Today, we turn our attention to another of the names so nice you say them twice: Lulu.
First, if you’re inclined to add the alliterative “Little” before this name, that’s thanks to Marjorie Henderson Buell’s cartoon character from the 1930s and 40s, and periodically revived ever since. The adventurous Little Lulu Moppett could get herself into trouble, but she was generally a good egg, virtuous and prone to day-saving.
Inclined to call your kiddo Lulu Lemon? That’s thanks in part to the Vancouver-based yoga and active wear company now rapidly expanding in the US.
There’s also Scottish singer Lulu – born Marie – best known for singing the theme songs to 1960s flicks. “To Sir With Love” was her biggest hit, but if you’re a James Bond fan, you might also know “The Man With the Golden Gun.”
There are oodles of ways to get to Lulu.
Louisa, Louise, Luisa, Luise – The classics, and the obvious choices. Louisa has all the literary elan of Miss Alcott, while Louise Brooks was the silent film star nicknamed Lulu. Luisa and Luise are the Spanish, Italian, and German variants, and equally valid ways to arrive at the short form.
Tallulah – A Hollywood appellation from leading lady Tallulah Bankhead to starbabies Tallulah Belle Willis, daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, and Tallulah Fyfe, daughter of Patrick Dempsey. Perhaps the most daring name on this list, Lulu is a means to tone down the extravagant Tallulah. Lula would work equally well.
Lucinda – A lovely literary elaboration, she leads to the nickname Lucy or Lulu.
Lucienne – Another potential way to reach Lucy or Lulu, this time with a stylish French twist. Also a great choice if you’re disappointed that Vivienne, Genevieve, and other French names for girls are gaining in popularity.
Lucille – Just as French as Lucienne, Lucille had fallen out of favor by the 1970s. But since the turn of the 21st century, she’s been back. Just as Lillian was revived by parents seeking a formal option for Lily, Lucille ranked #482 – and climbing – thanks to moms and dads interested in Lucy and Lulu.
Lucasta – If Lucille is back, Lucasta was never there. Invented by a seventeenth century poet who loved a Lucy, the name comes from the phrase lux casta – pure light. Then there’s Anna Lucasta, a little 1949 film rebooted a decade later with Eartha Kitt in the starring role. She’s a rarity, but she could be a pleasing one.
Lucretia – There’s a Goth vibe to Lucretia, thanks to the Borgia and the Sisters of Mercy. It’s an ancient name, and a heavy one. Lulu almost feels too insubstantial to come from Lucretia. First Lady Lucretia Garfield answered to Crete. Still, it is an option – and an intriguing one.
Ludovica – Few names are as fascinating as Louis, an appellation directly related to Aloysius and Clovis and Ludovica, too. The simplest explanation is that a Germanic name, worn by an early Frankish ruler and then many other European monarchs, was Latinized in various forms. Ludovica is an Italian feminine version from the same soup. She’s obscure in the Uhttp://appellationmountain.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=12940&action=editS, but what’s not to love? She fits in with Francesca and Victoria and Isabella, too – a strong, no-nonsense name that sacrifices none of her flowing, feminine qualities.
Eluned – She looks like she belongs on this list, but this obscure Welsh saint’s name isn’t a great fit. Despite the “lu” visible in the middle, her pronunciation is probably el EE ned. Still, she’s so obscure in the US that you could probably get away with it.
Laura, Lauren – Also a stretch, but maybe not an unthinkable one, especially since Lori is so solidly in mom-name territory circa 2012.
Lucia – A fast-gaining favorite, and rival to Lucille, Lucia has the makings of a name that could replace Olivia in the US Top Ten. She ranked #265 in 2010 – not overwhelmingly popular – yet. Elaborations like Luciana and Lucilla are possibilities, too.
Guadalupe – A wolfish appellation with ties to the Virgin Mary, she’s an awful lot of name to give to a 21st century American girl. Lulu would make Guadalupe wearable.
Luvenia – Lulu feels like a first-wave hipster name. Now that she’s surfacing in the ‘burbs, what’s a Park Slope parent to do? Luvenia was invented in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and feels more like Lorna or Dolores – still clunky enough to be considered cool by trendsetters.
Luella – Not willing to go quite as far as Luvenia or Ludovica? Luella – the middle name of blogger Rebecca Woolf’s second-born, Fable – has just as much indie spirit, but is slightly more restrained. Luella also appeared in the US Top 200 as late as 1910, and those extra Ls make Lulu feels like an obvious nickname.
Are there other names you would put on the birth certificate in hopes of getting to Lulu?