Of Latin origin.
Variation of the name Laurence.
From the Roman name “Laurentius”, meaning “from Laurentum”.
Also from the Latin word “laurus”, meaning “laurel”. A flowering plant and “laurus nobilis” and aromatic tree.
The laurel bears several symbolisms.
In Greek mythology, the god Apollo was represented wearing a laurel wreath on his head.
These wreaths were awarded to those who won in the ancient Olympic games and to poet winners of the poetic competitions.
Lawrence, instead of Laurence, is a more common spelling of the name in England after the 19th century and in the U.S.A.
Alternative forms of the name are Laurence, Lorens, Larry, Lauren, Lars, Lorenzo, Enzo, Renzo, Lasse, etc.
The name’s popularity is steadily dropping during the last decades and in 2016 it landed in #493 in the U.S.A. baby names’ popularity list.
Additional information concerning the Ancient Roman naming system:
According to the Roman naming rules, the basic elements of Roman names were three. A praenomen, a “nomen”, and a cognomen.
A “praenomen” was the first name, indicating the personal name.
A “nomen” was the second name, indicating the ‘gens’ to which the bearer of the name belonged. Gens, meaning which group of families they belonged sharing a common “nomen”.
“Nomen” would stand as the group of loosely connected of families claiming common ancestors. Nomen were always patrilinear, meaning from the father.
A “cognomen” was the third name and was something like the surname. Cognomina (plural of cognomen) were usually inherited and rarely given to the bearer by general consensus by prominent members of the community.
There were several types of “cognomina”, such as geographical, adoptive, occupational, etc. In very rare cases the “cognomina” could be metronymic, meaning from the mother’s “nomen”.