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Origin of the name LAURA.
Etymology of the name LAURA.
Meaning of the baby name LAURA.


LAURA.  There is some doubt as to the true origin of the name of Laura, but the generally accepted theory is that it is the feminine form of Laurence (q.v.), and that it means "a bay or laurel tree." 

Laura was at one time a fashionable name with us, and, though not nearly so popular now as it was a generation or two ago, it still have many admirers.


Winds, whisper gently while she sleeps,
And fan her with your cooling wings,
Whilst she her drops of beauty weeps,
From pure, and yet-unrivall'd springs.

Glide over beauty's field, her face,
To kiss her lips and cheek be bold,
But with a calm and stealing pace,
Neither too rude, nor yet too cold.

(Charles Cotton)

In Literature Laura has representatives from the days of Elizabeth down to the present.  There is a Laura in Gondibert, by William Davenant, and Laura Bell is the heroine of Thackeray's Pendennis. (Girls' Christian Names, Swan, 1905)

Laura, the name immortalised by Petrarch, was either the wife of Hugues de Sade, of Avignon, or a fictitious name used by him on which to hang incidents of his life and love.  If the former, her maiden name was Laura de Noves. (Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, Brewer, 1900)

The name of Laura is a great perplexity.  It may be taken from Laurus, and ladies so called consider St. Laurence as their patron; but it may also be from the word laura, Greek Λαβρα, or Λαυρα, meaning an avenue, the same as labyrinth, and applied to the clusters of hermitages which were the germ of monasteries.  Or again, a plausible derivation is that Lauretta might have commemorated the laurel-grove, or Loreto, whither Italian superstition declared that the angels transported the holy house of Nazareth away from the Turkish power on the conquest of Palestine.  Those who call the milky-way the Santa Strada di Loretto, might well have used this as one of their varied forms of seeking the patronage of the Blessed Virgin.  The chief objection that I can find to this theory is, that the first Lauretta that I have met with was a Flemish lady, in 1162; the next was a daughter of William de Braose, Lord of Bramber, in the time of King John, a period antecedent to the supposed migration of the holy house, which did not set out on its travels till 1294.  Others think it the same with Eleonora, which I cannot believe; but, at any rate, it was the Provencal Lora de Sades, so long beloved of Petrarch, who made this one of the favourite romantic and poetical names, above all, in France, where it is Laure, Lauretta, Loulou. (History of Christian Names, Yonge, 1884)


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