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.

letter-lBIBLICAL Ls

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.

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31 Responses to “L Names to Love”

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MePregnant Says:

June 9th, 2009 at 12:30 am

L NAMES TO LOVE – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry…

Tags: chic names, European baby names, L names, Lindbergh baby name, names that mean lion, names that start with L, old lady names, popular names in England, popular names in Europe, popular names in France, stylish names ……

Erin Says:

June 9th, 2009 at 12:41 am

Laszlo! Has my favorite boy “o” ending, and seems totally fresh, although, admittedly, probably isn’t headed to the top 100 anytime soon. But that’s a good thing!

Also love Lincoln, Louisa, but not Lucretia (too “secretion” sounding to me).

Filipa Says:

June 9th, 2009 at 6:14 am

Here in Portugal, Lúcia and Luísa would be a great pick.
Ana Lúcia, Ana Luísa, or Maria Luísa sound lovely!

Joan Says:

June 9th, 2009 at 8:16 am

So glad to see this–Lena is a frontrunner for our baby girl, due in September, and we’re hoping it will be cool enough, but not too popular. We’re also thinking of Elizabeth, with the L nickname Libby.

Nice to see Lazarus and Lemuel mentioned as alternatives to the now-too-popular Noah and Samuel! The father of a friend from my childhood had Lemuel as his middle name, but I hadn’t thought of it in a long time.

JustADad Says:

June 9th, 2009 at 9:49 am

No Liam? I know a young William who just announced he much prefers this nickname to any other.

Have long loved Leonora and Leonie.

JustADad Says:

June 9th, 2009 at 9:50 am

I have to add, when you say Lucretia, I think Borgia. Not a good association.

Kitty Says:

June 9th, 2009 at 12:40 pm

I totally agree about L names coming into the spotlight. I love Leonie and Louisa. I would totally name a kid Lazarus! How cool is it?

Tons of stylish names here, great post!

Andrea Says:

June 9th, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Lena makes me think of Lena and Ole jokes, many of which are risque and all of which are about how stupid Lena and Ole are. It also reminds me of lefse, since there’s a lefse brand named after Ole and Lena. Don’t move to Minnesota or North Dakota or anywhere with a Norwegian or Swedish population if you name her Lena.

Ash SP Says:

June 9th, 2009 at 3:06 pm

I have a Liam (almost four) and an Isla which I think qualifies as much as Delilah might.

However, the little one due in July will not be a part of the L trend, boy or girl. =D

peach Says:

June 9th, 2009 at 5:01 pm

I’m a fan of Lilou although it might be hard to pull off in the US. I’ve always liked Louisa, Lucy/Lucia, and Delilah! Some of the boy’s names are a great mix of classic and fresh: Leopold, Leon, Louis, Lincoln even Lazarus! I would have considered Levi before it became so trendy.

rachelmarie Says:

June 9th, 2009 at 5:39 pm

I love Lucas, Leah, Louise, and Leo. Great names!
It’s pretty, contemporary, and a good alternative to the uber-popular Olivia.

Ysa Says:

June 9th, 2009 at 6:16 pm

Don’t forget Lucasta!

I love nearly all of these, particularly Lilou, Lewis, and Lavinia.

Boston Girl Says:

June 9th, 2009 at 6:57 pm

I’ve liked Louisa for years; Toni Tennille (of Captain & Tennille fame) has a younger sister named Louisa, though she’s often saddled with the nickname Lulu…which always reminds me of Lulu Roman, the overweight brunette on “Hee Haw” (yeah, I’m a 60s baby).

But the L names I really prefer are apparently not “stylish”: Leslie and Lauren, to begin with. Not that it’s going to matter; the names I like are apparently all “out”, and the ones I don’t like seem to be in…(yep, I’m a picky name nut!)

k Says:

June 9th, 2009 at 7:10 pm

I wonder if anyone in their thirties would name their son Luca after the Suzanne Vega song. I imagine the association will totally pass soon enough, though, it wasn’t a huge hit.

teabee Says:

June 10th, 2009 at 1:38 pm

I like that you mentioned Lavinia. I have always found it intriguing, though I doubt I would use it as a first name.

JNE Says:

June 10th, 2009 at 5:14 pm

I love L names… Lucinda is a favorite, although I won’t use it for one of mine, I love its sound. Leona, Leonie and Leonora are lovely, but Lionel for a girl? Really?! I like it alright for boys, but wouldn’t dream of a girl with the name. Love Lena and Lana and Lilou is great (as is the equally French Malu, even if the “Lou” part is at the end).

belatrix Says:

June 12th, 2009 at 5:02 am

Luca will always remind me of the Suzanne Vega song. Just like Lola will always remind me of the Kinks song, even though it was my grandmother’s name! I pushed hard to name my son Lazarus and my husband almost went for it, but we named him Cyrus instead. Don’t think those song associations will ever totally die out! When I named my daughter Crimson in 2000, I kept catching the nurses humming Crimson &Clover at her. It was kinda cute though and my daughter believes that song is hers but it surely doesn’t have the lyrics of Lola or Luca. Crimson & Clover is a 60’s song though and 40 years later, nurses were still humming it!

Kat Says:

June 15th, 2009 at 10:40 pm

I am intrigued by the comment about not naming your child Lena if you live in the Midwest. I think this is one concept that is often overlooked – regionality. What is popular and “trendy” in one part of the country is not in another; same with certain traditional names being “overused” (I grew up in the south, and was living in the Midwest as an adult before I met anyone my age named Mary, Sue, or Katherine). What is seen as avant garde or ahead-of-the-curve in New York can be seen as downright weird in Houston, and vice versa (but not in Austin!). None of these opinions held by those in various parts of the country are more relevant than any others, but it’s worth taking into account *where* you plan to live before naming your child. There are a lot of other considerations baby books advise us to take before naming – wonder why is this not one of them?

Anna Says:

June 19th, 2009 at 11:40 pm

What about Lulu? or Lula.

Navi Says:

June 22nd, 2009 at 1:22 am

I love Leonie, but have 2 friends who chose that name. considering i live in north America, you don’t have to be adventurous to choose the name.

jennifer Says:

June 30th, 2009 at 7:00 pm

I love the name Lucia and I love the nickname Luci/Lucy!

emily Says:

September 12th, 2009 at 1:14 am

how about Lestonja? Or Laurie?

niki72 Says:

September 27th, 2009 at 9:26 am

Lucy used to be my fave name (now in the lower 60s of my list. . . .) Luci is a new style that I like. Lori is a friend of mine, Leonid is my dad’s name, Luna means moon from Harry Potter’s Luna fave of mine of course, Lucius also from HP and AWESOME. Lenny is a super-cool name LOVE IT. friend named Leslie. im looking for a dog name . . . starts with L. HE is a puppy. Levi is OOH, SO CUTE.

Crystal Says:

January 31st, 2010 at 4:48 pm

I am stunned that the name LAYLA was not mentioned. It just sounds the prettiest to me. Just rolls right off the tongue. Layla Rose or Layla Wren.

namefan Says:

April 14th, 2010 at 4:15 pm

I posted about this at my blog; link is at the bottom of my comment. Since a lot of my blog topics are generation-related, I’m calling these naming “generations” Generations J, K, and L (since “Generations X, Y, and Z” are commonly used to describe the three most recent American generations).

Deana Says:

April 3rd, 2011 at 10:05 am

what about Lindsey/Lindsay/Lyndsay/Lyndsey. That is my long time best friend’s name. I like it. It’s cute and spunky.

Stylish Names: What’s Their Secret? – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Says:

August 15th, 2011 at 11:43 pm

[…] might seem like a little thing, but we posit that the L sound, particularly fashionable now too as a first initial, rings all kinds of positive bells in our subconscious, relating to such uplifting qualities as […]

smismar Says:

July 7th, 2013 at 11:56 am

We’ve decided on Linus for our son (blue blanket be darned). It’s a good name with a strong history and we’ve decided that one character shouldn’t ruin it.

mallowd Says:

October 5th, 2013 at 3:14 pm

I’m a huge fan of L names especially for girls! Most of the ones mentioned, I already liked and a few other people mentioned like Lula, Leslie, Lenore (a), and Layla. I also would include Lyra (favorite), Levia, Linley or Lindley, Landrie, Louisa (someone mentioned that one), Lorraine (a), Leilani, Lyla, Linnae or Linnaea (another favorite), Lida, Lana, Lorna, Laurel, Loralei, Lyric (another favorite), and Lilith! I love the way L names sound, and my middle name is Leigh:)

Fourthseason Says:

January 14th, 2014 at 4:38 am

Loveday, Lovejoy, Lovelace, Leocadia, lolly, lemon and Linus would great options to add to this list! 🙂

shelby930 Says:

April 21st, 2014 at 3:51 am

Lawliet is always a good name : )

or simply L if one wishes to remain anonymous

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