Related Overviews

St Laurence (d. 258)


'Laurence' can also refer to...

Baby Laurence (1921)

Chris Laurence (b. 1949)

Edward Laurence (1674—1739) land surveyor

Elizabeth Laurence (b. 1949)

French Laurence (1757—1809) lawyer and politician

Friar Laurence

George Laurence Gomme (1853—1916) public servant and folklorist

Henry Laurence Gantt (1861—1919)

(Henry Laurence) Paul Sieghart (1927—1988) law reformer

James Laurence Laughlin (1850—1933)

Jean Laurence (1926—1987)

John Laurence (1668—1732) writer on gardening

John Laurence Toole (1830—1906) actor and theatre manager

Laurence (c. 1128—1180) archbishop of Dublin

Laurence Aldersey (1546—1598) sea captain

Laurence Anderton (1575—1643) Jesuit

Laurence Andrewe (fl. c. 1510—1540) printer and translator

Laurence Anholt (b. 1959)

Laurence Barton

Laurence Binyon (1869—1943) poet and art historian

Laurence Bloch

Laurence Bloomfield in Ireland

Laurence Bodley (1548—1615) Church of England clergyman

Laurence Boisson de Chazournes

Laurence BonJour

Laurence Booth (c. 1420—1480) bishop of Durham and archbishop of York

Laurence Braddon (1667—1724) lawyer

Laurence Burgorgue-Larsen

Laurence Caddy (c. 1558—1588) Roman Catholic seminarist


Quick Reference

Laziness personified, a lazy person (lazy Laurence is also used); this association of the personal name with the quality is first recorded in the proverbial Laurence bids wages, meaning that the attractions of idleness are tempting.

It has been suggested that there is an allusion to the heat prevalent around the time of the feast of St Lawrence (10 August). Another conjecture is that there was a joke to the effect that when the martyr St Lawrence told his torturers to turn him round on his gridiron, it was because he was too lazy to move by himself.

In the US, laurence is also used for the shimmering effect that can be seen on a road or other surface on a hot day; this may again derive from the association of St Lawrence with heat.

Reference entries