(French) name, of Germanic (Frankish) origin, from hlōd ‘fame’ + wīg ‘war’. It was very common in French royal and noble families. Louis I (778–840) was the son of Charlemagne, who ruled as both King of France and Holy Roman Emperor. Altogether, the name was borne by sixteen kings of France up to the French Revolution, in which Louis XVI perished. Louis XIV, ‘the Sun King’ (1638–1715), reigned for seventy-two years (1643–1715), presiding in the middle part of his reign over a period of unparalleled French power and prosperity. In modern times Louis is also found in the English-speaking world (usually pronounced ‘loo-ee’). In Britain the Anglicized form Lewis is rather more common, whereas in America the reverse is true.