Is she an undiscovered gem, or just a creative twist on a popular name?

Thanks to Hanalise for suggesting Aloura as Name of the Day.

Up and coming filmmaker Aloura Charles isn’t the only woman to ever wear this name – but she’s close. Aloura has never ranked in the US Top 1000. Nor has Alora, Elora or Alaura.

Laura, of course, is the 20th century staple never out of the Top 100. While she’s fading in the US, coming in at just #215 in 2008, Laura remains a Top Ten choice in Switzerland and Spain, Austria, Germany and Belgium, Estonia and Denmark. She’s plenty popular elsewhere in Europe, too.

Laura leads directly to the first possible origin for Alaura. She might simply be a slightly different spin on the Latin laurus, or laurel. Beyond the botanical associations, laurel wreaths were awarded to the winners of sporting competitions in Ancient Greece. You’ll sometimes find meanings like “victory” attached.

There’s also:

  • In 1988’s Willow, Elora is the child shipped down the river like Moses, to be protected by reluctant hero Willow Ulfgood, along with a long-haired Val Kilmer;
  • The Hebrew Eliora is sometimes connected to Elinor. Not only are the sounds similar, but the attributed meaning – “my God is light” – links Eliora to the Greek Helen, a name customarily linked to Elinor and Eleanor;
  • The alera is a butterfly and Alera a possible variant – though it brings to mind an Oldsmobile;
  • Alura was a character in the Buck Rogers comic strip. A second Alura was, like Superman, a Kryptonian in DC Comics. She was also the original Supergirl’s mom. In later editions of the story, her name is sometimes spelled Allura. Both names are sometimes linked back to the word allure – attractive;
  • While most Lor- and Laur- names connect back to laurel, others link to place names. Loredana is connected to Loreo, Italy, while Laurence is connected to the ancient Roman city Laurentum;
  • Speaking of places, Álora is a town in Southern Spain and Alora is a villain in the expanded Star Wars universe;
  • Ilora Finlay is a Welsh doctor and public health advocate, given a life peerage by Tony Blair for her work. There’s also a minor character called Ilora in Elfquest, a long-running comic book series with a cast of hundreds.

That’s not an exhaustive list, either. But the most logical explanation for Aloura and company is probably the 20th century popularity of the saintly, literary Laura, coupled with 1980s and 90s hits Alyssa, Alicia and Amanda.

Perhaps it is the comic book associations, but Aloura feels a bit sci fi, in any spelling. Still, Lorelei continues to generate interest among parents-t0-be, suggesting that a fresh twist on Laura might sound quite current in a few years.

Overall, she’s a pretty and appealing rarity, but her lack of definite roots could be frustrating to parents seeking a name with meaning. Of course, if you’re trying hard to find something fresh and novel for a child, Aloura’s lack of definitive origins could be a plus.

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. well, my name ahlourha and i love my name, i found that a lot of folk lore have used alora or similar spelling as a daughter of god, pluuuus my mother loved the movie willow. what can ya do right XD

  2. Aloura is a beautiful name. I am absolutely in love with it, one of the many reasons I graced my precious daughter with that very name. It is actually quite old and goes back hundreds of years, not necessarily the spelling but the sound of it. I believe it will prove to stand the test of time and yet remain unique as are the children who bear it.

  3. My daughter’s name is Aloura Sue.. When I decided on her name it was actually as an homage to my grandmother who’s name is Laurel. I actually managed to find Aloura in a baby book back in 2005 and it said that it was a derivative of Laurel. I absolutely love her name and with how unique it is, it fits my daughter to a tee..

  4. I named my daughter Aloura because I think it is a beautiful and elegant name. There seems to be nothing SyFy about it to me. It is different but still pronounceable. I think it would make an excellent name for any girl.

    1. Eliora … wow. I’m guessing ell EE ohr ah, though the masculine equivalent is Elior – el YOR. So el YOR ah seems like a candidate, too. But I imagine an American parent who likes Eliora mainly for style would probably want the feminissa sound of four syllables, like Aviana or Calliana.

  5. I love Elora (Thanks to Willow) but Aloura doesn’t really appeal. When I was in my early teens I used to wish my name was Allura 😉