Lazuli- Lapis Lazuli (pictured) is a semi-precious stone prized since ancient times for its brilliant blue color. The name comes from the Latin version of the Persian name for the stone, which is also the root of the word azure. Pronounced LAH-zu-lee, it shares the rhythm of Emily and Avery and the double L of Lily and Layla. It’s a very rare name, but the precious associations and appealing sound make it a wearable option.
Lark- Like other bird names Wren and Dove, Lark seems to pop up somewhat often as a middle name, but remains quite unusual as a first. Bird names could appeal to parents who like nature names, but want something a bit less traditionally feminine than a flower. Variants include Larkin and Skylark.
Lux- Like Lark, Lux is a unisex name that seems to be fairly common as a feminine middle. Like Max, Pax, and Maddox, Lux has an appealing x at the end and a lovely meaning- “light.” It was recently used by Teen Mom star Kailyn Lowry for her son.
Loretta- Loretta was steadily in the top 300 until the 70’s, when it experienced a sharp decline. It ultimately fell out of the top 1000 in 1991. I think that’s a shame: Loretta is a sweet, feminine version of the classic Laura, a lovely twist on a common name. But I have hope that Loretta will come back; two hundred and thirty-nine girls were given the name last year, which puts the name just 24 babies short of the top 1000.
Ligeia- Variants of this name seem to be popular in Latin America; I’ve met several women named Lygia or Ligia, which is pronounced LEE-hee-a in Spanish and LEE-jee-a in Portuguese. The original pronunciation of the original Greek form varies; I’ve heard lee-GAY-a, lie-JEE-a, LIE-jee-a, and several others. Ligeia was a siren in Greek mythology and Edgar Allen Poe wrote a short story by the name.
Laszlo- Laszlo is a quirky Hungarian name that seems to have caught on a bit with hipsters. Famous uses of the name include a character on the cartoon “Camp Laszlo” and musician Pete Wentz’ son Saint Laszlo.
Laramie- Laramie is the third-largest city in Wyoming, making this a Western-style place name like Aspen, Denver, or Austin. It’s a great unisex option that reminds me quite a bit of Jeremy, but ties to the Matthew Shepard case and the Laramie Project may make Laramie too tragic for serious consideration.
Lloyd- Welsh names never fail to surprise and delight, and Lloyd is no exception. The double L beginning is unusual in English, but common in Welsh. Lloyd ranked in the top 200 until the mid 60’s, but his since fallen out of the top 1000.