The Name Everybody Likes, Except Us
Hey, American Parents! What do you think of the name Louise?
Yeah, I thought so. I couldn't help but notice that more American girls were named Halo, Symphony and Calliope last year than Louise. Not to mention Jazelle, Angely and Arlette. In fact, not a single girl's name with the letters "louis" ranks in the U.S. top 1000. The closest we come is #449 Eloise, which gets a pass because of the enduring popularity of the children's book by that name. (The book makes Eloise a natural successor to the hit name Madeline.)
The England and Wales girls' list looks rather different:
And for good measure, let's toss in #127 Lois, which is almost never heard in the States today.
A look at other countries reveals more of the same. Louise is top-10 in France and Belgium. Luisa is top-40 in Germany and Austria. And the boy's name Louis, in various local spellings, is hot around the world too. Lewis, Louis and Louie are all top-100 in England; none comes close over here.
When it comes to Louise in particular, I think I get it. The rhythm of the name seems to place it in the Pauline-Laverne-Doreen family. Any of us who watched the sitcom "The Jeffersons" also have the hollered nickname "Weezy" stuck in our heads. But Louisa? Now that names like Amelia and Lydia have come roaring back, Louisa seems like a natural. And while it may not be a kid-lit character like Madeline, isn't a kid-lit author the next best thing? (Louisa May Alcott, author of the beloved Little Women.) Boy, is this name bursting with potential.
Once we've gotten Louisa squared away, come back and we can talk about Louis. But psst...spell it Lewis and it's a Celtic surname! What could be trendier?