Lillian Name Meaning

An original trendsetter in the old-lady chic movement, Lillian is an English name with botanical origins. A variant of the Latin “lilium,” Lillian is a feminine name in honor of the lily, a flower symbolizing purity and love.

Lillian first started appearing in the 1700s and has remained a steady fixture on the baby names charts though she lagged in popularity from the 1950s to the early 2000s before rising again. She’s a subtle nod to nature who isn’t quite as obvious as her sisters Violet, Rose, and Daisy, but certainly just as beautiful. She also offers the precious nicknames of Lilly or Lily, both popular monikers on their own. She’s also right at home with Evelyn and Amelia, two other blast from the past names that have been taking the baby name scene by storm alongside her.

Lillian offers a bit more depth than the less formal Lily, allowing your little one to stand apart from her floral roots. She ages well, carrying your little girl from doll babies to adulthood without feeling too cutesy. Lillian feels fresh despite her age and popularity, remaining a perky choice for parents to be.

An alternative spelling to the name is Lilian. Lillian also has plenty of variants from the familiar Leanna to the melodic Liliana and Lillia.

Infographic of Lillian name meaning, which is A name based off of the lily flower, Lillian is of English origins.
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Lillian Name Popularity

How popular is the name Lillian? Here’s everything we know.

Year Rank # Births % Births
1910 14 4,120 1.1702%
1911 13 4,362 1.1714%
1912 14 5,565 1.1035%
1913 16 6,011 1.0602%
1914 16 7,346 1.0541%
1915 15 9,544 1.0505%
1916 16 9,592 0.993%
1917 15 9,838 0.9834%
1918 15 9,981 0.93%
1919 17 9,513 0.9085%
1920 18 10,043 0.9032%
1921 19 9,770 0.8532%
1922 19 9,426 0.8461%
1923 20 9,323 0.8324%
1924 23 9,094 0.7831%
1925 25 8,350 0.7388%
1926 28 7,659 0.6964%
1927 32 7,180 0.6486%
1928 35 6,569 0.6139%
1929 40 5,706 0.5509%
1930 43 5,446 0.5214%
1931 47 4,797 0.486%
1932 48 4,344 0.4397%
1933 51 3,993 0.4286%
1934 52 3,968 0.4105%
1935 66 3,422 0.3521%
1936 78 3,108 0.3226%
1937 84 2,887 0.293%
1938 88 2,819 0.2754%
1939 99 2,548 0.2505%
1940 97 2,515 0.2366%
1941 103 2,452 0.2179%
1942 111 2,483 0.1966%
1943 116 2,389 0.183%
1944 126 2,107 0.17%
1945 124 2,005 0.1644%
1946 129 2,147 0.1455%
1947 143 2,069 0.1239%
1948 136 2,103 0.1317%
1949 154 1,914 0.119%
1950 154 1,870 0.1161%
1951 167 1,802 0.1063%
1952 179 1,701 0.0974%
1953 186 1,642 0.0928%
1954 195 1,594 0.0872%
1955 196 1,637 0.089%
1956 201 1,605 0.085%
1957 210 1,579 0.0821%
1958 218 1,398 0.074%
1959 218 1,448 0.0762%
1960 224 1,413 0.0746%
1961 240 1,276 0.0676%
1962 244 1,280 0.0697%
1963 257 1,142 0.0636%
1964 273 1,033 0.0587%
1965 271 979 0.0599%
1966 286 844 0.0541%
1967 299 801 0.0528%
1968 308 778 0.0518%
1969 326 732 0.0475%
1970 336 747 0.0469%
1971 360 633 0.0421%
1972 355 579 0.0425%
1973 375 517 0.0399%
1974 416 434 0.0334%
1975 439 408 0.0318%
1976 425 431 0.0334%
1977 433 425 0.0315%
1978 492 350 0.026%
1979 465 392 0.0278%
1980 426 467 0.0319%
1981 421 482 0.0328%
1982 450 431 0.0288%
1983 446 422 0.0286%
1984 439 435 0.0292%
1985 419 489 0.0322%
1986 407 502 0.0333%
1987 427 485 0.0318%
1988 368 622 0.0399%
1989 371 647 0.0401%
1990 368 685 0.0413%
1991 340 737 0.0452%
1992 346 715 0.0448%
1993 346 702 0.045%
1994 309 856 0.0558%
1995 293 918 0.0609%
1996 249 1,108 0.074%
1997 211 1,374 0.0929%
1998 174 1,700 0.1136%
1999 147 2,172 0.145%
2000 129 2,589 0.1695%
2001 112 2,944 0.1954%
2002 96 3,392 0.2264%
2003 76 4,025 0.2646%
2004 65 4,732 0.3105%
2005 50 5,212 0.3409%
2006 38 6,230 0.3979%
2007 33 6,547 0.415%
2008 29 6,808 0.4405%
2009 27 6,856 0.4587%
2010 22 6,951 0.4823%
2011 22 6,920 0.4857%
2012 25 7,156 0.5022%
2013 26 7,067 0.4964%
2014 25 6,909 0.4742%
2015 26 6,604 0.4539%
2016 28 6,353 0.4406%
2017 27 6,132 0.4393%
2018 34 5,534 0.4028%
2019 37 5,092 0.3761%
2020 46 4,369 0.3432%
2021 50 4,025 0.3293%
2022 50 4,226 0.3203%

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Names Like Lillian

If you like Lillian, you’ll love these other names like Lillian.

What names are diminutives of Lillian?

A diminutive is a name that’s like Lillian sounds, you might also like these names that sound like Lillian, but shorter.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender

A short form of Lilian.















Lily flower



Lily flower


What names are variants of Lillian?

Mix it up with these names that are a variation of the name Lillian.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender







Lily flower














Lily flower




























What names sound like Lillian?

If you like how Lillian sounds, you might also like these names that sound like Lillian.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender







Heavenly lei; royal child of heaven



Heavenly flower



Lion man


What names are similar to Lillian?

Find a name that’s like Lillian, but just a little bit different.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender

Lovable and graceful



Of unknown meaning



God is my oath



To excel



Desired one



Gracious one






Of the light



To join





Lists With Lillian

Find inspiration in these baby girl name lists featuring the name Lillian.

Siblings of Lillian

Mamas with kids named Lillian also have kids with these names.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender

A variant form of Eveline.



Devoted to God






Noble scholar



Whole heart



Olive tree



Olive tree






  1. My late maternal grandmother’s name was Lillian Jane Rose, although she went by her middle name, Jane, and signed documents as L. Jane Rose, so no one really knew her first name let alone ever call her by it. When I found out that I was pregnant with a girl, I wanted to name her after my grandmother. Our last name is Woods and the idea of nature names was very appealing to me. We decided on Lillian Rose Woods and will call our little girl Lilly. It fits our personalities perfectly and still pays homage to my family.

  2. We choose Lillian as the name for our baby girl because I loved names that I could shorten. So Lillian shortens to Lily. My mom’s name is Suzanne which means Lily. Biblically Lily means purity. We loved that too. Her middle name is Faith. Faith is my husband’s mom’s name. So she is named after both of her grandmas.

  3. It was my grandmother’s name

  4. Lillian was another answer to a prayer of what her name should be. St. Joseph is very special to me and his flower is the Lily so that is a huge reason for her name. I didn’t know when I named her that my grandma had actually lost a sister named Lillian to the Spanish influenza. I also love old fashioned names and Lillian just was so beautiful to me.

  5. I love all three names
    Liliana , Lillian,Lily
    They are what we are looking for we are torn on which one
    Middle name I am not sure about
    Anna, Emily , Elizabeth, Elisabeth
    My grandma doesn’t like anything other than Lily

    • Omg my great grandmother’s name was Lillian my names Lillian my name is so special the lily flower is my name a princess was named Lillian I am just WOW.

  6. Wow! I love my name especially after my beloved mother told me that she was happy having such a beautiful lily in me. My birthday actually attracts a particular Christian name but mum wanted that beautiful lily flower out of me. Such a sweet name! Sometimes I nickname myself lily, other times Lillie but very happy with my name. Thank you mother

  7. Family name and we love the nickname Lilly

    • Definitely ?

      • Klar,meine Freundin heisst so. 🙂

  8. I love giving my girls names that they can have cute nicknames for when they are little and then as they get older they can grow into their full name.

    • I love it

  9. I had the name Lillian in mind from one of two of my parents spinster neighbors at their first house that they bought. The spinster sisters were a rare pair and we uses to visit them when I was young. When Lillian’s father asked if we could name her Lilly, without knowing my preference, it was set.

  10. I had twins and it would only allow me to enter 1 name. Lillian Joyce, Lillian was my mother’s favorite Grandma, and Joyce was my favorite Grandma that I loved so much and meant so much to me.
    Her twin brother’s name is Kaleb Cecil, Kaleb a a name dad liked (we use almost every other family name with our other 3 boys) Cecil was my Great Grandpas name. He passed away when I was a baby and I am the only Great Grandchild he got to hold! ?

  11. My husband wanted to name her Lilly! I liked the idea but wasn’t to keen on naming her after a flower so we look up the name Lillian & it the meaning is God is my vow. We thought it was so beautiful we went with it! And will call her Lilly or LJ for short!

  12. I named my oldest daughter , Lillian and I nickname her Lili thirty ago. She was about 3- yr and she keep want Lilly instead of Lili.. But problem is that 4 girl name Lilly. Lily and Lillie and her teacher getting confused same girl’s name. Try to figure out and fixing. Lilly got home from school. I was disappointed but later on.. I accepted what she want to name until teenager. she dislike Lillian about ten year later, She decide to change her real names. she thought Lillian very ugly. I said No.. pretty name and she told her co worker.. everyone love her name Lillian.. she decide to keep her legal names.

    Why I chosen her name.. I told her Our grandparent name Lillian after their relative names. I named her after My Aunt Lillian and I informed her that 200 same names in my dad’s parent’s side in North Dakota

    I said About 200 names . not sure how many..

  13. Lillian is a classic elegant name! We chose this name because it was a family members name. We call her Lillian or Lilly!

  14. We first chose the nickname Lilly but the wanted a more formal/ professional name option for when she’s older. I initially picked Lilly because of the connection to nature. Overall, Lillian is pretty versatile!

  15. My Mums name means Lilly in her native language & my partners name is Ann.

  16. Lillian was my grandmother’s name while Torres, which is attached as a second middle name, is my mother’s maiden last name and is being passed on as a legacy

  17. I chose Lillian because it was my Grandmother’s name. I am not a fan of “trendy” names, and wanted to name her something that would suit an adult as well. The nickname Lily is great for a little girl, and if she wants to be Lillian when she gets older she can!

    • I love all three names
      Liliana , Lillian,Lily
      They are what we are looking for we are torn on which one
      Middle name I am not sure about
      Anna, Emily , Elizabeth, Elisabeth
      My grandma doesn’t like anything other than Lily

  18. I always loved the name Lillian and it’s also a good way to honor my grandmother at the same time!

  19. Lillian is a family name on my side. I had two great grandmothers named Lillian, and my parents decided to make that my middle name.

    Besides being a family name, I like that it’s traditional, but most people haven’t used it before.

  20. I named my daughter Lillian ( nicknamed Lillie) mostly because it was my great grandma’s name and that it was close to the name I also liked Lila.

  21. I grew up not liking my name. No one I knew or met had the same name ask Mom why she named me Lillian. She said she knew one person in school who was named Lillian. It wasn’t a popular name. She liked it. I go by the name Lin now I actually like me my name.

  22. We chose Lillian because we really liked the nickname Lily.

  23. I chose Lillian because I always loved the name and I kinda got it from Rugrats because that was my favorite show as a kid. I like Lily as a nickname because I wouldnt want it for the actual name but I think it’s cute.

  24. I met a very kind woman named Lily a couple years ago. It made an impression. I love the name. So when my husband & I rescued a baby kitten (2/2018) we named her Lily. When we found out we were having a baby girl I wondered if it would be weird to name our baby Lily. We named our baby Lillian & her nickname is Lily! Our cat is still named Lily but responds to multiple nicknames!

  25. Originally, I had wanted to name my daughter Lily. It was a name that just kept coming to me over and over, but my husband wanted a longer version that we could shorten to Lily.

    I fell in love with Liliana, but my husband wasn’t too keen on it. So when he suggested Lillian, I sat the name for a while and realized it fulfilled all my requirements: it’s beautiful, classic, feminine, can be nicknamed (Lily) and wasn’t too common.

    • Rachel, I like Liliana beautiful. Good excellent names!

      • Rachel, Lillian is now 34th out of 100 popular names!! Yayyahh!

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