masc. proper name, from Old French Lorenz (French Laurent), from Latin Laurentius, literally "of Laurentum," a maritime town in Latium, the name of which means literally "town of bay trees," from laurus (see laurel). The Italian form is Lorenzo.
A popular given name in the Middle Ages, as a surname it is attested in England from mid-12c. Larkin is a pet-form, along with Larry. For some reason, the name at least since 18c. has been the personification of indolence (compare German der faule Lenz "Lazy Lawrence"). But in Scotland, the pet form Lowrie has been used for "a fox" (c. 1500), also for "a crafty person" (1560s). Lawrence is the Law- in the surname Lawson, and a diminutive pet form is preserved in the surname Lowery/Laurie, etc.
updated on October 14, 2021
Dictionary entries near Laurence