Lily NamesLovely Lily names flourish across the popularity charts.

Floral favorite Lily is an ecovintage pick that bridges classic Charlotte and Eleanor to modern River and Willow. It’s among the most popular of flower names, outpacing even Rose, Violet, and Daisy.

There’s the Easter lily, of course, tying the flowers to spring, a symbol of purity and virtue. We often call them the Madonna lily.

But different varieties carry different meanings, from confidence to good fortune to abundance. Different cultures, too, see them differently, and the colors and shades matter. Oranges suggest confidence, while yellows indicate gratitude and pinks represent abundance.

Layer in lots of fictional Lilys, from Edith Wharton’s Lily Bart to How I Met Your Mother’s Lily Aldrin, and it’s a versatile, elegant choice with plenty of spirit. Famous people include singer Lily Allen and actress Lily James, to name just two.

It makes an enduring choice for a daughter, familiar across generations.

No question Lily stands on its own. But there are dozens of formal names for Lily. Imports from other languages, longer names that contain the sound, and more can all work with short, simple Lily.

Another factor: lilies bloom across several seasons, though these vary slightly by climate. They’re popular in gardens, but also as a cut flower in arrangements and bouquets.

  • Easter lilies and Asiatic lilies are among the earliest, in spring and early summer.
  • The Martagon lily also blooms in early summer.
  • Others peak at mid-summer, like Trumpet lilies, known for peaking around July in many places.
  • Orienpet or Black Beauty lilies arrive at late summer, even in to early fall.

Some varieties, like the Golden Splendor are known for their distinctive fragrance. They’re also divided by either bowl-shaped or trumpet-shaped flowers, among other characteristics.

If you’re looking for baby girl names just right for a daughter, these beautiful flowers might offer up the perfect inspiration. It’s also worth considering Lily as a middle name, a good balance to a longer or more unisex first.

Let’s look at all of the possible Lily names.



Lily is the most common spelling today, but Lillie and Lilly both have a long history of use. Once Lillie topped the charts. Nineteenth century actress turned royal mistress Lillie Langtry remains a captivating figure.

In terms of absolute numbers:

  • 5,966 girls were named Lily in 2022.
  • An additional 1,295 received the name Lilly.
  • And 374 were named Lillie.

While Lily is, far and away, the most popular spelling, Lilly brings to mind Molly, while Lillie looks right when compared to Millie and Ellie.

It’s equally true that Lily as a nickname could be spelled in any of these three ways.


Lillian looks like lilium, the Latin word for lily. That suggests that Lily comes from Lillian.

However, the opposite might be true. It appears that Elizabeth once shortened to Lily … and then Lillian evolved from there.

The single-L spelling is sometimes masculine in French. Even more spelling variants, like Lelian and Lylian, are possible, but uncommon.


Lily plus Anna is a logical construction. But how do you spell Liliana? Each of these has ranked in the US Top 1000 in recent years.


Medieval legend tells of Adam’s first wife, Lilith. Some versions make Lilith a demon. Others depict her as the archetype of a strong woman. (Hence the name of 90s music festival Lilith Fair.) It’s not related to the flower. Instead, Lilith comes from an Akkadian word meaning “of the night.”

Our love of Lily names, combined with the popularity of the music festival, has tranformed Lilith into a mainstream favorite in recent decades.


Drop the ‘n’ from Lillian, and we have a name perfectly in step with current trends, a Lily version of all of those ends with -ia names.



The Plain White Tees made Delilah a hit.


A name from the Biblical city of Galilee, Galilea also includes the right letters to get to Lily.


It’s a different flower entirely, but sounds close to Lily.


A Lily-Louise smoosh, Lilou has been big in France. Luc Besson named one of his characters in The Fifth Element Leeloo. The 1997 hit movie boosted the name.



The name of a ninth century Spanish martyr and another name directly related to the lily flower. It might shorten to Lola, too.


Liliosa is the Spanish; this is the Scottish.


Another rarity, Lilika might be Slavic.


The French Liliane is the given name of actor Leelee Sobieski.


A Scandi borrowing, Lillemor means “little mother.” That’s a cozy meaning, but this name reads elegant.


A modern Swedish invention, Lillevi means “little” and “devoted” or possibly “fighter.” Cool sound, strong meaning – what’s not to love?


A Welsh name, Lilwen marries the best of the Lily names with the Welsh Gwen and company. If Arwen and Eowyn appeal, this name might also belong on your list.


From the Hawaiian name for the passion fruit.


Hawaii isn’t exactly a foreign country, but Lilinoe feels like an import. It means “fine mist.”


A Sanskrit name that means charming, Lilavati is rare but accessible.



Despite the name, a calla lily isn’t a true lily species. But it still fits here, an elegant flower native to southern Africa, but now grown across the world.


Do we really need another nickname for Elizabeth? There are dozens! And yet, most agree that Lily started out as a short form of this venerable classic.


If Elizabeth can lead to Lily, why not Elinor? The ‘li’ is right there, just as with Elizabeth.


It might be a Lily-Beth smoosh, or a slimmed down version of Elizabeth. Queen Elizabeth II was known as Lilibet as a young girl, and now her great-granddaughter bears her name.


Choose your spelling! Thanks to LV51sfan91 for suggesting this Lily-Juliet mash-up.


A character from CS Lewis’ Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Lilliandil reigns as Queen of Narnia. But here’s a twist: Lewis didn’t name her. Not until the 2010 film adaptation did the character receive a name. It’s rarer than rare, but has potential.


An unusual floral name, part-smoosh and part-bloom. If you’re looking for a fierce spin on a girls’ nature name, Tigerlily might be the one. Tiger Lily is the name of the Native American princess in the Peter Pan stories; while her portrayal has been controversial, more recent adaptations have strived to give the character an updated, more representative story. Since the tigerlily is undeniably a familiar flower, it still feels like a potential girl’s given name.



Different types of lilies can inspire names, but this is a very subtle approach. The Lady Alice is an white and orange hybrid, it’s worth noting that there’s also a Lady Alice apple and a shade of blue called Alice Blue.


A very appropriate name, as the lily often symbolizes rebirth.


With pale pink petals, the Brindisi lily is a pretty choice with an intriguing name. It must come from Brindisi, Italy, on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, though this lily is a hybrid, not a native Italian flower.


A surname name, and also a floral one, thanks to Catesby’s Lily. It’s among the largest grown in North America, a vibrant reddish-orange and yellow bloom.


One more reason to love this trending name: with pink petals, the Elodie Lily is a pretty flower.


Hanson’s Lily is also known as the Japanese Turk’s Cap. It’s native to Korea, Japan, and parts of China. It’s named for Danish-born American landscape Peter Hanson.


Henry’s Lily is an orange flower native to China, named by Irish explorer Augustine Henry, known for cataloging the plants of China. There’s also a rare variety known as the Prince Henri lily, white with a deep purple center.


A lovely oriental lily, it seems as if the Mona Lisa lily would’ve been named for the famous painting. But, as is the case with many lily hybrids, information on their naming is tough to find.


This names makes the list thanks to the Forever Susan lily, which comes in a shade of deep burgundy.

What are your favorite Lily names?

First published August 16, 2013, this post was revised substantially and updated on April 26, 2020; June 2, 2021; and February 22, 2024.

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. I knew a Tigerlily. Such a pretty name! Her friends called her Tiger. I feel like the Peter Pan association might be too automatic, though.

  2. I think that some people may like the image, as I personally do. She was a feminist, who turned evil because she was unfairly treated. Lilith was a favorite for a while. If Delilah can be the most popular D name for girls, why not Lilith? She deserved better, and I honestly appreciate the strong role model.

  3. If I ever have another daughter I will name her Lily:) I’m a huge Munsters fan & would love a middle name meaning white.