Where did the baby name Lerin come from in 1980?

L'erin Cosmetics commercial, 1980s
L’erin Cosmetics commercial, 1980s

The name Lerin first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1980:

  • 1990: 7 baby girls named Lerin
  • 1989: 9 baby girls named Lerin
  • 1988: 11 baby girls named Lerin
  • 1987: unlisted
  • 1986: 17 baby girls named Lerin
  • 1985: 12 baby girls named Lerin
  • 1984: 9 baby girls named Lerin
  • 1983: 22 baby girls named Lerin
  • 1982: 33 baby girls named Lerin
  • 1981: 35 baby girls named Lerin
  • 1980: 35 baby girls named Lerin [debut]
  • 1979: unlisted
  • 1978: unlisted

It was one of the top baby name debuts of the year, in fact.

It also appeared in the data a boy name from 1979 to 1982.

Where did it come from?

It took me a while to figure out that the baby name Lerin — which people often write L’erin or L’Erin — was inspired by the cosmetics brand L’erin.

L’erin was created by the Hanes company in the late ’70s. Hanes had made a big profit that decade from L’eggs hosiery, and it hoped that a line of cosmetics — similarly named and marketed — would achieve the same success.

Hanes was acquired by Sara Lee in early 1979, and Sara Lee put millions into launching and promoting L’erin in the early ’80s. (Here’s a TV commercial for L’erin.) Despite this, “L’erin failed to catch on with consumers. As Hanes and Sara Lee soon discovered, cosmetics were part of the fashion industry, not a consumer product.”

Sara Lee sold L’erin in 1982. The brand was eventually discontinued.

But people with the name are still around, of course. For example, a woman named L’Erin Stortz who works in a Denver salon says “she was destined to work in the beauty industry” because of her name.

Do you know anyone named L’Erin?


16 thoughts on “Where did the baby name Lerin come from in 1980?

  1. My middle name is L’erin; my mother loved the L’erin lipsticks. I was born in 1982, I’ve never met anyone with either of my names.

  2. When I was pregnant in 1985, I happened to be painting my nails with L’Erin cosmetics nail polish and said to my husband, “Hey, how about L’Erin for our baby’s name if it’s a girl?” She is the L’Erin who works in the Denver salon (Matthew Morris Salon) you mentioned in your article. We left out the apostrophe but told her she could add it in when she was older. So when she was in college, she put the apostrophe back in. I was surprised to find out there are so many Lerins (L’Erin’s).

  3. My name is L’Erin as well. I too was named after L’Erin cosmetics in 1984. I have been a hair stylist for 11 years! My mom said their slogan was “Let L’Erin do the talking” and lets just say, I’ve been known to talk.

  4. @L’Erin – Hehe. :)

    Thank you for the slogan.

    I’m really curious know — I wonder just how many L’Erins have gone into hair styling, cosmetics, or a similar beauty-related field.

  5. Hi!! My name is L’Erin as well my dad named me after the cosmetic in 1980!! “Let L’Erin do the talking” is right because I can talk all day!!

  6. Another L’erin here, with a little “e”. I was named after the cosmetics as well in 1984. Myspace and Facebook made me aware of other L’erins. It seems we were all named after the brand. I have, however, met another L’erin. But, she spelled her name differently. And, surprisingly, a few people have told me they know other L’erins. Anywho, I love my name, and it’s really neat to find others who have the same name.

  7. I might be the first person or one of the first to name my child L’erin
    after the cosmetic. I named my son L’erin because his father is named
    Larry but neither of us wanted a jr. So when listening to a commercial
    in early 1979 we determined if the baby was a boy we would name
    him L’erin! Funny we never associated the name as being a girl’s
    name even though it represented a cosmetic. It sounded masculine
    to us. Maybe that is another reason it never really caught on.
    We know only one other L’erin and he is a male as well.
    Interesting! The name was initially given to boys first. Letting the man
    do the talking was something that was still acceptable in the 70’s.
    Just wondering if any of this hindered the success of the product besides
    Sara Lee not being in the fashion industry??! : )

  8. Mother named me L’erin in 82 and I hope to name my next child if it is a girl that also

  9. My name is L’erin for this very reason. I was born in 1981. There is also such a thing as the Lerin islands in France!

  10. Hi!! I’m a L’erin living in Phoenix. I met another L’erin in the early 2000 at ASU in the library when she told me “oh you’re the other L’erin” I was scared lol. I’ve only met 2 other boys with my name in my life- on random at a store when my mom called my name and sales guy answered her and we found out we had the same name. I grew up wanting a boys name- little did I know I had one!! Growing up I was so annoyed at having to correct people I disliked my name but as an adult I’m proud of my name! It’s part of who I am. However- working in public service with the general public- in a tough field of social work I’ve had to protect myself and my family- social media doesn’t have my real name. I had no idea this name was so popular! Awesome info thank you!

  11. My name is L’Erin- my grandmother named me L’Erin because she was a beautician back in the 70s/80s! I was born July 4th 1986! I love my name and have met a few of social media over the years and a xouple in person, guy and girls.

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