Baby Name Needed – Female L-Name from Literature

A reader named Lauren writes:

I’m looking for a baby name inspired by literature, that begins with an L. It is by unique happenstance that both grandmothers and myself will have names that begin with an L- this is something we all want to pass on to my first born daughter, but I am displeased in my search.

I love questions like these. :)

My first thought was actually a male name — Larry, from Somerset Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge. But Larry’s full name is Lawrence, which is already related to Lauren’s name, so there’s probably no way to twist it into a usable baby girl name. (Though I guess Lorenza could work.)

Next I thought of Leora, my favorite character from Sinclair Lewis’s Arrowsmith.

There’s also Lennie, from John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. It’s another male name, but it could be considered a short form of female names like Lena, Lenora or Lenore. (That last one could alternatively be inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven”).

Other names I came up with represent characters I don’t particularly like, so I’m hesitant to “recommend” them…but I’ll mention a few anyway: Lenina from Brave New World, Lydia in Pride and Prejudice, Lily from The House of Mirth, and Lolita from…well, you know.

Finally, with a little help from Wikipedia, I found a few nice Shakespearean L-names: Lavinia from Titus Andronicus, Lucetta from The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Luciana from The Comedy of Errors. (I’ve never read these particular plays, so I don’t know anything about the characters.)

What other literature-inspired L-names can you guys think of?


8 thoughts on “Baby Name Needed – Female L-Name from Literature

  1. Oh, just thought of another possibility: Lucia Perillo, one of my favorite modern poets. (Here’s her webpage.)

    Speaking of poets, I also really like Elizabeth Bishop. Elizabeth can be turned into all sorts of L-names: Lisa, Lisette, Liza, Lizbeth

  2. Another idea: In To Kill A Mockingbird, Scout’s full name is Jean Louise Finch. (I can’t remember how often her real name is actually used in the book, though.)

  3. I’ve played Luciana in Comedy of Errors, so that was my first thought. Love that name. In that produced it “loo-see-AH-na”, but I’m Italian so I’d pronounce it “loo-chee-AH-na”

    I searched a little online, and I found:

    – Lalage was used by the Roman poet Horace in one of his odes.
    – Lalla (which means Tulip in Persian) was the name of the heroine of Thomas Moore’s poem ‘Lalla Rookh’.
    – Lana (last name Lange) was one of Superman’s love interests.
    – Lara from “Doctor Zhivago” by Boris Pasternak
    – Laura was the subject of poems by the 14th-century Italian poet Petrarch.
    – Lavender (last name Brown) is a character in the Harry Potter books.
    – Layla was the name of the object of romantic poems written by the 7th-century poet known as Qays, which became a popular romance in medieval Arabia and Persia.
    – Leanora is a character in the young adult novel “Witness” by Karen Hesse
    – Leila was used by Lord Byron for characters in ‘The Giaour’ and ‘Don Juan’
    – Lettice (short for Letitia) is the main character of the play “Lettice and Lovage” by Peter Shaffer, and the role was originated by Dame Maggie Smith.
    – Ligeia was used by Edgar Allan Poe in his story ‘Ligeia’.
    – Lily (last name Potter) was a character in the Harry Potter books.
    – Lois (last name Lane) was one of Superman’s love interests.
    – Loredana was created by the French author George Sand for a character in her novel ‘Mattea’ and later used by the Italian author Luciano Zuccoli in his novel ‘L’amore de Loredana’.
    – Lorna was created by the novelist R. D. Blackmore for the title character in his novel ‘Lorna Doone’.
    – Lottie (last name Wilkins) was a main character in Elizabeth von Arnim’s novel, “The Enchanted April”
    – Lucasta was first used by the poet Richard Lovelace for a collection of poems called ‘Lucasta’. The poems were dedicated to Lucasta, a nickname for the woman he loved Lucy Sacheverel, who he called lux casta “pure light”.
    – Lucinda was created by Cervantes for his novel ‘Don Quixote’ and subsequently used by Molière in his play ‘The Doctor in Spite of Himself’.
    – Luna (last name Lovegood) is a character in the Harry Potter books.
    – Luned is a servant of the Lady of the Fountain who rescues the knight Owain, in the Mabinogion, a collection of tales from Welsh myth.
    – Lynette was first used by Alfred Lord Tennyson in his poem ‘Gareth and Lynette’.
    – Lyudmila was the name of a character in Aleksandr Pushkin’s poem ‘Ruslan and Lyudmila’.

  4. Ooh, this is fun.
    Here are some more:
    Louisa -Charles Dickens “Hard Times” and Jane Austen’s Persuasion
    Lucy – subject of William Wordworth’s 5 “Lucy poems.” As well as E.M. Forster’s “a Room With a View.”
    Lucie – Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities”
    Leilah – Lord Byron’s poem “Leilah”
    Lucinde – Molière’s L’Amour médecin (The Love Doctor).
    Lavinia- the original is in Virgil’s “The Aeneid” as well as Ursula K. Le Guin’s novel “Lavinia.” However the Lavinia in Titus Andronicus is a tragic figure.
    Lyra- Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy.
    Lyonors- Tennyson’s version of the Arthur Legends.
    Lena- “Light in August” by William Faulkner
    Leslie – ‘Bridge to Terabithia” by Katherine Paterson
    Lux – Jeffery Eugenides’ “The Virgin Suicides”
    Linnet – Agatha Christie’s “Death on the Nile”
    Linnea – children’s picture book “Linnea in Monet’s Garden” by Cristina Bjork

  5. I know I’m late on this, but I just wanted to toss in Lee, as in Harper Lee (“To Kill a Mockingbird”). :]

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