Leah (Hebrew)-" Wearied." This was the name of Laban's eldest daughter, who was given to Jacob for wife instead of Rachel after he had served seven years for the latter.
Leila (Arabic)-" Darkness," " night." A name greatly in favour among the Arabs and Moors. By the Eastern poets it was used as the symbol for the dark-eyed daughters of their land whose languorous beauty was suggestive of the warm, heavy-scented nights of an Eastern clime.
Leilah and Lela are variants of above.
Lena (Greek)-" Light." An English contraction of Helena. See under " Helen."
Lenora-English and German forms of Leonora.
Leonarda-Spanish and German form.
Leonora (Greek)-" Light." English and Italian variants of " Helen."
Leopoldine (Teutonic)-" People's princess."
Leseinska (Hebrew)-" God hath sworn." Russian form of Elizabeth.
Lethild (Teutonic)-? Fierce battle-maid "
Letitia-(Latin)-" Joy." Another form of Laetitia.
Lettice and Letty are variants of above, Letty being the common diminutive in England and Ireland.
Leucadia (Greek)-" White-skinned." From the Greek ΛEvko's -" white."
Leilcothea (Greek)-" White goddess." Ino was thus named after she became a sea-goddess, in reference to the white foam of the waves.
Leucha (Greek)-" White." This pretty but uncommon name is still fairly often used, and of course forms the root of the two former names, but is now never used with a suffix. Compare the root " Hilda " which is now similarly used by itself.
Levana-(Latin)-" Maternal love."
Libby (Hebrew)-" God hath sworn." Contraction of Elizabeth.
Libera (Greek)-" Regard."
Lida (Slavonic)-" People's love."
Lieschen-German contraction of Elizabeth.
Ligea (Greek)-" Clear-voiced."
Lilian (Latin)-" Purity," of which a white lily is the emblem. This familiar and ever-popular name has been much changed since its original form was " Coelius," and signified " heaven." Gradually this merged into Celio; then into Celia. The Venetians transformed it into Zilia and Ziliola; in Naples it appeared as Liliola. As Celia it is often used in England, but not nearly so frequently as in its altered form of Lilian.
Lilias-Popular Scottish form of above.
Lilith (Hebrew)-" A serpent." According to the Talmud, the book of Rabbinical mythology, Lilith, or Lilis, was Adam's first wife before Eve; but refusing to submit to him she left Paradise for the air; but she still haunts the night as a phantom to frighten little children. The Romans had a similar nocturnal spectre they called Lamia. Rossetti in his " Eden Bower," has the reference:
It was Lilith, the wife of Adam,
Not a drop of her blood was human,
But she was made like a soft, sweet woman.
Some old writers say this fable was invented to reconcile the apparent discrepancies of Genesis i. 27 and Genesis ii. 22, the former speaking of the simultaneous creation of man and- woman, and the latter that the man was made first:
Genesis i. 27: "So God created man in His own image, male and female created He them."
Genesis ii. 22: " And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man."
Lilla (Hebrew)-" Oath of God." Derivative of Elizabeth.
Lillie and Lilly-variants and diminutives of Lilian.
Lina (Latin)-" Industry." She was the goddess of flax and weaving:
Inventress of the woof, fair Lina flings
The flying shuttle through the dancing strings.
Linda (Teutonic)-" A serpent."
Liris (Persian)-" Wisdom." The story of Liris forms the second story of Moore's " Loves of the Angels," of which Lea is the first. As in the former case, Liris, a beautiful daughter of earth, was beloved by one of the angel-host, Rubi by name. Her great desire was attainment of knowledge. Entranced by all Rubi told her of the wonders of heaven and of God, she begged him to appear before her in all his glory. He granted her request, but when she yielded to his embrace was consumed to ashes by the rays which issued from him.
Lisbet-A Scandinavian contraction of Elizabeth.
Lise-French and German abbreviations of same.
Lisette-Diminutive of above.
Lizzie-Popular English contraction of Elizabeth.
Lois (Hebrew)- "Better." (This is without the diaeresis.)
Lois (Teutonic)-" Famous war." To be continued.