These kinds of posts are one of my favourites, even though it’s always hard to whittle down the names to the final five. This time around we’re looking at some names that have two of the letter ls in them, which is a wide open category so in the first instance I threw out the usual suspects, i.e. Lily ; Ellie ; Isabella.
I have a close friend with this name and she is fiercely proud of it, and this has very much endeared the name Laurel to me. The name is ultimately a floral one, inspired by the laurel tree. The name of the laurel tree comes from the latin word, laurus.
There was an ancient practice, originating in ancient games occuring in Delphi, involving weaving bay leaves into crowns to place upon the heads of victors. This imagery was alluded to during the 2004 Summer Olympics when medal winners were presented with crowns made of olive branches.
The name Laurel sits in the 2012 England&Wales list at #1809, with only 7 girls given the name.
For me, there’s something very endearing about the name Molly, perhaps due to the Harry Potter character, Molly Weasley.
It also related to one of my all-time favourite words: mollycoddled, which means to treat someone in an overprotective way. Of course, when you look into the origins of the word, it doesn’t give us many reasons to like the name Molly:
- the word originate from two parts circa the 19th century, the first being molly, which has a dual meaning of girl/prostitute.
- the second, coddle, is older (suggested from as far back as the 16th century), most probably deriving as a dialect version of the now-obolete word caudle, which meant hot drink.
The name Molly is a mainstay favourite in England&Wales, having consistently ranked within the Top 50 since 1996, although she sadly seems to be tailing off at the moment, having fallen from a peak of #15 in 2001 to #46 in 2011 but, happily, she rose 7 places in the 2012 list, so she will be sticking around for a while longer.
The name Molly still has one over the name she originates from, given that Mary is now sitting down at #241. That’s a long way from her glory days, although Mary was last in the #1 spot in 1914, which is nigh on a century ago now. Sound-alike Polly sits just behind at #250 in the 2012 England&Wales data.
In some circles in the UK, the name Camilla still doesn’t carry much weight given the current Duchess of Cornwall. All the controversy surrounding Camilla is mostly before my time though, which is actually a long time ago now given I’ve recently hit the two decades mark.
I have a soft spot for Camille though, specifically the French pronunciation of the name: kah-mee. That rather negates the purpose of the list, given that the ls are actually silent, but most people in the English-speaking world will say them.
Of the two, Camilla is the more popular, sitting at #639 with 65 girls givne the name, compared with Camille’s ranking of #887, with 42 girls given the name.
One of my closest friends has this name, proving this name ages better than you might think given she is also almost 20. Growing up with Lila, I know she often had trouble with people pronouncing her name wrong: most teachers went for lee-lah, rather than lie-lah. And to be fair to the teachers, this was an honest mistake – especially when you consider that the German word for purple is Lila, and they use the former pronunciation.
Lila as a name could derive as an offshoot of Lily, or even Leila. It also has origins as an Indian name, which derives from Sanskrit and means past-time, play.
The name ranks at #265 with 188 girls given the name in 2012.
She may not look it, but Romilly is a prolific place name, with several towns in France called Romilly, plus another place in England, and then another district in Wales. It’s also a surname in both countries. Despite this, it’s origins are rather mystifying, and it’s usage as a first name is less common than you might think, ranking in England&Wales in 2012 at #934 with 39 girls given the name. It shares a rank with the likes of Patricia, Peggy and Paisley.
The possibilities for the origins of the name includes her deriving from the Latin name Romulus, which means of Rome. It could also come from the Old English word romen, meaning to roam.
The pronunciation is of note, since it’s usually given as ‘RAH-mi-lee’, whereas I’ve always pronounced it ‘ ROH-mi-lee’