Baby name consultation: Formal name for Lola or Lulu?

Consultation post number 3 for this week! Hooray!! 😁😍🎉

I posted a consultation for Emily and her husband nearly two years ago, and then a birth announcement when their little guy was born, and now they’re naming another sweet little one! Their new little girl joins big sibs:

Gwenevere Marie (Gwen)
Avalene Ruth (Avie)
Gideon Elias
Woodrow Ignatius

SUCH a fun and fabulous bunch of names!

Emily writes,

We are in the process of adopting from China! This will be our fifth child, and third girl. She will be three in May, and we hope to get her home in the fall.

Obviously she has a name already. Her name is Le Le, pronounced “luh-luh” in Chinese and meaning “Joy and gladness”. While we want to be respectful of her heritage, we also want to integrate her into our family completely. She actually goes by “Lola” in her foster home. We had been calling her “lay lay” before we found out we were mispronouncing it. We have been thinking of calling her “Lulu”, as it’s very similar to what she is called, and what her name is.

We have now thoroughly confused our children on what her name is! We’re sort of stuck. We want to give her a name from us, as is tradition when welcoming a new child, but not totally overwhelm her with change. As far as we know, she understands when spoken to, but is, as of now, nonverbal (she has Down syndrome).

Lulu seems to be more nickname-y, and we hoped we could give her a more formal name.

My husband is totally against calling her Joy, which I first suggested.

I don’t blog anymore but we have a youcaring page, which I try and update and a Facebook page dedicated to the adoption.”

Can you believe how loving and generous this family is? What a blessed little girl Le Le is! I’m so very happy to think of name ideas for her. And I’m really intrigued by this naming dilemma! I immediately latched on to both Lola and Lulu, as they’re both kind of on-trend for girls right now. And I know a little girl with the given name Lulu! Just Lulu! So I think these names will fit in really well with the name landscape Emily’s kids are part of.

I also love the meaning of Le Le’s name, and I actually love Joy as a possibility (don’t tell Dad! 😉) … it makes me think of St. Catherine of Siena, who was so joyful as a child that she was called Euphrosyne, which is Greek for joy! At first I thought it could help Emily and her hubs with their dilemma, as I assumed the first syllable was said like “you,” and I did find one place that said it you-FRAH-zee-nee, which kind of mirrors the sounds of Lulu, but then I listened to another pronunciation of it that’s more authentically Greek and it sounds like it’s more like ef-raw-SEE-nee. So I don’t know if any of this is helpful at all!

Back to Lola/Lulu, some formal names that I think could get to Lola, which I also think can work for Lulu, are:

— Violet Louisa (or vice versa)
— Caroline Lucia (or vice versa)
— Lourdes (do note that Madonna’s daughter is Lourdes nicked Lola, a surprisingly beautiful choice compared to other choices she’s made)
— a Mary- double, like Mary Aloysius, Mary Olivia, Mary Ophelia, Maria Lauren, Marie Lorelei; I also like the idea of hyphenating: Marie-Olivia or Marie-Olive, Maria-Ophelia, Maria- or Marie-Lauren, Marie-Lorelei — really, Mary + anything with O and L sounds
— Lulu is especially perfect for Louisa or Lucia/Lucy
— Juliet (with its long U and heavy L)
— Elodie (this could work for Lola too)
— really probably most L names. In fact, I don’t even think Violet or Caroline need an L middle name to make Lola/Lulu work as a nickname for them.

Additionally, Lola is actually a traditional nickname for Dolores (meaning “sorrows,” from the Marian title Our Lady of Sorrows), and the fashion designer Lulu Guinness was born Lucinda Jane.

Oooooh wait a minute!! I just remembered some L names that mean joy!! There’s Laetitia, which comes from the Marian title Causa Nostrae Laetitiae (Cause of Our Joy), and there’s the related title Our Lady of Liesse, where Liesse is French for joy! I particularly like Liesse, such a pretty name.

And those are my ideas for this beautiful family and their beautiful little girl! What name(s) would you suggest that connect to Lola, Lulu, and/or “joy”/”gladness” and that fit in well with her big sisters and brothers?

(Please also consider donating to the adoption fund through their page at youcaring, if you’re able, and follow their updates on Facebook.)

31 thoughts on “Baby name consultation: Formal name for Lola or Lulu?

  1. I have a niece named Lola, which I knew was a short form of Delores, so I totally think Lola can stand alone AND honors our lady. I think its a pretty big coincidence that a Chinese baby on the other side of the world is already called such a Marian name! Plus Lola is super cute and matches your other kids.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. My first thought was Dolores nn Lola. I like that it would allow them to use a rich, traditional name that they might not otherwise consider. And I kind of like that the meanings (sorrow, joy) are opposite, but perhaps I’m alone in that 😉

    I like Louise or Louisa nn Lulu as well!!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. We call our Lucia “Lulu”. And Lucia means “light” which is such a lovely meaning for an adopted child who will add so much light to your family!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Lola sounds like a great option to me. It would be less confusing for the little girl, since she has already been going by that name. Dolores or something like Lourdes Laetitia (first two letters from each name makes Lola) would work for a full name. I like Lola as a full name as well. Giving her a middle name could suit the purpose of welcoming her into the family.

    Otherwise, “luh-luh” reminds me of Lily. You could do Lillian or Elizabeth for a full name.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Love this!! I’ve been following this family on instagram since their last consultation, and their baby/tot news is just the best!!! And of course their name taste is impeccable.

    Louise or Luisa were my first thoughts, but I’m just they’ve been there. My next thought was Felicity (happy/happiness), nicknamed Lili (either Lee-lee or Lil-ee). Also, Eleanor, nn Lula or Lola. Luella is a great Lu- name as well. Or Lucienne. I could see Lola from Louisa Lenore, or Lorelei Laudate or something, too.

    Kate’s suggestions were really extra amazing this time, too, though. 😍

    Liked by 3 people

  6. My first though was Lily too, there is a saint from China named St. Lily. Maybe Lilianna Joy, Lily Joy, Or maybe there are other saint from China with fitting names?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’ll add, wait for it: Philomena!

    No really-it could be Lola or Lulu easily, particularly if you work from the etymology suggested in one of of the commenters from the Behind the Name entry. She claims Filumena, an early saint, is “daughter of light” and the name was coined by her parents. Love.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Lulu makes me think of Talullah for some reason. I think without the “h” (Talulla, from the Gaelic Tuilelaith) is the name of an Irish saint.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I was wondering whether this beautiful little one will have difficulty with some of the longer or more complex name suggestions? Since Down Syndrome runs along a spectrum, I would suggest Lola Joy, which captures the sounds and meaning of her Chinese birth name, as well as honouring Mary through the link to Dolores. If or when she becomes verbal, it is also easier to say and hear (one of my daughters is hearing impaired which has led to some pronounciation problems for her. It bothers me that I gave her a name that is a little difficult for her to pronounce).

    Liked by 3 people

    • Also, maybe I’m being overly sensitive, but I would look for any way a name could be used to pick on a child with Down Syndrome. Dolores is a saintly, beautiful name, but it means sorrow. I would hate if this child got bullied using the name’s meaning as ammunition and in some way felt their parents were sad about them. That’s why I personally would use Lola as the full name, in addition to reasons listed above.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. My middle name is Lucille and I was always called Lu or Lulu by my parents growing up (and even still now..). Didn’t see it out there so I thought I’d throw it in!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I really like Louise for Lulu, but then I thought Eloise seems a smidge more consistent with their other names and gets the “lo” in there for Lola! Laura came to mind (just throwing it out, not sure it will suit them) too because I have a family member named Laura and her family-only nickname is Lolo, which makes me think Lola or Lulu could work for it too. Laura could possibly work as a middle name to get to either nn.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Your other daughters’ names remind me of Arthurian Knights of the Round Table Ladies. I think you are basically looking for a birth certificate name that incorporates her more into the family, yet allows for a nickname that mirrors her name.

    Lunete. Lunete from the French Knight of the Lion story. She has a heroic story. She also becomes a companion to Laudine, Lady of the Fountain. Laudine is another possiblitiy for a name to use for a Lola combo.

    Lavenia. Roman mythology. Seems to fit with the other names. Could be used to make Lola.

    Lorelei. I’m a sucker for this name. German maiden story; some are ambivalent about the story. I love the Gilmore Girls connection, too.

    Some others that popped into my head:
    – Salome
    – Paloma
    – Shiloh (don’t think Brangelina as much as the reference to the Messiah in Genesis)
    – Selah (in Psalms likely a musical reference meaning pause. I like thinking about how there was just a little musical interlude before she became a part of your family.)
    -Philomena

    Here are some of the combos that struck me:
    – Lorelei Lavenia nn Lola.
    – Lunete Louise nn Lulu.
    – Salome Selah nn Lola.
    – Shiloh Laudine mm Lola.

    Congratulations on your adoption!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Lalage, with Lala as the nickname. It’s an ancient literary name meaning “to babble.” Hopefully the child will soon be talking up a storm.

    Two of my cousins have daughters named Lilia and Lyla. L names seem popular.

    There’s also Leela, Layla, Lula, Tallulah.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I think the English pronunciation is LA-la-gee. In other languages, the final syllable would be either gay or yah. The emphasis on first, middle or last syllable is also different depending on the source. Americans would put the emphasis on the first syllable. Most people won’t have heard it. It’s Latin, from a poem by Horace.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. What about Loyola (for St. Ignatius), nn Lola? (I was just thinking about this Saint and how his last name could work for a girl and I remembered this consultation.)

    Liked by 1 person

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