How do you feel about your name, Lyra?

“I love my name,” says Lyra, a 27-year-old originally from Oklahoma (but now living in Florida). “I have yet to meet someone who has it.”

The year Lyra was born, her name was not among the top 1,000 baby names in the U.S. (In fact, it has never been a top-1,000 name.) So where does Lyra’s name come from?

I was named after a princess from outer space. My dad read it in a science fiction book when he was in high school.

What does Lyra like about her name?

No one else has my name. It’s Latin and it means lyrical. It’s also the name of a constellation and an MP3 player. It came from a science fiction story and I write science fiction. Coincidence?

[Note from Nancy: The Latin word lyra means lyre, not lyrical. A lyre is a musical instrument.]

What does she not like about it?

Everyone has a hard time pronouncing my name. It’s pronounced (lie-ruh). I get called Laura, Lila, Lori, Lira, Lana, any other name you can think of that starts with an L. Since I don’t have a popular name I could never find personalized stuff like pencils and stickers when I was growing up.

Thank you, Lyra!

54 thoughts on “How do you feel about your name, Lyra?

  1. I actually knew OF a Lyra. My best friend from college was friends with one in HS. I don’t think I ever met her, but I did hear of her. :-)

  2. I named my daughter after the Phillip Pullman His Dark Materials trilogy. No doubt there will be many more as the movie of the first part has just been made (The Golden Compass.)

  3. Lyra, an interesting and very good hearing name.. we, me and my wife, will give this name to our fourth daughter: First Omneya, second Shirin, third Nayla and now Lyra, will be born in a few days!
    Greetings from Germany!

  4. Good call, Olivia — if it does well at the box office, the movie could definitely give the name a boost.

    Wolfgang — cool mix of names!

  5. I like the name lyra… because of the story… golden compass.. the beauty of the character… and I did picked my niece name… Lyra Mia…. I know they don’t go together but I always like the name Mia and I fall in love with the name Lyra… so it fits.. for us.. Lyra Mia… I name my siblings… baby.. one name in each family so this time…. I pick… Lyra Mia….

  6. My 2-year-old daughter’s name is Lyra (pronounced Leer-ah). We just love it, and get compliments on it all the time!

  7. Woah….

    :D My name is Lyra (pronounced leer-ah).

    But a lot people who don’t know me that well mispronounce it as lie – ya. xP

    Hehe…. coincidence? X3

  8. Another Lyra here. Mine’s pronounced lear-ah (lear jet, italian lira). I was named after my godmother Lera, but my mother changed the spelling. I’ve never met another Lyra. It was a little tough when I was a kid – no preprinted stuff with L-Y-R-A on it. Now I’ve very comfortable with my name, and I get compliments all the time.

  9. Hi, Im Lira (Lee-Rah). My parents told me that I was named after the Italian Lira. :)

    People tend to murder my name and say it as “Lie-Ra.”

    I would usually get the comment “oh too bad that Euro came along” and I would usually respond “all is not lost, im still useful in Turkey (Turkish Lira)”

    Lira from the Philippines

  10. My name is Lyra too, and I love it! It’s so odd being on this site though, I’ve never met another Lyra!
    It’s pronounced Leer-rah too!

  11. My name is Lyra too (pronounced lie-rah). I love it because it is such unique & beautiful sounding name. I was named after my mom who’s name is also Lyra. And if I ever have a daughter I would love to name her Lyra, too =)

  12. I LOVE the name Lyra (pronounced Lie-ra) I am 5 months and want to name my daughter Lyra. My mother HATES the name and is afraid children will say Lyra Lyra pants on fire. I don’t care much about what children will say because everybody gets made fun of in there youth for something, but i don’t want to make it worse. What do the Lyras of the world think about this? where you made fun of?

  13. My granddaughters name is Lyra. My daughter and law and son are very musical and named her after the beautiful old harp and the constellation. Lyra means lyrical and it is a lovely, unique name!

  14. I named my daughter Lyra (after the Northern Lights). Her full name is Lyra Grace and we pronounce it Lie- rah. The tots at her nursery school call her Lulu which we think is quite sweet – I can’t bear it when people call her Lee-rah though -it sounds too much like the Italian currency… Though I’m sure all the Lee-rah Lyra’s out there do just fine :-D

  15. My daughter’s name is Lyra. I first heard of it from the movie KPAX. My mother was on Hospice, dieing from Ovarian cancer, and I was watching that movie when I was taking care of her not knowing that it was a girl… her first name is Lyra and middle is Kathleen after my mother…she is delicious..and so smart…and my mom would be proud if she would have met her….

  16. My names Lyra and its pronounced Leer-Ah, i HATE it when people call me Lie-rah, Lyi-rah, Laya, or Loya someone’s even called me Laraya. It means a Lyre or Lyrical. I LOVE my name so much, my neighbor named her daughter Lyrel after me. My sisters names are Taylee, Amelia, Stella and the twins Noelle[Nola] and Nala. My brother’s name is Camdon [Cam].
    I’ve never actually met another Lyra but apparently there are quite a few…

  17. Hmm… Strange, really.
    I’m Japanese so I really don’t meet that many Lyras often.
    I met one before, in the US, though.
    I love my name but I have to agree about how people easily mispronounce the name.
    (Mine is pronunciated like Lai-RA, so I got a lot of Lee-Rahs; in Germany, especially.)
    Technically, I just allow any sort of pronunciation really ;D

  18. My name is Lyra and I get so many compliments………..its pronoounced Leer rah……………Its Italian money……….I just love the name………..maybe we should start a Lyra club…………I didnt know there was a movie with a character named Lyra………interesting

  19. My real name is Caroline, but I’ve gone by Lyra (lie-ruh) since sixth grade. My family was moving to a place with a LOT of Carolines, so before I left, I decided to go by a nickname. I discussed it with my friends for a WHILE. The final three were Carly, Cali, and Lila.
    I was working on a science project later, on stars. One wikipedia page led to another, and soon I was looking at constellations, and eventually I found the page for Lyra.
    I had three names written on my hand. I changed Lila to Lyra, crossed out the other two, and the rest is history.
    Since Caroline is still on the class rosters at school, I usually don’t get my name messed up, except with subs and other places where someone has to read my name. I’ve gotten Lee-ruh, Lil-ruh, Lil-yruh-uh, Lina, Lisa. . . The list goes on.
    And though I wasn’t born with it, I do love the name Lyra, and I plan on going with it for quite a while.

  20. ..hi.. my name is also Lyra,. (pronounced lie-rah).. i love my name ‘coz it is lovely unique name and many people says that my name is beautiful but they have so much compliments about it.. hahaha i love my name.. =)

  21. I first heard of Lyra while looking up constellations. Then by Kate Bush’s song ‘Lyra’
    (lie-rah) made for the movie ‘The Golden Compass’. It’s a beautiful name in whatever way one chooses to pronounce it.

  22. Hi! I just saw this post! My name is Lyra, I am 51. I met one other Lyra about 20 years ago. My mom named me after her roommate in College. In 1959 there was not a science fiction book out yet with the main character name of Lyra! Glad to know there are some more of you out there! I am a musician and people always ask if my parents knew I would be a musician and of course the answer is NO!

  23. I too have called my baby Lyra (pronounced Lie-rah). However the name comes from the Greek word for the harp-like instrument the lyre. In Greek the lyre is called lyra and is pronounced like the Italian lira with the emphasis on the “i”. So technically the lee-rah pronounciation is probably the most authentic. I have Greek roots but chose to have the alternative pronounciation because I love the way it sounds. My little girl has been singing nursery rhymes (no words of course) since she was 10mths old – note perfect, super pitch. What a relief given her name, as I know plenty of Graces that have about as much grace as a sack of potatoes! We haven’t met another Lyra yet either.

  24. Hi, My name is Lyra, too, but it’s pronounced “Leera”. My dad sang opera with a lyric soprano whose stage name was Lyra, before I was born. I have at least two namesakes (babies of friends) somewhere in the Southwest.
    I’ve always liked sci-fi, too! I imagined myself as a princess from another planet when I was *really* young.

  25. Another Lyra here,
    I was named after the star in the constellation Vega, and it is pronounced “Leer-ah”. My mother was also named Nancy, strange.
    I am 36 and I occasionally work at birthday parties, and I was recently in the room with 2 other Lyra’s both 4 years old. It was strange at first, but then I finally knew the feeling of what it must be like to have a common name and meet someone else with the same name.
    I was never made fun of because of it, I love the name and have felt blessed to have been given the gift of a beautiful and unique name. Someday I am sure there will be lots of “Lyra’s”.
    Nice to see so many all over the world.

  26. My name is Lyra too (pronounced Lee-ra). This is exciting to see my name all over, because I absolutely have never run into another Lyra in almost 30 years! Just wait girls, a celebrity will name their daughter Lyra and then it will be all over the place!

  27. Hi,for everybody !!! My name is Lyra, too, (pronounced Lie-rah) I live in Russian Federal. I love my name so much :))) because in Russian it one of the unique name and so lyric. It’s on old Greeks- beautiful, music.

  28. hi! my name is Candy Lyra… it was named after my mother Candelaria…
    i thought my name was the worse name ever…way back on my elementary days.. i’m 20 years old now… now i realized that i have the most special name.. necause i have the unique name of all.. i thank my parents then for naming me Candy Lyra =)
    which means… a sweet person and a princess of a bright star =)

  29. Another Lyra (leerah) representing Fl! It’s crazy finding all these Lyra’s we should be proud to be stars :]

  30. Hi! My name is Lyra too. I am a kid, though. People always botch up my name and say it lyra even though it is pronounced leera. I have never met anyone with my name, and I REALLY want to. I like how my name is unique, but I hate having nothing with my name on it except for custom stuff and PENCILS!!!!!!

  31. I named my daughter Lyra, after the character in the Phillip Pullman books – not the film! I really didn’t like the film. Also I love looking up at the stars, so the fact that Lyra is also a constellation is a winner for me! Her middle name is Skye – I’m sure I don’t need to tell you the reasons for that! We pronounce it Lie-Rah, although she’s now nearly two and calls herself Lala :) we live in the UK, and have yet to meet anyone else with the name Lyra, or that even know of someone with the name!

  32. Love this name the best middle name has to be Star :) Lyra Star lyra meaning musical and Star well you know that so its like the song twinkle little Star xx

  33. Named my daughter Lyra as it encompasses my musical and astronomical interests (Lyra, the smallest constellation with the brightest star and also name checked in a lyric by Rush).

  34. We have a 9 month old daughter named Lyra Zoe, named after the musical instrument lyre (and after reading Philip Pullman’s books) and life – both names of Greek origin.
    She loves music (especially stringed instruments) and is full of life! Thus far I’m glad we chose a name that is apt for her.
    Wonderful to know there are more Lyras than expected!! She joins a very unique club I think :D

  35. I named my 3 year old daughter Lyra November. I love her name but people also mispronounce it all the time. Our last name is German and gets mispronounced 9 out of 10 times as well. We pronounce her name Lyra not “lee-ra”… But everyone says lee-ra for some strange reason. Lol. I got the name from the main character in the book The Golden Compass.
    I have never met anyone with the name and am happy it’s not super popular. My name was the top girls name for the year I was born and lyra’s older brother Aiden has the top name for his birth year too which really annoyed me because I had never herd of anyone with that name and now every kid is named Aiden.

  36. My name is Lyra( Lie rah). I live in Pennsylvania. I was born in 1972 and was named after the constellation. I love my name because it’s so rare. But people never say it correct.


  38. hello name my daughter lyra J(lie-ra) after the movie i also never heard of it untill now she is 15 mos although it is never said correctly we get lira alot i think its a beautiful name and it fits i love saying it so complaments to u all named lyra im glad to hear everyone loves it

  39. I am also named Lyra (lie-ra). My mother named after the musical instrument, the lyre, hoping that someday I would play a musical instrument. I ended up playing the piano growing up. I hated my name when I was younger, but ended up loving it when I was older–for the same reason, it being so unique. Looks like I have many others to share my name with. =)

  40. We actually named our daughter Lyra (pronounced Leer-ah). We named her this bc we have never heard of the name, and we love the uniqueness of it. she was born this yr(2012).

  41. I have always loved this name I’m 17 and hope to have a baby in the next 4 years. Lyra is top of my list and I’m planning to sing that Kate Bush song Lyra to her as a lullaby. I am also considering the middle name Haven as her name would mean Lyrical safe place so she will always know that music is her safe haven her escape from the world :) x

  42. My name is Lyra (lie-rah). I love my name,
    even though no can pronounce it right, I get
    lee-ra all the time. But the first thing out of my
    husbands mouth when we first met was “What
    a beautiful name. I was named after the latin
    first name for a tulip poplar tree. I was born on
    a hippie commune. I was born in 1975. And I
    have never met another Lyra. Glad to see there
    are others!

  43. My name is Lyra too. I love my name and as many have stated, it’s not common and I get compliments all the time! I would love to give my daughter the same name, although I’ve read through others’ feedback that it’s not a good idea to give a daughter the same name as the mother’s. Most girls who were named after their mother “hated” their name. On the other hand, Lyra is a pretty name so why not.

  44. If you have a daughter, would you give your daughter the same name “Lyra” like yours?

  45. We named our daughter Lyra (leer-uh) after a teacher of mine. I must admit a lot of people have to ask me to say it again, “huh?” and I usually will say, “Lyra, L-Y-R-A, like lyrical, Lrya” But most people love it and think it’s very pretty :)

  46. I named my daughter Lyra pronounced leer-uh in 1984 I had never heard the name before I thought I made it up . she is today as beautiful and talented as the name suggests.

  47. My name is Lyra (lie-ra)
    I was named after a person in a book the book was called northern lights by Philip Pullman.

  48. My 3 year old is called Lyra (Lie-ra)
    I unfortunately received a negative comment about her name today, but coming on this site has made me feel so much better.
    My daughter loves her name and ALWAYS corrects people when they get it wrong.
    We named her after Lyra Belacqua in His Dark Materials, which was both mine and my Husbands favourite books when we were kids.
    Her middle name is Charlotte, so she gets called Lyra-Lottie by most people, which I thinks really cute.

  49. When my wife was pregnant with our first child I was struggling with a nme, my wife wanted me to name her. One day I watched the movie”The Golden Campus”, and I find the name I was searching for. As soon as I heard it, it was as I it whispered to me in my ear. I did change the spelling to LAYRA. I wanted it to have conection to my wife’s name which is MAYRA. People still have trouble pronouncing her name.
    My Layra was born on June 23, 2010 <3

  50. Omg, so my name’s Lyra too and it’s sooo weird to read all the comments and everything from so many Lyra’s. I still need to meet someone with my name though… My mom named me after the Lyra in the golden compas because she read it while she was pregnant with me. I’m still a teenager (15) but it’s sooo interesting to read from Lyra’s around the world. For the most people here it would be hard pronouncing my name because I’m from germany and you pronounce it Lüra here.

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