The name is taken from the Spanish word, dolores, meaning “sorrows.” The name was initially used in honour of the Virgin Mary, María de los Dolores, roughly translating as Our Lady of the Sorrows.
This was the full name of the title character in the Vladimir Nabokov book, Lolita.
Due to its strong Catholic origins, the name first appeared in Ireland during the 19th-century. In 1880, the name entered the U.S. top 1000, coming in as the 466th most popular female name. By 1930, she was then 13th most popular female name in the United States.
As of 2009, she does not even appear in the U.S. top 1000.
The name as also been occasionally used in Slovakia and France.
The designated name-day in most Catholic countries is September 15.
Other notable bearers include: Mexican actress, Dolores del Río (1905-1983); Former American actress turned nun, Dolores Hart (b.1938); Irish singer, Dolores O’Riordan (b.1971).
Other forms of the name include:
A common Spanish nickname is Lola or Lolita, both of which are now used as independent given names.