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.

  • In 2018 Lillian was the 34th most popular girls name, representing 0.4028% of girl births in the U.S.

  • Since 1910 Lillian has been the 88th most popular girls name, representing 0.2508% of girl births in the U.S.

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 0.4824%
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 0.4394%
2018 34 5,534 0.4028%

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Data via SSA.gov.


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
Lil

A short form of Lilian.

Latin

Lila

Night

Arabic

#215 (0.1008%)  
Lili

Lily

Latin

#2,155 (0.0017%)  
Lilli

Lily

Latin

#2,853 (0.0006%)  
Lillie

Lily

Latin

#632 (0.0287%)  
Lilly

Lily flower

English

#157 (0.1272%)  
Lily

Lily flower

English

#31 (0.4153%)  

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
Lilia

Lily

Latin

#952 (0.014%)  
Lilian

Lily

Latin

#571 (0.0336%)  
Liliana

Lily flower

English

#107 (0.2013%)  
Liliane

Lily

Latin

#3,217 (0.0004%)  
Lilianna

Lily

Latin

#755 (0.0207%)  
Lilias

Scottish

Lillia

Lily

Latin

#2,789 (0.0007%)  
Lilliana

Lily flower

English

#301 (0.0755%)  
Lilliane

Lily

Latin

Lilliann

Lily

Latin

#3,508 (0.0004%)  
Lillianna

Lily

Latin

#852 (0.0174%)  
Lillianne

Lily

Latin

#3,473 (0.0004%)  
Lillyan

Lily

Latin

#3,406 (0.0004%)  
Lillyanne

Lily

Latin

#2,793 (0.0007%)  
Lilyan

Lily

Latin

#2,794 (0.0007%)  
Lilyann

Lily

Latin

#1,642 (0.004%)  
Lilyanne

Latin

#2,114 (0.0018%)  

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
Gillian

Youthful

Latin

#2,260 (0.0015%)  
Jillian

Latin

#693 (0.0247%)  
Lalani

Heavenly lei; royal child of heaven

Polynesian

Leilani

Heavenly flower

Polynesian

#118 (0.1807%)  
Leoline

Lion man

Greek


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
Annabelle

Lovable and graceful

English

#139 (0.1433%)  
Eleanor

Of unknown meaning

English

#32 (0.4145%)  
Elizabeth

God is my oath

Hebrew

#13 (0.6196%)  
Emily

To excel

Latin

#12 (0.63%)  
Evelyn

Desired one

English

#10 (0.7552%)  
Grace

Gracious one

English

#24 (0.4894%)  
Hannah

Grace

Hebrew

#33 (0.409%)  
Lucille

Of the light

French

#286 (0.0796%)  
Rebecca

To join

Hebrew

#207 (0.1033%)  
Sarah

Princess

Hebrew

#67 (0.2709%)  

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
Evelina

A variant form of Eveline.

Latin

#1,111 (0.0098%)  
Isabella

Devoted to God

Italian

#4 (1.0528%)  
Camden

Valley

English

#152 (0.1842%)  
Skyler

Noble scholar

English

#389 (0.0524%)  

15 Comments

  1. 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..

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

  3. 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!

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

  5. 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

  6. 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!

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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!


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