Lily Name Meaning

Have you been considering the name Lily for your baby girl, but want to learn more about the meaning of the name Lily, its origin, and popularity?

Then let us help answer your questions and more with our Lily name meaning ultimate guide!

Lily is traditionally a girl’s name derived from the flower Lily and symbolizes purity, innocence, and virtue.

People who are name Lily are known for their intelligence, intuitiveness, and gracefulness.

They appreciate luxury and elegance.

They are independent.

And they are recognized for their excellent communication and creativity.

So, if you’re thinking about naming your little girl ‘Lily,’ then you’re in luck. In this post, I’ll talk about what does the name lily mean, the origin of Lily, different ways to spell Lily, names like Lily, nicknames for Lily, middle names for Lily, sibling names for Lily, and even a few famous people named Lily.

Keep reading to discover if Lily is the perfect flower name for your little girl!

And if you love this guide on the meaning of the name lily, make sure to check out these 4 letter girl names, southern girl names, Biblical girl names, and vintage girl names for more inspiration!

lily name meaning

Origin of the Lily Name

Before we get into what the name means, let’s talk about its origin. The name Lily derives from the Latin word lilium, which is the official name of the flower.

Yet, that’s not the true origin of the name Lily. Lilium actually comes from the Greek word leirion, which also refers to the lily flower.

Then, there are those who believe that the Greek word was taken from the ancient Arabic language, most probably from Egypt. Others, however, think leirion derives from one of the other ancient Semitic languages, such as Aramaic, Hebrew, and Arabic, with the latter being the most widely spoken Semitic language to date.

At the end of the day, it’s enough to know that the name Lily derived from this region, from one of the languages spoken there, and that it’s also been used to reference purity, innocence, and virtue.

You have to admit, though, that it’s pretty impressive to have held on to its meanings and symbolism throughout all those years. You could attribute it to its lovely sound, elegant imagery, or its role in Christian imagery.

No matter the reason, the name Lily is now making a solid comeback to take its rightful place among the best girl names of all time!

Pronunciation of Lily

There are very few people who mispronounce the name Lily. However, in keeping with the aim of the article, which hopes to present you with as much information about this name as possible, we couldn’t skip this section.

So, here it is: Lily is pronounced lil-EE. The pronunciation is quite simple, with the emphasis always being on the word’s second syllable to properly make the ‘ee’ sound.

Lily Name Meaning

The most common meaning of the beautiful girl’s name Lily is ‘pure.’ It’s always been seen as a symbol of freshness, innocence, and love, which are three things every parent wishes for their bundles of joy.

This is in direct reference to the ever-popular flower, the lily. There are numerous varieties of this particular type of flower, each appearing in its own vibrant color. Yet, it’s the white lily that seems to be the biggest show-stopper and the most sought out of all the other colorful and bright lily varieties.

This delicate bloom symbolizes the innocent and sweet beauty of life. As a result, this Lily flower meaning has helped turn the name Lily into one of the most beloved names for baby girls.

On a more spiritual side, we’re all probably familiar with the fact that the name Lily doesn’t directly derive from the Bible. Nevertheless, it’s alluded to several times in the Holy Book.

Plus, it also has various Biblical connotations and religious meanings.

The most prominent example is that the white lily flower is a direct representation of the pureness, virtue, and chastity of the Virgin Mary. You may notice in many paintings that Mary is often portrayed standing near a patch of lilies, wearing a crown with white lilies, or holding them in her hand.

Lilies are also often used to depict the purity of Christ, who was free from sin. Another Lily meaning is ‘God is abundance.’

Also, the symbol for St. Joseph is a white lily. That’s why he’s often portrayed holding lilies in his hands. They’re used to denote his relationship with the pious Virgin Mary. In addition, they’re also meant to reflect feelings of hope, rebirth, and faith.

How Popular is the name Lily?

The first time people began really focusing on using the name Lily for their newborn girls was at the start of the 19th century. It was used more frequently in English-speaking families. Then, it quickly spread to other countries worldwide, even those where English isn’t used as their first language.

According to the Social Security Administration, Lily wasn’t a particularly popular girl name before 2000. Then, a shift happened, and for various reasons, Lily has been a top-ranking baby girl name for the past 15 years, possibly more.

For example, in 2010, 2011, and 2012, it ranked 15, 16, and 17, respectively, out of the 50 top baby girl names. Yet, it almost always shared the spotlight with a few other classic favorites, including Grace and Natalie.

Then, a decade later, in 2021, it shot up to number 31, making it a highly popular baby girl name. Not surprisingly, this nice bump in the ranking came after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s daughter, Lilibet Diana, was born on June 4, 2021.

Here’s a fun tidbit: Lilibet, who now goes exclusively by Lily, is currently seventh in line to the English throne, while her father is fifth in line to the throne.

In addition to its recent rise in popularity in England, the name Lily has also become pretty popular in nearby Wales and Scotland.

Nicknames For Lily

We all know how much Lily is already a sweet-sounding name. Yet, giving your cute baby girl an adorable nickname or pet name makes it all the more precious. So, we’ve rounded up some of the best-loved nicknames and pet names using the name Lily.

Below are some of the most common nicknames for Lily:

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

See our full list of nicknames for Lily!

Variations of Lily

If you love the name Lily but are looking for a variation which is a little more unique then here are a few adaptions for the name Lily.

  • Laila
  • Lillian
  • Lillyan
  • Lillian
  • Lillita
  • Lynlee
  • Lilibet
  • Lilith
  • Lilia, which is originally a Polish name
  • Compound names, such as Tiger Lily, Lily Pearl, or Lily-Rose

Possible Spelling Variations for Lily

If you’ve chosen Lily as the name for your adorable little daughter, you may be pleased to know that this isn’t the only spelling for the name.

So, if you’d like to make your girl’s name even more special and unique, check out these spelling variations:

  • Lilly
  • Lillie
  • Lilli
  • Lili
  • Lilie, which is of German origin
  • Lilja, a Finnish name

Names Like Lily

  • Billy
  • Evie
  • Lauren
  • Leah
  • Lila
  • Lindsay
  • Lisbeth
  • Livie
  • Lola
  • Lola
  • Lorelai
  • Louise
  • Lucy
  • Lulu
  • Lydia
  • Lynlee
  • Milly
  • Rilee
  • Rylee
  • Tilly

Other girl names representing flowers:

  • Daisy
  • Ivy
  • Iris
  • Jasmine
  • Magnolia
  • Marigold
  • Poppy
  • Rose
  • Violet

See our full list of flower names for girls!

Middle Names for Lily

  • Ada
  • Anne
  • Beth
  • Camille
  • Chloe
  • Emma
  • Grace
  • Hannah
  • Ivy
  • June
  • Marie
  • Paige
  • Summer
  • Thea
  • Willow
  • Zara

See our full list of middle names for Lily

Sibling Names For Lily

For a sister:

  • Abigail
  • Amara
  • Ava
  • Belle
  • Brianne
  • Clara
  • Ella
  • Emmeline
  • Grace
  • Hope
  • Madison
  • Nova
  • Olive
  • Sage
  • Sarah

For a brother:

  • Archie
  • Caleb
  • Carter
  • Chase
  • Ezra
  • George
  • Harry
  • Isaac
  • Jack
  • Jacob
  • Jude
  • Luke
  • Oliver
  • Owen
  • Silas

Famous People Named Lily

Considering how sweet and delicate the name Lily is, it’s no surprise that a handful of famous people go by that name.

Take a look at some of the famous Lilys around the world:

  • Lily Allen, British singer
  • Lily Armstrong, daughter of actor Curtis Armstrong
  • Lily Camille McMenamy, British model and actress
  • Lily Collins, British-American actress and the daughter of singer Phil Collins
  • Lily Grace Atkinson, daughter of actor Rowan Atkinson
  • Lily James, British actress
  • Lily Luahana cole, British model
  • Lily Maud Aldridge, American supermodel
  • Lily May Loveless, British actress
  • Lily Moore, daughter of guitarist Gary Moore
  • Lili (Lilibet) Mountbatten-Windsor (she’s so adorable we had to mention her twice)
  • Lily Platt, daughter of actor Oliver Platt
  • Lily Rabe, American actress and daughter of Jill Clayburgh and David Rabe
  • Lily Tomlin, American actress
  • Lily Yeh, Chinese artist

Lily in Popular Culture

Lily is also a favorite of many writers and authors. They typically use it when they want their characters to portray certain features, such as integrity, honor, and decency.

Some of these examples include:

  • Lily Owens in The Secret Life of Bees
  • Lily Bart in Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth
  • Lily Moscovitz from The Princess Diaries
  • Lily Catherine Hue Magnum, daughter of the title character in the TV show Magnum
  • Lily Sloane from Star Trek: First Contact
  • Lily Chandly in Daniel Handler’s The Basic Eight
  • Lily (Liliian) Prescott from the TV show Hannah Montana
  • Lily Van Der Woodsen from the novel and the TV series Gossip Girl

Final Thoughts on what does the name lily mean

Without a doubt, choosing a baby name is one of the biggest decisions that new parents will make.

But we hope we our in-depth, comprehensive rundown of the various Lily name meanings, symbols, and representations was able to help you decide if the name Lily was the right baby name for you and your baby girl!

And if you’re more baby name inspiration, make sure to check out these baby name lists that contain the name Lily for even more inspiration:

lily name