She’s a Biblical babe and a comic book staple.
Thanks to Julie for suggesting Lois as Name of the Day.
The small screen’s Smallville has done wonders for Clark, transforming him from dull and dated to geek-chic. Lois Lane didn’t come to town until the series’ fourth season, but she’s been part of the cast ever since.
When the character was created for the Superman comic, back in 1938, Lois was a logical pick for the girl reporter. In use since the US rankings began in 1880, Lois entered the Top 100 in 1902. She peaked at #17 in 1929, and still stood at a respectable #33 in 1938. Today, if you wanted a name like Lois, you’d probably christen your character Allison.
While not every comic book character makes a good role model, Lois Lane is among the better choices. She’s independent, strong-willed and, in most incarnations, clearly equal in talent and drive to Clark. (Though the amount of rescuing required has ebbed and flowed over the years.)
The original Lois was the first century mother of Eunice and, through Eunice, grandmother of Saint Timothy. Both Lois and Eunice are praised for their piety. Timothy, of course, became an early Christian leader, bishop and close associate of Saint Paul. This makes her a New Testament name – Biblical, but not quite as fashionable as Old Testament choices.
Lois was discovered following the Reformation and was in sparing use into the twentieth century, when she really took off. Notable bearers of the name include:
- Celebrated children’s author Lois Lowry;
- Early silent film star, Lois Moran – better remembered as a romantic interest of the legendary F. Scott Fitzgerald;
- Model Lois Chiles, known for her big screen role as Bondgirl Holly Goodhead from spies-in-space odyssey Moonraker;
- Fictional – and hysterically funny – television mom to Malcolm in the Middle, Lois;
- It’s also the name of the mom on Family Guy;
- Perhaps both television moms were inspired by Lois Flagston, the wife of Hi and mom to the four Flagston kids since the 1950s in Sunday comic strip Hi and Lois.
Lois left the US Top 1000 after 1983, and up until recently, has sounded more like somebody’s grandma than a brand new baby. Could she make a comeback?
She probably comes from the Greek loion – better – and so is unrelated to the long list of L-names that have risen in recent years. But those names – from the classic Louisa to the out-of-this-world Luna – could lift Lois, too. Also consider:
- Ends-in-s picks like Alice and Frances are returning to fashion;
- Besides Lucy, Lucia, Luna and Lucille, there’s Lola – either a possible nickname for Lois, or a name close enough to inspire parents to consider Lois, too;
- The -lo can be found in plenty of other rising choices, too, from the mega-popular Chloe to Shiloh (#650) and Sloane (#999).
While Lois won’t be taking Emma’s place at the top of the charts anytime soon, she could be primed for a comeback in the next decade or so. She’s surprisingly spunky and yet tailored, too.
Lois L says
My name is Lois and my parents gave me the nickname ‘Lola’ when I was very young. I’m now in my late teens and while some people still call me Lola, I always introduce myself as Lois whenever I meet someone new. I never really liked my name growing up, and I’m not really sure whether I like it now.
Obviously my name is Lois. I’m the fourth one in a row in my family. It used to be quite frustrating having three in the house at the same time as I’m sure you can imagine. As a child I hated my name because I was the only person I knew who couldn’t buy those pencils or keychains with my name on it. Now that I’m older I do like my name more. However, I find that the majority of people are too daft to be able to pronounce it. I can’t tell you how many times I correct people a day! On the phone people call me Lily, Rose, Heather, Lisa, Liz, Luis. The L names I get, but I don’t know how people come up with the other ones!
I have a few nicknames: Loi, Lolo, Loisina, J-LOis, Little-Lo – and I can’t think of the others haha.
Lois Cowan says
How odd that none of those replying actually are Loises. I are one. I agree that the s at the end of a name is harsh; I have been called Lo and Loie. Also Loi, which I like best. Nieces have referred to me as Aunt LoLo.
My middle name is Elaine so I
Charlotte Vera says
Lois is my 60-something-year-old aunt’s name, so for me it falls right into the awkward grey area where it’s both too old, and not old enough, to be cool.
British American says
I agree. I know a couple of ladies named Lois – both mothers of my 30-ish friends, making Lois 60-ish.
Emmy Jo says
I love Lois! I actually went to high school with one (so she’s in her late 20’s now) and on my last trip to Disneyland, I saw a young teenage girl with “Lois” embroidered on her Mickey hat.
I definitely think it could work today. I actually find it rather sultry — perhaps it’s that “Lo” sound.
No, I can’t say I can come even close to appreciating it. Give me Lilias or Alice any day. I don’t know exactly what it is about Lois. It’s not just that I find it all reinforced granny bloomers, there’s something else. Perhaps it’s the distinct LO but then I like Lowenna and Finlo :/
Lois is not for me. It reminds me of an older woman, grandma, not grandma chic. I know a Lois who is not my most favorite person (she’s not awful, but she has some less than stellar personality traits). The name itself is not that pretty to my ears either.
As for Alice, I have a friend who is expecting a girl and she is planning on naming her Alice. I think it is a lot nicer than Lois.
Are you sure Alice and Frances are returning to fashion? They seem to be getting some buzz – particularly Alice – but, judging from their NameVoyager charts, the best that can be said is that they appear to have recently bottomed out. But maybe they’re becoming trendy in cutting-edge neighborhoods?
I’m not a fan of the hissy sound of -is names, but the name Lois always puts me in mind of Lois Lane as portrayed by Teri Hatcher – brainy, intrepid and courageous. A great name inspiration.
Holey, you raise a good point. There’s also the case of Henry – far more fashionable these days, but it isn’t as if he used to be #535 and now he’s #17. As for Alice and Frances, I think their use by celebs puts them in the spotlight – and just like Matilda, makes it likely that they’ll pick up in use. But you’re right – there’s certainly no epidemic of little girls called Alice. Yet.
While I do love the nickname Lo
Kim W says
I actually really like Lois. She’s not on my list (although Louisa and Eloise are) but I would be so delighted to meet a baby Lois. It’s a simple, strong name and I like the nickname “Lo”.
I am not a huge fan of Lois, she seems very dated and not ready for a come-back to me. It makes me think of the nasally talking Lois Griffin on Family Guy and it reminds me of locusts.