song by Styx
"Lorelei," song by The Cocteau Twins
"Lorelei," song by George and Ira Gershwin
"Lorelei's Secret" aka "The Dogs of Babel," novel by Carolyn Parkhurst
Lorelei, American rock band
Lorelei, character in MCU Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
Lorelei Davis, Joss and Harry's daughter on TV's "Mistresses"
Lorelei Stafford-Parker, character in Vampire: The Requiem
Lorelei, character from the picture book Moongirl
Lorelei, character from "Victor Frankenstein"
Lorelei, Andy's guitar's name on 'The Office'