Some of you may be shocked to see that I’m doing Lolita for my first ‘Name Spotlight’ post.
I’m not really gonna talk about a particular type of fashion where girls and ladies are dressed up like dolls with pretty head accessories, mid-length skirts and girly colours to boot.
…well, they may get a mention, but who cares?
And it’s not just that…(holds a deep breath)
Okay, let’s move on with post and tell you, first of all, what Lolita, as a name, means.
The name is Spanish and it is a diminutive of Lola, which is in turn a diminutive of Dolores which means “sorrows.” That name is part of a Spanish title of the Virgin Mary, María de los Dolores, which is translated as “Mary of the Sorrows.” Nowadays, the name, as a word, is used to describe a sexually precocious girl.
How popular was Lolita and how popular is it now? Let’s start off in the US.
Before 1962, it increased in popularity steadily and slowly. But in 1962, it rose up a lot thanks to the 1962 film ‘Lolita,’ directed by Stanley Kubrick, which is based on a novel of the same name by Vladimir Nabokov, which was released several years earlier. After the mid 1970s, it fell off the top 1000 and by the early 1990s, long before Lolita fashion became known worldwide, it became an uncommon name to give to a baby. Today, it is still given to around a dozen or more babies a year in the US, despite the current association with that type of fashion and sexually precocious girls, like Dolores/Lolita from the film & novel, that paedophiles picture often.
What about France?
This seems interesting to me. In France, Lolita peaked in 1987 and again in 2001, albeit with a lesser number of babies born in that year than in 1987.
UPDATE: I just noticed while scrolling through Wikipedia that it was Alizée with the release of her song ‘Moi…lolita’ in 2000 that caused the peak the following year. About the first peak in 1987, Céline Dion may have contributed to this with her song ‘Lolita (trop jeune pour aimer)’ but the song was released in October of that year, so I’m not sure if the song played a key part for the peak.
What about England & Wales?
In this chart, it’s clearly going up, down, up, down and it goes on like a volatile roller-coaster. Yet, it’s a rare name to have in England & Wales. Even with the current association with Lolita fashion, they are still being given to girls today.
That brings me to this. With regards to babies with the name Lolita born today, could they have been given the name by their parents who, say, speak Spanish or have Spanish or Hispanic/Latino heritage to honour the Virgin Mary without getting all traditional? Did they name their baby after a famous Lolita?
Leave a comment below and leave your thoughts on this along with what you think about Lolita.
Behind the Name: Lolita, Lola & Dolores
United States Popularity: Social Security Administration
France Popularity: INSEE via magicmaman.com
England & Wales Popularity: England & Wales Birth Index from 1916-2005 (available at ancestry.co.uk) and Office for National Statistics (only used data from 2006 onwards)