Unique Names Starting With L
Description:Lucius is an old Roman clan name that has lots of religious and literary resonance, yet is still vital today. It was the name of three popes, appears in several Shakespeare plays, and, like all the names beginning with 'luc' relates to the Latin word for light.It was one of a limited number of forenames used in ancient Rome.
Description:Lysander is a distinctive Greek name that could be thought of as a more creative cousin of Alexander. In ancient history, Lysander was the name of an esteemed Spartan naval commander and his literary cred comes from one of the two star-struck young men in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, as well as one of the twin sons (the other being Lorcan) of Luna Lovegood, whom we learn about in the Harry Potter epilogue.
Description:Lucifer is the name of the archangel cast into hell -- theologians disagree on whether he and Satan are separate beings -- and as such has long been on the forbidden list for religious parents. Still banned in New Zealand, Lucifer is occasionally used in the contemporary U.S.: Six boys were given the name in the most recent year counted.
Origin:Latinized Greek variation of Hebrew Eleazar
Meaning:"God is my helper"
Description:Lazarus is a name that looks as if it could possibly be raised from the dead, just like its biblical bearer. Look for it in the next wave of Old Testament revivals that transcend their long-bearded images, the way Noah, Moses, and Abraham have for this generation.
Origin:English, diminutive of Charlotte
Description:Lottie is a nostalgic great-grandma name that conjures up lockets and lace, and -- like Nellie, Josie, Hattie, Tillie, and Milly -- has considerable vintage charm. A Top 100 name at the end of the nineteenth century, Lottie fell off the popularity list around 1960, but well might climb back on most likely as a diminutive for the currently popular Charlotte. It's already an amazing Number 85 in England and Wales.
Description:Can Linus lose its metaphorical security blanket and move from the Peanuts page onto the birth certificate? We think it has enough charm and other positive elements going for it for the answer to be yes.
Origin:French form of Lucian
Description:Sophisticated Gallic version of Lucian, Lucien may appeal to parents attracted to this meaning over that of Lucas and Luke, which have a different root, and also looking for a more unusual choice.
Description:Lorcan is a name rich in Irish history as belonging to several kings, including the grandfather of the most famous high king of Ireland, Brian Boru. Lorcan O'Toole, known in English as Laurence O'Toole, is the patron saint of Dublin, so it's not too surprising that Irish-born actor Peter O'Toole named his son Lorcan.
Description:This concise one-syllable name, has two possible derivations and two positive meanings associated with it. In Hebrew, it means "heart", while in Russian it means "lion". So strong and simple Lev has both a soft and a fierce side.
Origin:Scandinavian from Latin Laurentius
Meaning:"crowned with laurel"
Description:Lars is a perfect candidate for a cross-cultural passport: it has been heard often enough here to sound familiar and friendly, yet retains the charisma of a charming foreigner.
Origin:Latin, from ancient place name Lavinium
Description:Lavinia is a charmingly prim and proper Victorian-sounding name which actually dates back to classical mythology, where it was the name of the wife of the Trojan hero Aeneas, who was considered the mother of the Roman people.
Meaning:"flower and color name"
Description:Lavender lags far behind sweet-smelling purple-hued sister names Violet and Lilac, but is starting to get some enthusiastic attention from cutting-edge namers. It does have a history as a name, going back to the eighteenth century, when it was also used for boys. But its recent attention comes from Lavender Brown, a witch character in the Harry Potter saga – though Lavender had also been previously featured as a best friend character in Roald Dahl's Matilda.
Description:This name of a character played by Kirsten Dunst in the movie Virgin Suicides, originally a novel by Jeffrey Eugenides, is gaining attention, also thanks to the heroine Lux, Lady of Luminosity in the League of Legends games. Luz is the Spanish version.
Description:The Hungarian classic Laszlo, with its zippy 'z' middle and energetic 'o' ending, has become something of a hipster option, beginning to be considered by cutting-edge parents.
Description:Leander is an almost unknown name with great potential as a possible alternative to the overused Alexander. In Greek legend, Leander was the powerful figure who swam across the Hellespont every night to visit his beloved Hero, a priestess of Venus.
Origin:Norse mythological name
Description:Loki is the shape-shifting, gender-bending god of mischief in Norse mythology. Taking several animal forms, from a salmon to a seal to a fly, Loki is alternately friend and foe of the gods.
Description:Lumi may be a rare girls' name in the USA and England, but it comes in the Top 50 in Finland, where it means snow. Given the popularity of Winter, Holly, Ivy and many other wintery-christmassy names, we think that short and spunky Lumi definitely has potential for greater usage outside its home country as one of the more unusual names for Christmas babies.
Description:Love is best left as a middle name, as in Jennifer Love Hewitt. Love alternatives that carry a similar romantic sentiment, and may work better as first names, include Juliet and Valentina.
Origin:Italian diminutive of Eleonora or Eleanor, meaning unknown
Description:Its mellifluous sound makes Leonora--which has a rich history and a tie to the popular Leo names-- a keen possibility for revival. Though it's been hiding below the Top 1000 since the 1940s, Leonora is being rediscovered by stylish parents in the US and Europe.
Leonora has the distinction of being three major opera characters, including the heroines of Beethoven's Fidelio and Verdi's Il Trovatore. It was also the name of two characters played by Elizabeth Taylor--in Secret Ceremony and Reflections in a Golden Eye.
Origin:English, from Persian
Meaning:"bluish or lilac"
Description:Could Lilac be the next Lila or Lily or Violet? It certainly has a lot going for it--those lilting double 'l's, the fabulous fragrance it exudes, and the fact that it's a color name as well, providing a ready made nursery theme. In addition, the lilac is symbolic of first love.
Origin:Diminutive of Louise or Lucy, or Arabic
Description:Lula has a firecracker personality, a singing and dancing extrovert. Interesting that Lulu was a Top 100 name when the Social Security list was born in 1880, but it's been sliding ever since and has not been in the Top 1000 for decades. Modern parents in love with Lulu might well reverse that trend.
Description:One of a group of pretty double L names, Lilia is more unusual and distinctive than some others. Truly cross-cultural, the lilting Lilia is heard in the Russian, Spanish, Hebrew, and Hawaiian communities and would be a good choice for a child born to parents of different ethnicities.
Description:The eternal fiancee of Superman turned sweet gray-haired lady who's always available to babysit her grandkids. Lois is actually a New Testament name of Greek origin: she was converted by Paul and was the grandmother of Timothy, who became one of Paul's disciples. Other s-ending names are making a comeback, as is Louise, so why not Lois?
Origin:Various origins and meanings, including Portuguese
Description:Luan is a handsome, unusual boy's name with surprisingly diverse origins. It's a rare Portuguese name meaning "moon", an Albanian name meaning "lion", a Vietnamese name meaning "justice; ethics", and a Gaelic name meaning "hound; warrior".
Origin:English bird name
Description:Lark is getting some new and well-deserved attention as a post-Robin and Raven bird name. Although it was first recorded as a name in the 1830's, it has never appeared on the Social Security list.
Description:This aristocratic, somewhat formal Germanic route to the popular Leo is a royal name: Queen Victoria used it to honor a favorite uncle, King Leopold of Belgium. Though Leopold sounds as if it might be a leonine name, it's not really a relative of such choices as Leon, and Leonard.
Origin:Welsh, variation of Llywelyn
Description:Llewellyn/Llywelyn is a common patriotic first name in Wales, with its distinctive Welsh double LL's; in the U.S. Llewellyn would make a daring choice, though with the chance that some might find the ellen sound slightly feminine.
Meaning:"twinflower, lime tree"
Description:Linnea is an attractive Scandinavian name that derives from the renowned 18th century Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, who developed the Linnean system of classifying plants and animals.
Origin:French, diminutive of Elizabeth or Lise
Meaning:"pledged to God"
Description:Lisette, also spelled Lizette, is a dainty,, if somewhat dated, Gallic offshoot of Elizabeth. It reached its U.S. peak of popularity in 1999, then fell off the list in 2001.
Origin:Short form of Louise
Description:Lou is usually a short form of Louise, Louisa, or Lucy in English-speaking countries, when Lou is used for girls at all. But in France and Germany, it's a fashionable choice all on its own, sure to gain even more widespread style credibility since Heidi Klum and Seal chose it for their daughter.
Description:Once restricted to evangelical Protestants honoring the ecclesiastical reformer and theologian Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant revolution. In more recent times it has been favored by parents wishing to honor civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr. Luther was a Top 100 name at the turn of the last century, but fell off the list in the early 1990s.
Luther Burbank was an eminent botanist and Luther Vandross was a popular R&B artist. It's the name of a main character on the Disney series Zeke and Luther. The name was given a shot of contemporary energy via Idris Elba's dynamic performance in the eponymous BBC crime drama.
Description:Leonie is a chic French and German form of a name that exists in a range of variations from Leona to Leonia to Leon to Leo to Lionel, all newly fashionable after a couple of generations in style limbo.
Origin:Variation of Lyndon
Meaning:"linden tree hill"
Description:The graceful, natural image of the verdant shade tree transcends any connection with President Johnson.
Origin:Scottish and English from French
Meaning:"someone who lives on an island"
Description:Straightforward single-syllable name, but be warned that by the time he's three, any Lyle will be sick of hearing "Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile".
Origin:Diminutive of any Lu name
Description:Lula is one of the livelier nickname-names with the fashionable double-L sound: It joins Lulu, Lila, Lily, and Lou among the trendiest names today. Lula might be short for Talula and sisters or for Lucy or Louise, or may stand on its own two adorable feet. Lula was actually a Top 50 name in the late 1880's and continued in the Top 100 for a couple of decades more.
Origin:English, diminutive of Letitia, Latin
Description:Lettie, also spelled Letty, is a nickname name not heard in over a century, giving it the patina of a treasured antique. Lettie's style currency is rising with the trend for old-fashioned, down-to-earth nicknames. Lettie is right in step with Lottie, Hettie, Hattie, Josie, and Maisie.
Description:One of the fierce new animal names new to name lists, helped by its strong x-ending.
Meaning:"lion or wet"
Description:Laith is a cross-cultural boys' name that's among the Top 1000 in the UK, with a leonine meaning in Arabic that is on trend right now. As a Scottish name, it derives from the name of the river Leith in Edinburgh.
Origin:English, diminutive of Elizabeth
Meaning:"pledged to God"
Description:Through all the years when Betty, Betsy, Beth, Liz, and Lizzie were the Elizabethan nicknames of choice, the bubblier Libby was set aside, but today it may be the most modern of all—it has already made a strong comeback in England and Wales, where it ranks Number 139.
Description:This Welsh surname was taken up as a first in the English-speaking world in the early twentieth century, originally as a nickname for someone gray-haired. The original Welsh name was Llwyd, and pronounced LHOO-eed. Beau Bridges was christened Lloyd after his actor father.
Origin:Armenian, variation of Leon
Description:Levon, an unusual alternative to Levi. has two musical associations: it's the title of an Elton John song, inspired by late, great drummer for The Band, Levon Helm--whose birth name was Mark. Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke chose Levon for their son.
Description:Could Lowen be the next Owen? This Cornish name certainly has the right sounds to be an American hit, yet fewer than 50 babies receive the name each year.
Origin:Variation of Larisa, Greek and Russian
Description:Larissa is a nymph name that's daintily pretty and a fresh alternative to Melissa or Alyssa. Though this is the more common variation in the Western World, the original is actually Larisa.
Meaning:"I am with God"
Description:The first name of Ethiopian supermodel Liya (pronounced like Leah) Kebede is also a Russian variation of Lia and Lily. Rather than using Liya, English speakers will do better to call a child Leah or Lia.
Origin:Diminutive of Eleanor, or Hebrew and Greek
Description:Somewhat dated Hebrew name that appears more modern when spelled Liora.
Origin:Occitan pet form of French Liliane
Description:Lilou is a charming, rarely heard import. Occitan is a language spoken in Provence, in the south of France, in which the suffix "ou" denotes a pet form — thus, Lilou as a short form of Liliane or its Occitan form Liliana or Liliano. Its popularity in France--where it's currently Number 12--can be traced to the 1997 film The Fifth Element.
Origin:German variation of Leonora, Italian derivative of Eleonora, meaning unknown
Description:A "modernization" of Leonora that has suddenly come back on the radar along with the many other Leo names--both male and female. With literary cred via a famous eponymous poem by Edgar Allan Poe (and also in his even more famous The Raven,) Lenore was steadily in the top half of the popularity list until the mid-fifties, falling off in 1973. Cameron Diaz played a Lenore in The Green Hornet.
Origin:French variation of Lawrence
Description:A French accent makes almost everything sound better, especially when attached to a Twilight vampire. Laurent also has a high-style feel via designer Yves St-Laurent. Laurent de Brunhoff is the French author-illustrator who continued his father Jean's series of Babar books.
Meaning:"I have a light"
Description:Lior is a unisex name frequently heard in Israel, capturing the popular light theme through its meaning. For English speakers, the one down side is possible pronunciation confusion with "liar," though it's really lee-OR, with a long e sound and emphasis on the second syllable.