The name could be of a few derivatives depending on the bearer of the name. It could be a Greek name, of uncertain meaning. It was borne by two very famous hetaeras of the ancient world. Laïs of Corinth was alive during the Peloponnesian War and was said to be the most beautiful woman of her time, another courtesan of the same name is often confused with the former, Laïs of Hyccara, was a rival of Phryne and was said to be stoned to death by the jealous women of Thessaly.
Laïs could also be a plural form of lai, a type of Provençal or Breton lyrical narrative poem written in octosyllabic verse which often deals with tales of romance and adventure. In this case, it is argued that the source of the word may be from the Celtic meaning “song” or from the Old High German word, leich, meaning “song; melody.”
It could also be the name of the botanical genus of hippaestrum, erroneously referred to as amaryllis, they are endemic to Central and South America.
Lais is also the name of a castle in Estonia.
Currently, the Portuguese rendition of Laís is the 56th most popular female name in Brazil, (2011).
Other forms of the name include:
- Laïs (French/Greek)
- Laïda Λαΐδα (Modern Greek)
- Laís (Portuguese)