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Laura (f) Until the 1960’s, this name was far more
popular in the U.S.A. and Canada than in Britain.
However, since then it has taken hold in England, Wales
and Scotland. It is clearly set to go on rising in popularity. The affection for Laura (a feminine form of Laurence) in North America has led to a whole host of adaptations, many of which are now used in Scotland. They include such names as Laraine, Larraine, Lauraine, Lauranne, Laureen, Lauren, Laurene, Laurie, Laurina, Laurine, Lora, Loraine, Lorana, Loreen, Loren, Lorena,
Lorene, Loretta, Lorraine, Lorretta, Lorriane,
Lauretta, Laurana, Laureola, Laurel, Lori, Lorelle,
etc. One or two are independent names from other sources, e.g., Lorraine and Laurel, but the names as a whole indicate a liking for the initial sound contained in them. Some of these forms are far older than one might think. For instance, Sheridan was already poking gentle fun at Lauretta in the eighteenth century. One of the characters in his play St Patrick’s Day (1775) holds forth about the effect of names on character:
‘Lauretta! aye, you would have her called so; but for my
part I never knew any good come of giving girls these
heathen Christian names: if you had called her Deborah,
or Tabitha, or Ruth, or Rebecca, or Joan, nothing of this
had ever happened; but I always knew Lauretta was
a runaway name.’

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