LOLA & LILY: BABY NAMES IN LA-LA LAND

 Ooh-la-la.  Tra-la-la.  What sounds could be more lilting, more rhythmic, more energetic than these?  This is surely one reason why parents–both celebrities and civilians– are flocking to names with double L-starting syllables, such as:

LILY.  This is the most classic of the bunch, a lovely flower name that has re-blossomed in the last several year, and g iven some modern celeb cred by singer Lily Allen.  We’ve counted at least eight recent starbaby Lilys–and that doesn’t even count Lou Diamond PhillipsLILI, Chris O’Donnell‘s LILLY and Johnny Depp’s LILYROSE.  The more formal versions, LILLIAN and LILIANA are also showing signs of rebirth.

LILAC is another floral option, fresher and newer sounding than both Lily and the similarly-hued Violet; it was picked for his daughter by Donovan Leitch.

The sexy LOLA (though several degrees lower on the thermometer than LOLITA) is also on the rise.  First brought to prominence as the nickname of Madonna daughter Lourdes, it’s now heard almost daily on TV via the daughter of Live with Regis and Kelly‘s Kelly Ripa.  It’s also been bestowed on their little girls by Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen, Chris Rock, Jennie Garth, Lisa Bonet, Carnie Wilson and several other celebs–all of whom ignored  the warning of the song “Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets.”

LILA is a relatively sedate member of this group, even if it did start life as a diminutive of the seductive biblical Delilah.  But don’t confuse it with the variously spelled LAILAs, LEYLAs, LAYLAs and LEILAs out there.

And then there’s the Disneyfied LILO, sure to be a favorite with baby’s older siblings.

LULU is the high-stepping showgirl of the group,  a member of the Coco-Gigi-Fifi contingent (plus, of course, the irascible comics-book Little Lulu.

Looking for something a little more unusual?  We like the charming LILOU, now very hot in France; some other names in La-La land include LALA itself, LALIA, LALITA, LALLY, the Hawaiian LEILANI, LELIA, LILIA (a fictional character in The Ten Commandments movie, LILITH , LULA and LILLA.

And even rarer: LILEAS/LILIAS — the Scottish version of Lily, and LALAGE— a classical name, pronounced lal-a-ghee, heard both in the ancient poetry of Horace and the John Fowles novel, The French Lieutenant’s Woman.

By the way, I also have some thoughts about the oo part of oo-la-la. Stay tooned

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11 Responses to “LOLA & LILY: BABY NAMES IN LA-LA LAND”

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LyndsayJenness Says:

March 18th, 2009 at 3:29 am

Oh I love so many of these! I think Lilac is adorable, I thought it was a little too out there, glad to see it sanctioned here, though! I also love Lilah and Leila. Lula has long been one of my top favorite nicknames. I’m also really liking Lilou, I hadn’t heard that before, and it’s so fun!

Lola Says:

March 18th, 2009 at 8:55 am

Can’t wait to hear about the “oo” Now there’s the sound I love!
Lynday, Lula is gogeous! (I’m a Lulu/Fifi/Gigi gal myself) And Lilac is adorable.

As someone with a Grandma Lilian, I’m saddened by the fairly sudden rise of Lily. Now I have to put it in the middle 🙁 And I have to ask: Lileas? I’ve only ever seen Lilias, variant?

Abby Says:

March 18th, 2009 at 11:25 am

Lula is darling – is that what Tallulah Willis uses as a nickname? It sounds familiar.

Lilou is lovely, but I’d want to put something more formal on the birth certificate.

I love Lulu, too, but my sister worked for Lulu Lemon – the Canadian athletic wear company – so I probably wouldn’t use Lulu. (Then again, I do love their gear …)

But my sentimental favorite is Lally – it’s a nickname given to my friend Laura by one of her nephews when he was just learning to talk. It suits her so well. And Lalage is just so cool. (I really need to get cats. Or goldfish. Or possibly have sixteen more children.)

Emmy Jo Says:

March 18th, 2009 at 7:30 pm

My favorites from the list are probably Lilac and Lila.

How do you pronounced Lileas/Lilias? Is it just the intuitive LIL-ee-iss? If so, it’s quite pretty.

peach Says:

March 19th, 2009 at 9:45 pm

These names have such a fresh, sweet appeal I can see why their popularity has grown. My faves are the longer ones — Lillian, Liliana, Lilac, and Delilah. Lilou is just a bit too weird sounding for me. Unfortunately my last name is rather “L” heavy so if I were to use any of these names they’d be in the middle spot.

Charlotte Vera Says:

March 25th, 2009 at 3:33 am

Don’t forget Luella!

L NAMES TO LOVE – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Says:

June 9th, 2009 at 12:06 am

[…] 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 […]

Dewey%9Hensley Says:

July 28th, 2009 at 7:57 pm

Good article & Fine site

Gillian Says:

December 19th, 2009 at 4:45 pm

How about Laelia? That’s my aunt’s name. her nickname is Laelie. My mom’s name is Gretchen… I love both those names. Also Mikela and Brooklynn.

Leila Says:

March 13th, 2011 at 6:44 pm

I do love how Lilias looks, but how is it pronounced?

ziggy2000 Says:

April 16th, 2017 at 9:16 pm

I love the double l names. My baby girl is called Laleia!

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