Lorelei comes from the name of a rock headland located on the River Rhine in Germany, originally spelled Loreley. In German legend, Lorelei refers to a siren-like maiden who lures men to their deaths with her song. The second element of the name seems to come from Old German ley, lei meaning “rock” derived from a Celtic origin; the first element is a little less certain. It’s been linked to Old German lureln meaning “murmuring, whispering” or Middle High German lüren meaning “to lurk, follow; to lie in ambush or in wait”, so the name would essentially mean “murmuring rock”, in reference to the echoes made by the water, or “lurking rock”, likely in reference to the siren who led men to their deaths.
Origin: Celtic, Germanic
- Lorelai (English)