Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Lillian

Lillian was coined as a pet form of or nursery name for Elizabeth in the 16th century. Although the name is often thought to be an elaboration on Lily, this is incorrect given the fact that Lily wasn’t in use as a female given name until the 19th century – or almost three centuries after Lillian. Elizabeth is one of those highly popular English names (originating from the Bible) that have spawned scores and scores of pet forms, diminutives and nicknames. Lillian is one of them. Elizabeth is a name borne from the New Testament (Luke 1:5-80) as the wife of Zachariah and the mother of John the Baptist. John the Baptist’s role is important because it will later become his job to prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah. He also had the honors of baptizing Jesus in the River Jordan. In other words, John was one important Biblical dude among Christians and Elizabeth was his Baby Mama. When Elizabeth gave birth to John she was way past childbearing years (not to mention barren). So God sent his “oath” (the promise of a baby) to Zachariah and Elizabeth by way of the angel-messenger Gabriel. Hence, the meaning of the Hebrew name Elishebha is “God is my oath”. The nursery name Lillian has been around for almost five centuries but today is most popular in North America (Canada and the United States).

All About the Baby Name – Lillian

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME LILLIAN

Romance is the hallmark of the Six personality. They exude nurturing, loving, and caring energy. Sixes are in love with the idea of love in its idealized form - and with their magnetic personalities, they easily draw people toward them. Like the number Two personality, they seek balance and harmony in their life and the world at large. They are conscientious and service-oriented, and a champion for the underdog. These personalities naturally attract money and are usually surrounded by lovely material objects - but their human relationships are always primary. They thrive in giving back to others rather than being motivated by their own desires. This is when they achieve great things. Sixes are natural teachers, ministers and counselors.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME LILLIAN

Lillian has enjoyed a position on the American female naming charts for well over a hundred consecutive years. A highly common name at the turn of the 20th century and a Top 10 favorite from 1898 to 1901, Lillian’s popularity finally waned by the 1980s. However, along with other female names that were popular in the early 1900s, Lillian is currently experiencing a revival. The name reclaimed her Top 100 status in 2002 and is now a Top 25. Its attraction is owed to its sweet, classic charm and the ability to shorten it to “Lily” if one chooses – another popular girl’s name today.

Quick Facts

ON LILLIAN

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

3

RANKING POPULARITY:

26

PRONUNCIATION:

LIL-ee-en

SIMPLE MEANING:

God is my oath

Characteristics

OF LILLIAN

Humanitarian

Community-minded

Family-oriented

Loving

Affectionate

Compassionate

Sensitive

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Lillian

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME LILLIAN

Lillian Rearden is the beautiful but unsupportive wife of Hank Rearden in Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel, “Atlas Shrugged.” Throughout the novel, Lillian seeks to destroy her husband and is quite honest about her motivations. She operates under the belief that such destruction will serve to highlight her own value.

Popular Songs

ON LILLIAN

Lillian
a song by +44

Lillian, Egypt
a song by Josh Ritter

Famous People

NAMED LILLIAN

Lillian Gish (actress)
Lillian Hellman (playwright)
Lillian Disney (former widow of Walt Disney)
Lillian Gish (actress)
Lillian Hellman (playwright)
Lillian Disney (former widow of Walt Disney)
Lillian Gish (actress)
Lillian Hellman (playwright)
Lillian Disney (former widow of Walt Disney)

Children of Famous People

NAMED LILLIAN

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Lillian

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME LILLIAN

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Lillian