Lakshmi

Lakshmi is the name of the Hindu goddess of good luck, prosperity, and beauty. The wife of Vishnu (a major deity in Hinduism). The name means “sign, mark” which derives from Sanskrit root lakṣ लक्ष् (perceive, observe) which ultimately derives from a PIE root word.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “sign, mark”

Usage: Indian, Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia

Variants:

  • Laxmi (Indian, Hindi, Telugu, Marathi, Nepali)

Male forms:

  • Laxmi (Indian, Hindi, Telugu, Marathi, Nepali)

Lulu

Lulu لؤلؤة comes from the Arabic word meaning “pearl” and is often used a female given name. I’ve also come across the name as being used as a pet-name often given to slaves (male and female) in the ancient Middle East.

Lulu also originated as a diminutive of names beginning with the Lu/Lou sounds such as Louise/Louisa (“famous battle” or “famous in battle”), Lucy, Lucia (“light”), Luanne (a combination of Louise + Anne “favor, grace”), etc.

Lulu is also a Chinese female name, often used as a double name such as lù lù 露露 meaning “dew” or lù lù 璐璐 “beautiful jade”. There are likely other meanings depending on the characters used.

Origin: Arabic; Chinese

Meaning: “pearl” in Arabic; often used as a short form of names such as Louise “famous battle” or “famous in battle”, Lucy “light”, Luanne; a Chinese female name with varying meanings depending on the characters used “dew” or “beautiful jade”

Usage: Arabic, English, Chinese

Lyall

Lyall comes from a Scottish surname via an Old Norse name, Liulfr. The second element derives from Old Norse úlfr meaning “wolf” while the first element of the name remains uncertain.

It’s also possible that Lyall originated as a pet-form of Lionel or Lyon, both meaning “lion”; it derives from Latin leō < Ancient Greek léōn which derives from an uncertain origin; it’s possible it could have been adopted from a non Indo-European source, perhaps from Proto-Semitic *labiʾ-, *labuʾ.

Incidentally, Lyall is a homophone of Lyle (which has a totally different etymology and means “island”).

Origin: Proto-Indo-European; uncertain, possibly from a Proto-Semitic origin

Meaning: a shortened form of an Old Norse name “wolf”; could also have originated as a pet-form of Lionel or Lyon “lion”

Usage: English

Variants:

  • Lyell (English)

Lystra

Lystra is the name of a town in Anatolia (also known as Asia Minor) in what is now modern-day Turkey. It is mentioned several times in the New Testament where the Apostle Paul and his companion Barnabas passed through and where he met Timothy, a future saint who would also become Paul’s companion. The name Lystra is of unknown origin though it likely seems to be pre-Greek in origin. It could be possible that the first part of the name could have been interpreted by the Ancient Greeks from luo λυω “to loosen, unbind”- the first part of the name certainly resembles names beginning with it such as Lysander or Lysistrate, but it seems more likely that it originated from a Proto-Anatolian origin.

Origin: unknown

Meaning: unknown though it may have been interpreted to the Ancient Greeks via luo λυω “to loosen, unbind”

Usage: English

Pronunciation: lye-stra (Forvo)

Lovell

Lovell comes from an English surname, a variant of Lowell that originated from Norman French nickname lou (or its feminine form louve) meaning “wolf” combined with a diminutive suffix, which might have originated as a nickname for a fierce or savage person. Lou is the Old French form of Latin lupus (wolf) which ultimately derives from a PIE origin

Origin: Proto-Indo-European

Meaning: “wolf” or “little wolf”

Usage: English

Variants:

  • Lowell (English)

Leith

Leith comes from a Scottish surname, a locational name for someone who came from a place called Leith, a port area in Edinburgh, as well as the name of a river known as the Water of Leith. The meaning and origin of the name is uncertain. It may be derived from Proto-Brythonic *lleɨθ (damp, moist) via Proto-Celtic *lextos which ultimately derives from a PIE root word. 

It’s also possible that Leith is (or could be used) as a variant transcription of Laith ليث, an Arabic male name meaning “lion”.

Origin: uncertain, possibly from a Proto-Brythonic root word; Arabic

Meaning: uncertain though possibly “wet, damp, moist”; also from Arabic “lion”

Usage: English (rare, as a given name and could be considered a unisex name English), Arabic

Pronunciationleeth (Forvo); layth (Arabic)

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Variants:

  • Laith (Arabic)
  • Layth (Arabic)

Leanne

Leanne is an English female name, a combination of Lee (which comes from an English surname meaning “clearing”) and Anne (which comes from Hebrew meaning “favor, grace” via a Proto-Semitic root). 

It could also be a variant spelling of Liane, itself the German and French form of the Liana plant, a type of long-stemmed wooded vine that grows in the jungle. The word derives from Middle French lien (to bind) via Latin ligo (to bind) which derives from PIE root word *leyǵ- (to bind, tie); though Liane is also used as a shortened form of names such as Éliane (the French form of Aeliana, the feminine form of Aelius, a Roman family name of uncertain meaning though it’s been linked to Ancient Greek helios meaning “sun”) or Juliane (the French and German form of Julian from Ancient Roman name Julius of uncertain meaning though it’s been linked to Greek ioulos (downy-bearded) or related to Jupiter, the name of the Roman god derived from Indo-European *Dyeu-Pater meaning “sky father”).

OriginProto-Indo-European, Proto-Semitic; uncertain

Meaning: a combination of given names Lee and Anne “clearing + favor, grace”; could also be a variant spelling of Liane, the German French form of liana, a type of long-climbing vine; also a shortened form of names such as Éliane (the French form of Aeliana, of uncertain meaning, possibly related to helios “sun”), or Juliane (the feminine form of Julian, related to Jupiter “sky father”).

Usage: English

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Variants:

  • Lianne (English, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Finnish)
  • Liane (German, French)
  • Leann (English)
  • Lee-Ann (English)
  • Lee-Anne (English)
  • Lee Ann (English)
  • Lee Anne (English)
  • Li-Anne (English)

Lester

Lester comes from an English surname, a locational name for someone who came from the city of Leicester, England. The second part of the name is from Old English ceaster meaning “city, town” from via castra (camp, encampment) via a PIE origin. The first part comes from Old English Ligore, the name of a tribe living around the area, which may have been borrowed from the name of a river nearby (now known as the River Soar); the origin of the name is uncertain though it seems likely it has a Celtic source, perhaps connected to the French river Loire which may be derived form Gaulish *ligya, *legya (slit, sediment) derived from PIE root word *legʰ– (to lie).

Lester may also be a variant spelling of Lister, an occupational name for a dyer, which comes from Middle English litster made up of liten (to dye, color) made up of the feminine suffix -stere, both derived from a PIE source.

Origin: Proto-Indo-European; uncertain, possibly Celtic

Meaning: a locational name “Ligore’s town”; also an occupational name for a textile dyer

Usage: English

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Variants:

  • Lestor (English)

Leola

Leola is an English female name, the feminine form of Leo meaning “lion” which derives from an uncertain origin; it could have been adopted from Proto-Semitic *labiʾ-, *labuʾ- (lion), which may have originated as a nickname for someone who was courageous and brave.

Origin: uncertain, possibly from a Proto-Semitic source

Meaning: “lion” or, since Leola is a feminine form of Leo, “lioness”

Usage: English

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Variants:

  • Leona (English, German, Czech)
  • Leone (French, English)
  • Leontina (Italian, Late Roman)
  • Leonia (Late Roman)
  • Leonie (French, German, Dutch, English)
  • Léonie (French)
  • Léontine (French)
  • Léone (French)
  • Leontýna (Czech)
  • Leontyne (English)

Male forms:

  • Leo (German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, English, Croatian, Late Roman)
  • Leon (Greek, Ancient Greek, English, German, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Dutch)
  • Leontios (Ancient Greek)
  • Leontius (Ancient Greek, Latin)
  • Levon (Armenian)
  • Leoš (Czech)
  • Léo (French)
  • Léon (French)
  • Léonce (French form of Leontios)
  • Lionel (French diminutive of Léon; English)
  • Levan (Georgian)
  • Leone (Italian)
  • Leonzio (Italian form of Leontios)
  • Leonas (Lithuanian)
  • Lef (Polish cognate of Lev)
  • Lev (Russian)
  • Leonti (Russian)
  • Leontiy (Russian)
  • Leonty (Russian)
  • Lyov (Russian)
  • León (Spanish)
  • Leoncio (Spanish)
  • Leonius (Late Roman)

Leo

Leo comes from the Latin word meaning “lion” via Ancient Greek leon which derives from an uncertain origin; it’s possible it could have been adopted from a non Indo-European source, perhaps from Proto-Semitic *labiʾ-, *labuʾ- (lion). The name might have originated as a nickname for someone who was courageous and brave.

Leo is the name of a constellation representing to the Ancient Greeks the Nemean lion killed by the Greek hero Herakles as part of his twelve labors. Leo is also a Zodiac sign belonging to those born between July 22nd to August 23rd; apparently those born under this sign are stubborn, loyal and trustworthy, assured, confident and ambitious, but prone to arrogance, jealousy, and bossiness.

Leo could also be used as a nickname for names such as Leonidas (an Ancient Greek name meaning “son of the lion” or “son of a lion”), Leopold (a Germanic name meaning “bold people”), and Leonard (meaning “brave lion”), or any name beginning with Leo.

Origin: uncertain, possibly from a Proto-Semitic source

Meaning: “lion”

Usage: Late Roman, English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Croatian

Variants:

  • Leon (Greek, Ancient Greek, English, German, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Dutch)
  • Leontios (Ancient Greek)
  • Leontius (Ancient Greek, Latin)
  • Levon (Armenian)
  • Leoš (Czech)
  • Léo (French)
  • Léon (French)
  • Léonce (French form of Leontios)
  • Lionel (French diminutive of Léon; English)
  • Levan (Georgian)
  • Leone (Italian)
  • Leonzio (Italian form of Leontios)
  • Leonas (Lithuanian)
  • Lef (Polish cognate of Lev)
  • Lev (Russian)
  • Leonti (Russian)
  • Leontiy (Russian)
  • Leonty (Russian)
  • Lyov (Russian)
  • León (Spanish)
  • Leoncio (Spanish)
  • Leonius (Late Roman)

Female forms:

  • Leona (English, German, Czech)
  • Leola (English)
  • Leone (French, English)
  • Leontina (Italian, Late Roman)
  • Leonia (Late Roman)
  • Leonie (French, German, Dutch, English)
  • Léonie (French)
  • Léontine (French)
  • Léone (French)
  • Leontýna (Czech)
  • Leontyne (English)

Linda

Linda is a female given name which originated as a short form of Germanic names containing Germanic element lind, linde meaning “soft, tender” via Proto-Germanic *linþaz (bendsome, flexible; pliable; weak, soft, mild) derived from a PIE root word. I’ve also seen lind, linde associated with the linden tree or, more poetically, “dragon, serpent, snake”.

Linda is also a Spanish and Portuguese word meaning “pretty, beautiful”, the feminine singular form of lindo which derives from an uncertain etymology. It seems to come from an Old Spanish word which has been linked to Latin legitimus (lawful, proper) and limpidus (clear, bright), but it’s not certain.

Linda could also be used as a nickname for names ending in -linda such as Belinda, Delinda, Celinda, Melindaetc.

In the Kalevipoeg (1861), an Estonian national epic poem written by Estonian writer Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald (based on Estonian mythology and various folk legends of Estonia) Linda is the mother of the hero Kalevipoeg; in this case her name comes from the Estonian word lind meaning “bird” via Proto-Finnic *lintu (bird) from Proto-Uralic *lunta (bird; goose).

Origin: Proto-Indo-European; Proto-Uralic; uncertain etymology

Meaning:  various depending on its usage- as an English name it comes from a shortened form of Germanic element lind, linde “soft, tender”, has also been associated with the lime/linden tree and, more poetically, “dragon, serpent, snake”; is also used as a nickname for names ending in -linda; also a Spanish and Portuguese word “pretty, beautiful”; also means “bird” in Estonian

Usage: English, German, Dutch, Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, French, Latvian, Finnish, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, Estonian

Nicknames: Lin, Lindy/Lindi/Lindie

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Variants

  • Lynda (English)
  • Lindy (English)
  • Lindi (English)
  • Lyndi (English)
  • Lindie (English)
  • Lind (English)
  • Linde (Dutch)
  • Linza (Ancient Germanic)