Hello Jennifer,

I was wondering if you could help me out with the meaning of the name “Loie.” A little girl in my family died in the 1920’s and that was the name on her tombstone. I’m pretty sure it’s pronounced “Low-ee” and not “Lou-ee.” Anyway, I really love the name and would like to know if there’s a possible meaning, thanks!

Sarah W.

Dear Sarah,

The name Loie seems to have been a nickname or diminutive name for those named Louise or Lois. The most famous Loie was Loie Fuller (born Mary Louise), a Chicago native, child actress and eventual burlesque dancer and choreographer! It’s possible your Loie’s parents heard the name, as Fuller was pretty well known by the 1920’s. In Fuller’s case, it was derived from the old French term, L’oie, which means “Understanding.”

Loie Fuller moved to Paris in 1892 to be a part of the Folies Bergère and was hugely popular. What’s fascinating is that she was also an inventor! Loie started experimenting with stage lighting and was actually issued several patents for gels, slides and the use of luminescent salts for stage lighting effects!  She was well respected in the French scientific community, and was a close friend of Mme. Marie Curie.

The name can be spelled with a regular i, or an ï as in Loïe and is indeed pronounced LOH-ee. I think it’s a cool name, and I’ll make sure we add it to the site!

"Loie Fuller Folies Bergere 02" by Jean de Paleologu
“Loie Fuller Folies Bergere 02” by Jean de Paleologu

Jennifer Moss (she/her) is the founder of BabyNames.com, author of The Baby Names Workbook, and Producer of The Baby Names Podcast. Jennifer is widely regarded as the leading expert on popular baby name trends and the naming process, serving as the authoritative source on the subject for national and international media.

Jennifer entered the tech arena in the 80s as a software developer and database architect, and became a pioneer in the Internet industry. In addition to operating BabyNames.com, Jennifer owns a web development agency in central California.