Quick Facts on Lorelei
- Celtic, German
- Number of syllables:
- Ranking popularity:
Murmuring rock, Lurking rock
Characteristics of Lorelei
Etymology & Historical Origin - Lorelei
Lorelei is a name with two theorized etymologies. First, it’s the combination of an Old German word “lureln” meaning “murmuring” plus a Celtic word “ley” meaning “rock”. Second, it could be derived from the Germanic "lauern" (meaning “to lurk or lie in wait”) along with the aforementioned Celtic word for rock. Therefore, the name either means “murmuring rock” or “lurking rock”. Lorelei is the name of a rock positioned on the banks of the Rhine, a European river flowing from Switzerland to the North Sea. The Lorelei (or Loreley) rock is located at the narrowest point of the river and is therefore subjected to strong currents and rocky conditions which have caused scores of maritime accidents (the heavy currents create the “murmuring” sound owing to the rock’s name). As such, various legends concerning the dangerous rock have sprung up around Lorelei by German poets (the rock is located on a portion of the river located in Germany). In one story, Lorelei, having been spurned by her lover, lures fishermen to the rock (and their death) with her enchanting songs. After being condemned to a nunnery for her bad deeds by a local religious leader, she falls from the rock herself and dies (the rock henceforth echoes her name forevermore). In another story, Lorelei is a beautiful fair maiden who, perched at the top of the rocks, innocently combs through her beautiful golden hair. The fisherman below, distracted by her beauty, drive their boats into the rocks or run them aground in the water. American author Anita Loos used the name Lorelei Lee for her central character in her jazz-age defining novel “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (1925) which was later adapted into a highly popular musical (1949) and film (1953). The character of Lorelei was probably most famously portrayed by the legendary Marilyn Monroe. Just as the lovely siren who "lurks" upon the rock along the German banks of the Rhine “murmuring” her songs and enchanting every man below, so too does Loos' blonde beauty Lorelei in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” captivate all of the poor lovesick men around her. Lorelei will always be associated with a beautiful yet dangerous seductress (like Lolita, Scarlett, Jezebel and Delilah).
Popularity of the Name Lorelei
Lorelei is at the height of her popularity on the American female naming charts right now. First appearing on the charts in 1938, the name was likely influenced by Anita Loos’ 1925 best-selling novel “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” which featured the memorable Alabama blonde character Lorelei Lee. The name only stayed on the charts at low levels of usage for five years before returning again in 1951 (thanks to the popular musical based on the novel which introduced to the stage a young Carol Channing). The movie version was released in 1953 with the iconic Marilyn Monroe. Still, this exotic name was only used sparingly, and finally disappeared from the charts altogether in 1959. Lorelei retreated to the shadows for over 40 years and completely off the American radar until this century (2004). It appears that a TV show called “The Gilmore Girls” helped popularize the name once again; featuring three generations of women named Lorelai (noticed the slight respelling). Even though the show is now off the air, the name Lorelei is sticking to the charts with increasing usage. Whether parents are recalling the mysterious German legends of the Lorelei Rock or the beautiful blonde bombshell from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” or if the younger generations are simply attracted to the offbeat name of some television characters, Lorelei seems to be striking a chord. There’s something poetic about the name Lorelei (it almost feels Hawaiian like Leilani). The name conjures up mystery, romance and danger (as well as beautiful, innocuous gold-digging blondes). Lorelei is not a heavily used female name and so still feels like an original choice. Nicknames include Rory, Lory, Lore, and Lei. There will likely be issues with pronunciations and misspellings which can cause a nuisance, but it may be worth the inconvenience for such a lovely moniker. Other spellings include Loreley and Lorelai, but Lorelei is the most widely accepted among English speakers. This pretty little rock is still “lurking” on the sidelines and “murmuring” her name for parents across America to stand up and take notice.
Popularity of the Girl Name Lorelei
You need Adobe Flash Player 6 (or above) to view the charts. It is a free and lightweight installation from Adobe.com. Please click here
to install the same.
Cultural References to the Baby Name - Lorelei
Literary Characters of the Baby Name Lorelei
Lorelei (German Poetry and Myth) Lorelei is, in German legend, the name of a young maiden who, distraught over an unfaithful lover, threw herself into the Rhine River. Immediately she was turned into a siren, and forever after, she has been luring sailors to their deaths with her enchanting and hypnotic singing. Sitting high upon the rocks, brushing her golden locks, she proves irresistible to the men who pursue her fleeting beauty, only to crash upon the rocks beneath her. The enduring myth has been the subject of poems, novels, paintings and musical works throughout the ages.
Lorelei Lee (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) Lorelei Lee is the heroine of screenwriter/novelist Anita Loos’ 1925 blockbuster, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, which was later made into a 1949 stage musical with Carol Channing and then into a 1953 movie starring Marilyn Monroe in a signature role. Lorelei is the quintessential twenties’ era flapper/golddigger, a showgirl (and yes, she would say girl) well aware of her attributes and their powers to secure her male attention. Lorelei’s ambitions do not tend toward the picket fences and tea for two – as Marilyn sings it: “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” – just give her expensive baubles, thank you, or the cash instead. And Lorelei is utterly charming at it. Although she is in love with rich boy Gus Eisman, Lorelei doesn’t hesitate to take off on a cruise to Europe with her friend, Dorothy, and finding other objects of flirtation. Having been encouraged by one of her many admirers to keep a diary, she does so, regaling us with illiterate renditions of her doings (for instance, she meets “Dr. Froyd”). She also captures the attentions of a married diamond mines owner (Sir “Piggy”) and appropriates a tiara from him. After many accounts of shopping, parties and general merriment, involving madcap adventures, Lorelei returns to America and convinces Rich Boy’s father that she is, after all, just a working girl doing her best to advance herself. It’s as easy to marry a pretty girl as it is a rich boy. As she so delicately puts it: "I don't want to marry your son for his money, I want to marry him for your money”. Well said, Lorelei Lee, and good luck!
Popular Songs on Lorelei
Lorelai - a song by Fleet Foxes
Lorelei - a song by The Pogues
Lorelei - a song by STYX
Lorelei - a song by the Cocteau Twins
Lorelei - a song by Alison Brown
Lorelei - a song by The Comeback Kid
Loreley - a song by Blackmore's Night
Children's Books on the Baby Name Lorelei
I, Lorelei (Yeardley Smith) - Lorelei Connelly is no ordinary eleven-year-old. She's practical and a forward thinker. When her favorite cat, Mud, dies, she starts a journal to him, chronicling her daily life as a sixth grader so that he can continue to follow her rise to fame and fortune as a beloved actress, celebrated chef, and/or bestselling author. She figures it's also a good way to make sure her future biographers don't get anything wrong about her. But when her parents' marriage starts to unravel, Lorelei's lighthearted daily log becomes a poignant and defiantly humorous account of a family in distress as Lorelei grapples with the ground shifting under her feet. Yeardley Smith engages the reader with wit, candor, and authenticity. Recommended for ages 8-12.
Lorelei and the Lost and Found Monster (R. Scott Kimsey) - Kindle edition. Something weird is going on at Lorelei's school. And not good weird. She's already nervous about starting her first day as a second-grader. The bright spot in her day is that she has an amazingly cute new lunch box to take with her (it's purple and yellow and has kittens on it!). When she accidentally leaves the lunch box in the cafeteria, a trip to the Lost and Found room is in order. And that's where the weirdness begins. Lorelei's quest to retrieve her lunch box takes her hot on the trail of a monster who steals from the Lost and Found room. Inside the walls of the school she discovers a village of little blue goblins and takes part in a math contest against their chief. But does she ever get her lunch box back? You'll have to read the book to find out. "Lorelei and the Lost and Found Monster" is suitable for kids 6 years of age and up. Recommended for ages 6-9.
Famous People Named Lorelei
Famous People Named Lorelei - We cannot find any celebrities or significantly famous people with the first name Lorelei.
Children of Famous People Named Lorelei
Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Lorelei - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Lorelei.
Lorelei - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures
Lorelei - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Lorelei.
Personality of the Girl Name Lorelei
The number Four personality is marked by stability and discipline. This is the personality that follows the rules and is conservative by nature. They have an earth-bound energy that prefers to build things methodically on top of firm foundations; they don't cut corners. Fours take their time and don't like to be hurried. But the outcome of their endeavors is likely to result in some strong and useful structure, which makes them great engineers and inventors. Fours are anything but frivolous or controversial. This is a trustworthy, straight-forward personality that embodies dedication and organization. They are the backbone and anchor in their relationships, careers and communities. They are tidy, punctual, and full of integrity. Hard-work comes naturally to a Four and they are immensely reliable. This is the personality you can always count on.
Variations of the Baby Name - Lorelei