We all know that names come in and out of fashion, but we’re particularly charmed by a group of appellations that are all-but-extinct circa 2008, and yet sound primed for a revival.

Thanks to Elisabeth for suggesting a promising member of this club: Eulalie.

Eulalie is the French version of the marginally less obscure Eulalia. Eulalia was a 4th century saint, martyred under Diocletian despite her tender years. Most reports place her age at no more than thirteen when she met her grisly fate. There were either two Eulalias with similar stories – one in Merida and one in Barcelona – or two Spanish cities eager to claim this virtuous girl. Barcelona has the edge; Eulalia is one of the city’s patron saints and her earthly remains are housed in the city’s cathedral.

Obscure saint she may be, but Eulalia and Eulalie were bestowed with some frequency into the 19th century and beyond. Eulalia ranked in the US Top 1000 most years between 1880 and 1938; Eulalie doesn’t fare as well, disappearing after 1899.

From the Greek eulalos, most agree that the name means eloquent. Some speculate that the Middle English Hillaria, feminine forerunner of Hillary, may be a merged form of Eulalia and the masculine Late Latin Hilarius.

Actress Marcia Gay Harden named one of her daughters Eulala, a variant that appears along with the other spellings sparingly into the early 20th century.

We can’t help feel that Eulalia and Eulala are a bit trickier on the tongue than Eulalie. Eulalie also has a strong literary link. In 1845, Edgar Allan Poe chose the name for the heroine of a poem, writing:

My soul was a stagnant tide ’till the fair and gentle Eulalie became my blushing bride.

It’s far more original a literary moniker than Annabel or Emma.

Speaking of novels, the 19th installment in Brian Jacques’ Redwall series is titled Eulalia! – but get this – it’s the war cry uttered by badgers. Let’s sidestep that fascinating piece of trivia and simply say that we think it’s another reason to opt for the -ie ending.

Another creative Eulalie is the Harlem Renaissance’s Eulalie Spence. Originally from the British West Indies, Miss Spence won acclaim as a writer, actress and playwright.

The pronunciation of Eulalia in English is clear: yoo LAH lee ah. We assume – and favor – a similar yoo LAH lee pronunciation for her cousin. But we’ve also stumbled across sources suggesting she ought to properly be said uh LAH lee. What with more familiar names like Eugene and Eustace using the yoo, it seems unlikely that the uh sound would catch on, but there is room for interpretation – and confusion.

So let’s class Eulalie with two promising clusters of names for girls: Obscure Saints and French appellations. For more on these categories, visit:

Eulalie could be just the thing for parents seeking something underused but historic, literary and virtuous and quite cutting edge, too.

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. I like the Southern varient, Eula. It reminds me of Lee Remick who played Eula Varner from the 1958 movie: The Long Hot Summer. The movie also starred Paul Newman. One of my favorites actors and movie which introduced me to Eula, or at least see it in a different light.

  2. I prefer an American pronunciation of this name. As far as I can tell (through my youtube video research) the French pronounce it uh-LAH-lie (with the Lolly sound) but most Americans pronounce it more like Kate (the previous poster).

    The following 2 links show how I would pronounce it…


  3. This is my daughter’s name! We pronounce it you-LUH-lee. We adore it to bits! Perfect for us!

  4. It either sounds like “You – Lolly! get over here !” to me (Lolly is a character on a national soap here) or I think of Hawaiian swishing skirts.While it can be pretty in theory, the actual viability of the name & the feel of it isn’t really grabbing me. It feels rather awkward .Overall, I can theorize & understand the appeal, it;s just rather awkward for me.This would be a daring choice for me – not a name like Honour or Roscoe

  5. to add to what others worte about eulalie not having a nickname, we call my daughter lalie, sometimes, or lay, my sister calls her eulie (U-lee), all of which i feel are very cute and sweet…like any good nickname should be

  6. thank you for all the information! my daughter, born in spring of 2008, is named eulalie. from what i have found, it is greek, anf means well-spoken…such a lovely meaning, one of the main reasons why i chose it for my child. i have found so many bits of liturature either written about or by someone named eulalie. such a wonderful name, with such a wonderful history behind it!

    1. Lisa, Eulalie is a fabulous name! Another baby name blogger – Elisabeth at You Can’t Call It “It” – just named her daughter Eulalie a few months ago. They’re using “Lolly” as a nn. Eulie is sweet, too. Eulalie Aveleen is a great combo – what are you thinking of with Ardis?

      I always wanted to use Avalon in the middle spot – my husband’s name is Arthur, so it seemed like a subtle way of honoring dad. Maybe someday …

  7. Thank you, Eulalie’s dad! That’s a fascinating bit of info, and certainly trumps Poe by a good bit.

    When I Google’d the poem, I learned that Saint Eulalia’s bones were discovered in Barcelona in 878. Not sure where they’d been for more than five hundred years, but apparently that’s what sparked the writing. I think a lot about events that trigger the popularity of a name – television shows, movies, songs, etc. as well as history and literature – but maybe I’m missing a whole category of precipitating events – the discovery of saints’ relics, the canonization of new saints … hmmm … I think it’s time to go back to the library and dig for something relevant.

    What a great choice of name for your daughter!

  8. Eulalie is also a reference to the first known poem in French literature : the Saint-Eulalie sequence, in the 9th century.

  9. Gee did not know their was a day for Eulalie. I love this as The Nun’ in the 50’s
    continued to give my name the Spanish spelling the French spelling is on the paper
    that counts.