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Lily Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Lily Overview

  • Meaning: Lily is a name that has a few meanings. It can represent the white flowers, purity, innocence, God’s abundance, and rebirth.
  • Gender: Lily is traditionally a girl’s name.
  • Origin: Lily originates from the Latin word “Lilium,” which translates to the lily flower.
  • Pronunciation: You pronounce Lily like “lil-EE.”
  • Popularity: Lily is very popular and has been on the top 50 girl names for over ten years and will most likely remain very popular.
  • Nicknames: Nicknames for Lily are Lil, Lills, L, Lee, Lu, Lulu, Silly Lilly, Lilsy, Ellie, Lolly, and Elle.
  • Variations: The variations for Lily are Lilly, Lillie, Liliana, Lilith, and Lillia.
  • Namesakes: Lily Collins and Lily James, actresses.

What Does Lily Mean?

The name Lily comes from the beautiful white flower, but the meaning extends further than a flower (1). Lily is a name that people associate with innocence and purity, so it has some ties to biblical girl names.

It’s not a traditional biblical name, but it has associations due to lilies representing the Virgin Mary’s purity and innocence. Other meanings behind the name Lily include “God is abundance” and “rebirth.”

The name began rising in popularity in the 1800 and 1900s among English-speaking parents but is used frequently around the world, particularly in Western countries.

What is the Origin of the Name Lily?

The origin of the name Lily comes from the Latin word “Lilium” (2). Lilium is the Latin term for lily flower, but some people believe that the name Lily has origins in Hebrew. The name is mostly a western name with origins in Europe.

How Popular is the Name Lily?

Lily is a widely popular name. From 2010 to 2020, Lily has ranked in the top 50 most popular baby girl names according to the Social Security Association (SSA) (3). The most recent data from the SSA, from 2020, ranks the name Lily as the 35th most popular name.

As you progress back through the years, Lily is even higher on the list, the closest to the top being ranked 15, 16, and 17 in 2011, 2012, and 2010 respectively. The name has come a long way since ranking 124th on the list in 2000.

From the 124th position, the name jumped to 103 in 2001, and then to 79th by 2002. Presently, the name Lily is still a trendy name for girls. It remained within the top 50 most popular names and will probably continue to stay high on the list for several more years.

How Do I Pronounce Lily?

Lily is pronounced “lil-EE.” Most people don’t mispronounce the name, but the proper pronunciation emphasizes the end of the word and the “ee” sound.

Is Lily a Boy or Girl Name?

Lily is generally considered a girl name. Since the name’s primary meaning pertains to the flower, people almost always use it for a baby girl.

Variations of Lily

While Lily is already a short name, there are several variations of the word. Lilly is the most popular in the United States and other English-speaking countries. Other variations of Lily are:

  • Lilly
  • Lillie
  • Lilith
  • Liliana
  • Lillia
  • Lillian

Nicknames for Lily

Almost everyone has a nickname, and Lily has several to choose from. Some of the most common nicknames for Lily include:

  • Lil
  • L
  • Lills
  • Lee
  • Elle
  • Lu
  • Lulu
  • Silly Lily
  • Lolly
  • Ellie
  • Lilsy

Similar Names to Lily

When looking into baby names, parents who love the name Lily also searched for similar names like:

Middle Names for Lily

Not everyone has a middle name, but if you want one for the name Lily, these are some great options:

Sibling Names for Lily

Naming your kids with names that pair well together is popular nowadays. If you’re thinking of a perfect sibling name for Lily, you can’t go wrong with any of these.

For a sister:

For a brother:

Famous People Named Lily

There are several famous women named Lily. Two very famous women named Lily are Lily Collins and Lily James. Lily Collins is well known for her role in Emily in Paris, and Lily James is best known for her role in Cinderella and Mamma Mia Here We Go Again.

Other famous people named Lily are:

  • Lily Allen: She’s an English singer, songwriter, and actress.
  • Lily Bloom: She’s a French actress.
  • Lily Gladstone: She’s an American actress.
  • Lily Cole: She’s an English fashion model.

Lily in Popular Culture

There are quite a few fictional characters named Lily in pop culture. You can find Lily’s name in comic books, novels, TV shows, movies, and more. Here are some of the most famous instances of Lily in pop culture:

  • Lily: Character in “Kappa Mikey” cartoon.
  • Lily Hollister: Supervillain in the comic book series “Menace.”
  • Lily Brown: Character in the movie “Nanny McPhee.”
  • Lily Owens: Character in the novel and movie “The Secret Life of Bees.”
  • Lily Luna Potter: Harry Potter’s daughter in the series.
  • Lily Pritchet-Tucker: Character in “Modern Family” series.
  • Lily Van Der Woodsen: From the novel and TV series, “Gossip Girl.”

Lily FAQs

If you still have questions about the meaning of the name Lily, we’re here to help you learn more about the name.

What Is the Spiritual Meaning of Lily?

The spiritual meaning of Lily is similar to the biblical and classic meaning of the name. Spiritually, Lily can mean things like transformation, beauty, and fertility.

Is Lily a Nickname For Elizabeth?

While it may seem odd, back in the 1800 and 1900s, Lily was a nickname for Elizabeth. If you’re wondering why Lily is a nickname for Elizabeth, you’re not alone. It’s suspected that this began in the middle ages, but it’s not known for certain.

Now, most people don’t use the nickname Lily for Elizabeth because other names make more sense for the first name.

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