L Names to Love

L Names to Love

The J names had their day: Jennifer, Jason, Jessica.  Then K was up, and we had lots of Kevins and Kaylas, Kaitlyns and Kyles.

What’s next?  It just might be L’s turn.

Linda wrote about the delicious La-La names, from Lola to Lila to Lily, that are newly popular.  And certainly, the most visible of the L names right now are these Double L names.

(A side note here: DELILAH and TALLULAH may not have an L in first place but are part of this same Double L trend.)

But there are lots of other L names coming up, or already arrived, in other categories.  For instance:


A pan-European trend that seems finally to be reaching the U.S., the Lou names are hugely popular in Great Britain and the Continent for girls as well as boys.  Examples:

LOU and LILOUBoth huge in France, Lou is one of the daughters of the iconic Jane Birkin and Lilou is the Occitan (a dialect of Provence) version of Lily.

LOUIS and LEWIS – Especially popular in Great Britain, Lewis has recently been the number one boys’ name in Scotland.

LOUISE and LOUISALouise, long sleepy in the U.S., is beginning to sound fresh again and is the chic version in France and the U.K., while Louisa (or Luisa) is more widely used in Spain, Portugal, and Italy.

LUCA – The pretty (and to some American ears, too pretty) name for boys is wildly popular throughout Europe but just beginning to be heard in the U.S., sometimes for girls.

LUCAS and LUKE – These two versions of the Biblical Luke, meaning “from Lucanus,” have been in the U.S. Top 50 for several years now.

LUCIAN and LUCIUS – Two variation on an old Roman name meaning “light” that sound fresh and, well, luscious to the American ear.

LUCY, LUCIANA, LUCIALucy has been popular in the U.S. for several years now, but like cousin Lily, has many variations to suit the parent in search of something similar yet more different.

LUDOVIC and LUDOVICA – Further afield but still containing the fashion “lu” sound are these male and female versions of Ludwig, very chic in Italy.

LUNA – The Italian and Spanish word for moon makes a celestial-sounding choice.


Another name trend sweeping Europe that’s beginning to be recognized in America too are names that mean and sometimes even sound like “lion.”  Again, for both genders, examples include:

LEO – This one we’ve heard in the U.S., but still lovely.

LEONLong a top name in German, Leon deserves to be rehabilitated in the U.S., where it had become a joke.  Brad and Angelina giving it to their twin son Knox as a middle name could give it a major boost.

LEONA, LEONIE, LEONORALong considered old-lady names in America, all the female lion names are newly fashionable in Europe and beginning to be considered by adventurous parents here too.

LEOPOLD – While not strictly meaning lion – its meaning is usually given as “bold people” – the Leo in this German name is derived from lion and this long-stodgy name has considerable new hipster cred.

LIONEL – A choice for adventurous baby-namers for both girls and boys.


Some of the freshest Biblical names have L beginnings.

LAZARUS – In 20 years, I predict little Lazaruses will be as plentiful as boys named Noah and Isaiah are today.

LEAH – Already a hit, Leah has an appealingly modern simplicity.

LEMUEL – Destined to step out from Samuel’s shadow.

LEVI – Was beginning to reemerge when Matthew McConaughey chose it for his son, catapulting it to stardom.

LYDIA – Strong, old-fashioned girls’ name that’s reemerging.


A few other L names I like: The Old Lllllady trio LAVINIA, LETITIA, and LUCRETIA.  The word name and surname LAND, originally used for one of the sons of pioneer aviator Charles and Anne Lindbergh, would make a strong choice for a boy or girl today.  Hero name LINCOLN never goes out of style, but sounds particularly attractive now.

About the Author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry and Baby Name DNA. The coauthor of ten groundbreaking books on names, Redmond is an internationally-recognized baby name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show, CNN, and the BBC. She has written about baby names for The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, and People.

Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its sequel, Older. She has three new books in the works.