Thoughts on Lola?

DH and I are considering Lola, kind of as an alternative to Nora, which we are afraid is going to be crazy popular this year. Her full name would be Lola Jane, with sisters Mia and Claire, and our last name starts with an N and ends in an EE sound (very Italian).

Is Lola just too quirky? Does it have too much history, what with The Kinks song (about a transvestite) and Copacabana? Does it translate well into a woman's name? These are some of the issues we're having, and we'd appreciate your thoughts!


May 11, 2013 9:18 PM

I must admit that we have a friend who named their baby Lola a couple of years ago. I can't say her name without the song popping into my head. But, that could be an age thing, too (I'm close to 40). 

What about an alternative like Lila (LI-la) or Livia (no leading 'O')? I think both work well with Jane as a MN and seem to work well with the sib set.


Congrats and best of luck!

May 11, 2013 9:51 PM

Lola- I think it is quirky but in a good way.  I think Kelly from the view has a daughter with this name (not that you should choose it for this reason).  I just think it is not as offbeat as it was 20 years ago.

May 11, 2013 10:40 PM

I liked Lola as a nickname for my Lillian but my husband voted it down based on the rep of "Lolita" and the song about the transvestite. I kind of liked it because it has some bad girl connotations though! Also, Madonna's daughter is a Lola, isn't she? And perhaps one of Charlie Sheen's daughters. 

May 12, 2013 12:19 AM

For me, it's cute as a nn, but I can't imagine it on a grown-up, and yes, I do think it's got a, "Dancer name," quality.

But, I'm in my 4os, so that may not be how others would see it.

May 12, 2013 9:30 PM

I think it's fine. I think the biggest problems with regard to the songs are going to be your peers, not hers. If members of the younger generation know the songs, they probably won't care. It's only the older people constantly singing the songs at her that you'll need to be aware of and prepare for. And honestly, I'd say there's a minorty of people that know what The Kinks song is really about anyway.

May 12, 2013 11:06 PM

I love it, and think that it's cute, a little charmer that's going to come back. It sort of "flows" like so many of the names that are on the rise, but has more substance, which I enjoy.


That said, if you are worried, I think that whoever suggested Lila had a good idea. I actually think "lila" is more in keeping with vibe I get from "nora" since it doesn't have the "dancer" feel. Also, "Cora" might be an option for you all. Secretly, I kind of love the "dancer" side to lola--there's nothing wrong with a girl having truly feminine name.

By mk
May 13, 2013 12:14 AM

It's not my favorite name, but I don't mind it. It's actually quite popular among families I know, so I know several Lolas (a few with sisters named Mia).  I think of it more like a common name, not quirky. Plus lots of celebrities have daughters named Lola (for example Kelly Ripa, Annie Lennox, Jennie Garth), so I think people are used to it and don't automatically think of the song (no one her age will even know the song). Madonna's daughter's full name is Lourdes, so that's an option if you want Lola as a nickname.

I like the suggestions of Luna and Lila. Lena and Leila would be other options.

May 13, 2013 11:02 AM

Lola is the traditional nickname for Dolores.

By mk
May 13, 2013 6:09 PM

Yes, true. None of the Lolas I know use it as a nickname for anything.

May 13, 2013 6:28 AM

I don't mind Lola as a nickname or on a young child but I don't love it as the full name.  I don't find it particularly quirky, I know a few young Lola's and as mentioned there have been quite a few celebrity babies with this name over the years.

I do think of the song, and I'm in my 30s. Not a huge issue but it is a little off putting. I also find it a bit close to Lolita.

I much prefer Nora and agree with previous posters that Lila and Cora have more of a similar vibe to Nora.

I can see the appeal of Lola but I just have few issues with it. Don't let that dissuade you though if you love it.

May 13, 2013 8:28 AM

I know a teenaged Lola and she's a very responsible, charismatic, academically-minded young woman who is respected in her community and plans to be a doctor. So she has blown the song reference out of the water for me. I say go for it!

May 13, 2013 11:30 AM

I sing the Kinks song in my head everytime I see/hear/say the name.  However, I realize that people younger than me probably won't have this association as strongly.  Your daughter's cohorts might not even know of the song.

That said, the only IRL Lola I've ever known was actually named Dolores.  For me, it is very much a nickname only kind of name.  I believe Madonna's daughter Lola is actually named Lourdes.

Nola would be a good alternative to both Lola & Nora.  Cora would also work as a less popular Nora alternative.

May 13, 2013 12:53 PM

I wouldn't use Lola.  It does evoke burlesque or drag queens to me.  In addition to the Kinks song and "Copacabana", there's also the song and character from the musical Damn Yankees, "Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets", sung by a literal demon.

I also don't like nicknames as full names, and as Miriam points out, Lola is a nickname for Dolores.  I wouldn't use Dolores, either, because it means sadness (not just in a distant derivation - dolorous is an actually English word meaning sorrowful).

If you want a less popular alternative to Nora, I like the suggestions of Cora.  There's also Laura or Nuala (an Irish name pronounced noo-lah).

May 13, 2013 1:12 PM

I was going to mention that, too, since I've been singing Copacabana and Damn Yankees every time I've seen this post. I'm familiar with The Kinks' song. but the other two are much stronger associations for me.

May 14, 2013 8:29 AM

Thanks everyone!  I think Lola is off the list... just too many possible associations.  Even though I agree that while a number of people will think of "L-L-L-L-Lola" most probably don't realize what the song was about (and anyway, I'm not particularly scared of a transvestite reference), I don't necessarily want it sung to me (or behind my back).  But between that, and the other songs (I actually think of Copacabana before the Kinks every time), and I guess the book (I think that one's more of a stretch)... that's a lot of social context to put on a tiny baby, and I'm not THAT stuck on the name.  And I have no desire to name her something longer and use Lola as a nickname so Delores or Lourdes are out.


So it's probably going to be Nora or Lora -- I can't get behind Nola because I can't think of anything besides the acronym for New Orleans, LA, when I see it.  

May 14, 2013 10:07 PM

This is a long shot, but if you like the sound of Nola you may like Finola.  It is a hybrid of Nola and Fiona. There is an English actress on General Hospital named Finola Hughes (she was also in an old John Travolta movie called Staying Alive).  She is the only one I've heard of with the name, but it may be more common in England or Ireland. 

May 15, 2013 2:22 AM

I really like Nora for you.

Lora is nice but I'm used to the Laura spelling or Elora.

Cora, Lila, Nuala, Fenella, Clara and Isla,  might me other options?

May 16, 2013 12:51 AM

I was just browsing the top name lists for other countries and was surprised to see that Lola is #87 in Scottland And #34 in England. 

May 16, 2013 1:29 AM

I like Lola. I also really LIKE the Kinks song. It would not be a problematic association to me. The Copacabana song is, I think, less well known by my generation (I am 32, but always liked listening to oldies), and is a very distant second association. I don't think this is the sort of thing that would bother your daughter - anyone who is old enough to know these songs is old enough not to give her a hard time about being a man, or being a showgirl for that matter.

Locally I know more Lulas than Lolas, but I think it fits right in!