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Delilah Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Delilah including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Delilah Overview

  • Meaning: “Delicate” or “weak.”
  • Gender: Female.
  • Origin: Hebrew/Arabic.
  • Pronunciation: “duh-LIE-luh” or “deh-lee-LAW.”
  • Popularity: Very Popular.
  • Nicknames: Lily, Dee, Del, Della, Lila.
  • Variations: Dalila, Dalida, Delila.
  • Namesakes: Delilah DiCrescenzo (distance runner), Delilah Rene (radio host), Delilah S. Dawson (author).

What Does Delilah Mean?

The name Delilah can mean “delicate” or “weak.”

What Is the Origin of the Name Delilah?

Delilah is a name of Hebrew origin, coming from the verb “dalal” (דָּלַל), which has several different possible meanings.

Interpreted literally, it can mean “to languish,” “to hang low” or “to be laid low.” More figuratively, it can also mean “to be made weak” or “to be impoverished/emptied/dried up.”

Some sources claim that the name is of Arabic origin, derived from the word “dalla” meaning “to act amorously,” or the word “dalila,” which means “guide.”

The most famous usage of the name occurs in the Old Testament of the Bible, in the Book of Judges. The Biblical character Delilah was Samson’s lover, the famously powerful hero of the Israelites.

The Philistines, the Israelites’ enemies, bribe Delilah to find out Samson’s weakness. She seduces him and implores him to tell her, and after three failed attempts, he gives in. As part of a bargain with God, if he never cut his hair, he would remain the strongest man in the world.

Delilah cuts Samson’s hair in his sleep, making him weak. She betrays him to the Philistines, directly leading to his death. Because of this Bible story, the name Delilah is often associated with treacherous, adulterous or simply seductive women (1).

How Popular Is the Name Delilah?

The first recorded use of the name Delilah is found in Judges, which indicates that the name originated in its written form, at the earliest, in the third century BCE.

The name Delilah first saw popular usage in the seventeenth century CE, in keeping with the Puritan custom of giving Biblical names to their children. It steadily rose in popularity over the centuries, until it became one of the most popular female names. The name shot from 674th most popular in 2000 to 88th most popular in 2019.

Over the last two years, the name Delilah has become very popular. It was the 69th most popular name given to baby girls in 2020 (2).

How Do I Pronounce Delilah?

Delilah can be pronounced “duh-LIE-luh” in English, or “deh-lee-LAW” in Hebrew.

Is Delilah a Boy or Girl Name?

People most commonly use Delilah as a girl’s name. There is no recorded instance of Delilah being used as a boy’s name.

Variations of Delilah

Common variations of the name Delilah include:

  • Dalila (Latin, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish)
  • Dalida (Greek)
  • Delila (English)

Nicknames for Delilah

Possible nicknames for the name Delilah include:

  • Dee
  • Del
  • Della
  • Dellie
  • Leelah
  • Lila
  • Lily

Similar Names to Delilah

Names that sound similar to Delilah include:

Names that are similar in meaning to Delilah include:

  • Adina (Hebrew: “Delicate”)
  • Eidel (Yiddish: “Delicate” or “gentle.”)
  • Hersilia (Greek: “Delicate”)
  • Nadia/Nadiyya/Nadya (Arabic: “Delicate”)
  • Sumbul (African and Arabic: “Frail” or “delicate.”)

Middle Names for Delilah

Middle names that fit well following the name Delilah include:

Sibling Names for Delilah

Names that could pair well with the sibling of a child named Delilah include:

Famous People Named Delilah

Notable public figures who share the name Delilah include:

  • Delilah Belle Hamlin: American model and daughter of actress Lisa Rinna.
  • Delilah Cotto: Puerto Rican actress and dancer.
  • Delilah DiCrescenzo: American distance runner.
  • Delilah Jane Dunn: American director and actress.
  • Delilah Montoya: American artist and educator.
  • Delilah Pierce: African American artist and curator.
  • Delilah Rene: American radio host and author.
  • Delilah S. Dawson: American fantasy/science fiction author.

Delilah in Popular Culture

In popular culture, you can find the name Delilah in the following characters and media:

  • Delilah Briarwood: Character in the American web series “Critical Role.”
  • Delilah Connolly: Heroine of the American drama series “Delilah.”
  • Delilah Devonshire: Heroine of the Canadian animated series “Delilah & Julius.”
  • Delilah Dirk: Heroine of the Delilah Dirkgraphic novel series by “Tony Cliff.”
  • Delilah Fielding-McGee: Character on the American crime series “NCIS.”
  • Delilah Green: Heroine of the romantic comedy novel “Delilah Green Doesn’t Care” by Ashley Herring Blake.
  • Delilah: The never-seen deuteragonist of the independent video game “Firewatch.”
  • Delilah: Minor character in the “Guilty Gear” series of fighting games.
  • “Samson and Delilah”: The highest-grossing film of 1950 directed by Cecil B. DeMillein which Hedy Lamarr portrayed Delilah.
  • “Delilah”: A 1968 song by Tom Jones in which the singer killed his adulterous lover of the same name.
  • “Hey There Delilah”: A 2006 song by the band Plain White T’s that has the singer professing love to a girl named Delilah.

Delilah FAQs

Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the name Delilah.

Is Delilah a Good Name?

While it is famously associated with a Biblical villain, the name has a soft, sweet sound and can still be perfect for a beautiful girl.

Does Delilah Mean “Seductive”?

No. While the Biblical character achieves her goals through seduction, the name itself means “delicate” or “weak.”

Is There a Saint Delilah?

There are no Christian saints named Delilah.

Can I Name My Child Delilah?

Of course, you can name your child whatever you choose. If someone were to judge you for naming your child Delilah, it would say much more about their character than about you or your child. Given the name’s recent popularity, you should consider using it.

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