When I do historical research, I sometimes come across the name “Lettice.” It always reminds me of lettuce, the leafy salad green, but of course that’s not the source.
The source is Letitia (Lætitia), which comes from Latin and means “joy” or “gladness.” In England during the Middle Ages, various forms/spellings of Letitia emerged, and one of those forms was Lettice.
English noblewoman Lettice Knollys (b. 1543) was an early Lettice. Her husband Robert Dudley was close to — and had nearly become the husband of — Queen Elizabeth (before his marriage to Lettice).
Later Lettices include English actress Lettice Fairfax (b. 1876), English writer Lettice Cooper (b. 1897), and English socialite Lettice Lygon (b. 1906).
A modern example would be English violinist Lettice Rowbotham (vid), who introduced herself on Britain’s Got Talent a few years ago by saying: “I’m Lettice, like the salad.”
The name Lettice is more common overseas than it is in the U.S., but it does see usage here — enough to have popped up in the SSA’s dataset several times (as recently as 1969).
What do you think of the baby name Lettice? Would you use it?
Source: Letitia – Behind the Name