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Lorraine (f) Also Loraine. Imported from France in
the 1940’s and used more in Scotland than elsewhere in
the English-speaking world. The name derives from Jeanne la Lorraine, ‘Joan, the girl from Lorraine,’ or as we know her, Joan of Arc. Jeanne was born at Domremy, Lorraine, in 1411. This province in North-East France was the ‘kingdom of Lothair’ (Latin Lotharii regnum). Lothair,
which is the same as modern German Lothar, originally
meant ‘famous army,’ but there is little doubt that the
French parents who first began to use Lorraine as a
Christian name were simply thinking of St Joan. By 1958
Lorraine was 27th most frequently used name in Scotland. It would have ranked still higher if the Loraines had been counted with the Lorraines. The name remains very popular in the late 1970’s. Some parents no doubt associate it with names like Laura and Lauren. Others may connect it with the mother of Mary Queen of Scots, who was Mary of Lorraine. Lorraine, Loraine and Lorain are also Scottish surnames, showing that the original name-bearers came from the French district.

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