My partner and I love the name Lily, but feel it may be a little short compared to our daughters 4 syllable name. 

Lillian or Lilianna, with the nickname Lily, would have been great longer name options. But we have family members with the names Ann and Anna, who we do not want to name our daughter after. 

A Lily- name I like and can't stop coming back to is Lilyella. I heard it many years ago as a teenager (a singer in a band I can't remember the name of, 'All Saints' maybe?, has a daughter named Lilyella), and  the namevhas just stuck with me all these years. But I don't even know if its a 'real' name or not? I guess all names were made-up once though? :) I can't find any information on it on here or on other sites. It will be a very unusual name in my contry so I don't know if we should use it or not. 

I'm hoping that someone here will know something about the name but mostly I'm interested in your opinions and thoughts on it. How would u pronounce it? Lily-Ella like a double name or like Gabriella but Lily- instead of Gabri-, or something else?

And also, incase we don't go with Lilyella, any ideas on other Lily-names would be very welcome. 

Thanks in advance :)



By Fly
August 28, 2015 9:52 AM

I like Lily too :)  Lily is actually a stand alone name with an independent etymology.  It's not a diminuitive form, although it is sometimes used as such for names like Lillian, as you mentioned.  It is actually simply the name of the flower, derived from the latin word 'Lilium'.  I do understand wanting a longer name though, which might provide more nickname options or feel more formal.

If you were to name your child Lilian I don't think anyone would expect that she were named after an Anne or an Anna. Certainly I wouldn't think such a thing about an Aidan or a Declan, so it doesn't feel relevant with Lillian either.

Lillian is a form of Elizabeth. Liliane is the French version of Lillian, and Liliana is the Latinate form used in Italian, Spanish and other Romance languages.  Lilianna is another, modern variant of Lillian, probably deriving some inspiration from the name 'Anna'.

I would pronounce Lilyella as Lily-Ella (if I enunciate it properly), but if I was saying it quickly it would probably sound more like Lil-yel-ah. I think it would be considered a modern mash-up of Lily + Ella, or perhaps a variant spelling/pronunciation of Liliya.  I would not normally recommend Lily Ella (as separate names) in a first+middle combination as it doesn't flow particularly well and would end up running together while it is meant to be separate.   Combined as one name I'm not sure, I think you could probably get away with it, but its not really my cup of tea.

Names with "Lil" that could have Lily as a nickname (copy and paste, remove the spaces)

http://www. behindthename. com/names/gender/feminine/pattern/*lil*

I quite like Lilibeth or Liliya/Lilia/Lilja and other similar variants as a longer version. There is also Lillith, Liana and Lillias.  More unusual names that could get Lily include Lila, Layla, Delilah, Talulah, Eulalia, Galila/Jalila.

August 28, 2015 9:55 AM

I'd say Lilyella is "real" in that it is a mash-up of 2 more common names.  However, my first impression isn't a good one.  I initially red it as Lil Yella (as in little yellow).  Once I realized what you meant it to be, I was fine.  However, I imagine she'll get some incorrect guesses or perhaps some odd looks at first.  Perhaps if you did a true double barrell name instead of a mash-up?  Lily Ella or Lily-Ella perhaps?

The name does have some negative associations for some people, but Lillith is an option.  There is also Lilias, the Scottish variant of Lily.  I believe it is LIH-lee-us.

However, while I do prefer for sibling names to coordinate style-wise, I don't think number of syllable really matters much.  If what you really want is Lily, I see no reason not to use it.  It may be shorter than your daughter's name, but it's still a perfectly good stand along that doesn't need a longer version.

August 28, 2015 10:04 AM

Lilyella looks like a modern coinage, basically a mash-up of Lily and the common name suffix -ella.

I don't have an objection to "new" names as such (as you say, all names got their start somewhere). However, I'm not a big fan of the look of Lilyella. When I first saw it, it parsed as Lil Yella--in other words, little yellow or little yeller. The juxtaposition of the -ee sound and the -eh sound is somewhat difficult. It might be better written as Liliella or Lilliela, which I would pronounce Lily-EL-uh and Lily-AY-la, respectively. Or you could just make it a compound name, Lily-Ella or Lily Ella.

Other Lily or similar names--some are "Lili" Elizabeth cognates, and some are related to the actual flower name Lily (and some are both):

  • Lileas/Lilias/Lillias (Scottish)
  • Lilibet/Lilibeth (English) (maybe also Lilibetta?)
  • Lilya/Lilia/Liliya (Russian, etc.)
  • Liana (not quite Lili, but similar--another Elizabeth cognate)
  • Lilavati (a Hindi/Sanskrit name; it would be a great name for scientists or mathematicians, as it's also the name of a semi-famous 12th century book on mathematics, addressed to the author's daughter by the same name)

Leilani (Hawaiian name that has seen some use outside the state)

August 28, 2015 10:51 AM

Like other commenters, my first impression of Lilyella was "little yeller" or "little yellow", so I don't recommend this spelling. As Liliella it's fine -- a bit "frilliana" for some tastes, but no worse than Lillianna or Isabella. I would pronounce it /lih-lee-ELL-uh/.

Again as others have pointed out, Lily is a perfectly fine stand-alone name, from the name of the flower, but it is also a traditional nickname for Elizabeth. Also, sibling names don't have to match; as long as you don't have a "Vi, just Vi" and a "Maximillian, not Max", nobody will notice a difference in length. This is especially true for girl's names, which run longer than boy's.

If it were my daughter, I'd choose Elizabeth, occasionally nicknamed Lily, but it's a family name on both sides for us, so it'd be a bit of a no-brainer. (Both my husband's and my paternal grandmothers were Erzsébet, the Hungarian for Elizabeth -- although his went by Lili exclusively, to the point that her own children didn't know her "real" name.)

August 28, 2015 12:12 PM

I correctly saw lilyella but now that others mention it I can only see lil yella & think of a dog old yeller. Liliella might be better. But I like the suggestion of Lillith. 


Why is Lilith negative. The only one I can think of is from the TV show Frasier. 

August 28, 2015 12:36 PM

Lilith is a figure from Jewish mythology; her name is sometimes translated as "night monster" or "night hag" just to give you a taste of what her function is there. She was Adam's first wife, and as such has seen some popularity in more modern interpretations (e.g. as a feminist icon), but in many traditions she is a baby-murdering demon.

It wouldn't put me off the name if I loved it, as I think for most people the main association is the Cheers/Frasier character, but it's not something to be surprised by after baby is named.

By mk
August 28, 2015 12:05 PM

Lilyella looks like Lil Yella to me. Liliella is fine but I much prefer Lily. But yes, any name given to a person is in actuality a real name.

Sibling names don't need to match or be the same length. But if you want something that sounds longer, I recommend Lilia.

August 28, 2015 2:19 PM

I was also going to suggest Liliella, but when I typed it out the many vertial lines were majorly playing tricks on my eyes. I had to type it really slowly to make sure that the Ls and Is were actually in the right place. 

To the original poster, I completely understand your desire for your two girls to have names that fit together. I, too, would have a hard time giving one child a name with four syllables, and one child a name with only two. 

I really love Liliana. It has the beautiful airy quality of Lilyella without the challenges. I think the "ah-na" ending is just different than the "ann" sound to bring it away from a namesake. It's easy enough to say "we just liked the name" if those family members insinuate that it's an honor name. 

Queen Elizabeth's nickname as a child was Lilibet, which I think is a very sweet given name. You could do Lilibeth too, if you'd prefer. 

As a bit of a wild card, how do you feel about Galilea? I think it's a fantastically unique name, but it is certainly not for everyone. 

Finally, if there's no longer Lily names that you love, just use Lily. You can get the "balance" between your two daughters names with a longer middle name (or two). To illustrate the point, let's pretend that big sister is named Penelope Katherine. You could easily have Penelope Katherine and Lily Victoria

August 29, 2015 12:40 AM

I agree about Liliella being a lot of vertical lines - some fonts really make it harder, too!

I actually think that diverse syllable counts can really work FOR you, too - you can have names that have similar feels, but different lengths making the names more distinct, and less easy to muddle up. I for one like that my children have 2, 3, and 4 syllables respectively. I agree that the coordination you desire can also be achieved by a longer middle name. Like, Penelope Katherine and Lily Cassiopeia seems not impractical.

I like the suggestion of Lilibet very much, and it seems more like a complete name thanks to the amount of time I've spent with the name Lisbeth in the Stieg Larsson universe... but I want to give a major fist pump to the suggestion of Galilea. It's nowhere near as esoteric as I thought -- it was given to 361 girls last year, to my surprise!

A more boring suggestion is Lilias, the Scottish form of Elizabeth (correct me if I'm wrong) -- I really like -s endings for girls and think they're due to have a comeback soon.

By Fly
August 29, 2015 2:55 AM

Lilias, along with Lileas and Lillias, is technically the Scottish form of Lillian, though Lillian is thought to ultimately derive from Elizabeth.  Ealasaid, Elspeth and Elspet are the more direct Scottish versions of Elizabeth, with Ealasaid more technically being the Gaelic Scots version. Scotland also has its own versions of Isobel, another derivative of Elizabeth.  Since you asked. :P

August 28, 2015 1:56 PM

I would pronounce Lilyella like Lily Ella.  Maybe if you want the other pronunciation Liliella would be better (although the spellinng looks a little interesting)?

The main name I can think of that has not yet been mentioned is Kalilah/Kelilah.  I have heard it pronounced both "kuh-LEYE-luh" and "kuh-LEE-luh".  I think that Kalilah could easily have the nickname Lily.

I think Elinor could also get  to Lily (I would use the "i" instead of the "ea" if I were going to nn Lily).  It would be similar to using Elizabeth, although not a traditional nickname.  I think "Elinor call me Lily" would work though.  

You could try Lilienne to avoid the "Ann" ending, too, if you like Lilian.  It is not as common of a name, but it is not unheard of.  I would probably pronounce it with more stress on the "enne" than LIlian based on the spelling.

Because Lily is a short name, I think you could also have a compound first name.  Lily Claire, Lily Catherine, Lily Mae, etc (as a first name with a separate middle name; it would be Lily Catherine mn ln) could then be called Lily while having a longer first name.

August 29, 2015 1:25 PM

When I see "Lilyella" I assume it's supposed to be Lily Ella, but my brain automatically turns it into the contraction Lil'yella - either Little Yeller or Little Yellow, both of which are ridiculous. I would think that someone named Lilyella would have to be called Lil Yella sometimes, even in loving jest by a friend, if not full-on mockery. The spelling Liliella would avoid the obvious jump to Lil Yella, though Lily Ella (or Lili Ella) doesn't really sound that much different than Lil Yella. It might be one of those things that once you make the association, it's impossible to unsee it.

I much prefer the stand-alone Lily. It's a flower, it's a name, it doesn't lend itself to a goofy pronunciation.

August 29, 2015 9:43 PM

Don't feel pressured to make your second daughter's name longer just to match your first daughter. Siblings are only be considered as a group for a small part of their lives (except by family, of course) - most of their lives they will be seen as individuals, so they don't need to match. Also, I like the idea of their names being different lengths, in that it makes it clear to each of them that they can be their own people and make their own way in the world, and that you value and love them as individual people.

Lily is a beautiful name, and if you both love it, then that's the best gift you can give your daughter. 

August 30, 2015 1:36 AM

Lily works by its self pretty without being too frilly. I also like the very traditional Lillian, a great name if your daughter wants a 'grown up professional' name.

August 30, 2015 8:46 AM

I like Lillian, and at least with my pronunciation nobody would think you were honouring an Ann. I say it LIL-yan, kind of two and s half syllables. I like this option because it's less popular than Lily, so she can go by either but if she knows other Lilys she had the option of the longer name (which has a lovely, vintage sound).

Having said all that, I also love the Lilibet solution and think Lily is perfectly lovely in its own right.

August 30, 2015 12:25 PM

I think that Lilyella looks and sounds very made up. I personally do not really like those types of names. I think it would be much better to go with a hyphenated name if you want to use both. Lily-Ella would be fine, or just use Lily as the fn and Ella as middle and call her by both.

August 30, 2015 1:58 PM

Unfortunately for me Lilyella also looks like Lil Yella and also a teenage mashup of two popular names.  What are your other girls' names?  Would Olivia work?  It's four syllables and close to Lily.

August 30, 2015 6:24 PM

Thanks everyone for your answers! They have been very helpful.

Now that so many of you have pointed it out, I also hear/see lil' yella. I guess it would be fine having one 4 syllable name and one 2 syllable. Our first daughters name is Emilia. I think it would fit well with Lily. Or, if we were to use Lillian, do u think Emilia and Lillian sound too alike? Would Lilliana be better. 

Thanks for your suggestions of names that is similar to Lily.

I love Lilia but think its too similar to Emilia unfortunatelly.

Lilibet/Lilibeth would not work very well in my country. Otherwise it would have been really cute. Lilith I really like the sound of but have read that it has some negative associations. 

I think we might go with just Lily but Lillian is also growing on me. 

Thanks again for all ur thoughts and advice :)

August 30, 2015 6:27 PM

I do think Lilia and Emilia are very close... I think Lily and Lillian are totally fine, though. I think they both fit really well with Emilia, in fact :) They are both great names, as is Emilia!

August 30, 2015 9:27 PM

Ordinarily, I'd be in the "if you want to call her Lily, name her Lily" camp, but not in this case: Lily sounds like a nickname for Emilia. Lillian and Emilia have a bit of a pileup of L's and I's going on, but at least neither can be mistaken as a nickname for the other. I agree that Lilia is too close to Emilia, and I think Lilliana just emphasizes the similarity.

Honestly, though, I'd go for a name that introduces some more sounds that are different than the sounds in Emilia. I know it's wildly popular these days, but have you considered some variant on Isabella?

By Fly
August 31, 2015 12:57 AM

I agree with this, but I think it depends if you pronounce Emilia as 'eh-MEEL-ya' or 'EH-mil-ee-ah'.  I think you said four syllables, so I assume the latter, which creates issues - both names have 'ih-lee' in the middle of them, as well as the pileup of Ls and Is that TheOtherHungarian mentioned.  IMHO, Lillian also has this issue, because the emphasis is on the first syllable, 'LIL-ee-an', which puts the similarity front and centre.

I would probably recommend Liliana, 'lil-ee-AHN-ah'.  I don't think this is too similar to 'Anne', because of the different vowel sound and the fact they are etymologically distinct.

Another option might be Lucilia, emphasis 'LOO-seel-ya'.  Of course, that might also give you Lucy, but I think Lily is equally plausible and easily enforcable.  It would only be if she later decided she preferred to be Lucy.

Gracilia, Ottilia, Cecilia, any name ending in -ilia, (preferably with emphasis elsewhere), or ending in -lina.

August 31, 2015 10:47 AM

Well said, both of you! Great points.

It's a tough one because Lily doesn't quite qualify as an obviously eliminated name after having chosen the first child's name, but for me it would also be uncomfortably close because I trip up very easily. However, I think I'd say eh-ME-lee-ah where it would sometimes run into eh-MEEL-yah, and we all agree that Lily is LIH-lee. Lucilia is Lu-SEE-lee-ah comparably running together lu-SEEL-ya - I think this might be an example where different accents are showing!

By Fly
September 1, 2015 12:12 AM

I guess it doesn't matter what the name of the second child is, if the nickname is Lily then it will still sound a lot like Emilia... And you could very well end up with Milly and Lily, which is probably worse.

I must've been half asleep when I suggested Lucilia... saying them outloud 'five times fast' gives me "Lumilia and Cecelia".... :\

I think I'm going to go back to my original left-field options of Delilah, Eulalia and Talulah... with the different vowel sound? Again, Delilah comes with an asterisk - Like Lilith it depends on interpretation.

September 1, 2015 5:08 AM

Lily does work fairly well as a construct in a double-name. In the SSA data, those are all Lily-Mae, Lily-Beth, Lily-Rose, Lily-Grace, Lily-Belle, Lily-Rae and Lily-Marie... or other formattings of the same, since the SSA strips internal punctuation and spaces. I feel like those might be less muddling than Lily-Ella because they add more distinct sounds to the pool. Perhaps Lily-Etta might appeal?  I'm also seeing Lilinoe (google tells me it is a Hawaiian name?) and Lilika/Lilica. (Another neat find is Lilliam, like William-with-an-L, but obviously that is not a good choice for this situation!)

Ultimately, I think Emilia and Lily could work as sibling names as long as the parents don't get tongue tied. *I* would, but ultimately I think the parents are the only ones who will encounter siblings as a package deal.

September 1, 2015 5:20 PM

Gah, my vowel-harmony senses are giving that "ding, you're wrong" sound at Lilika. (It should be Lilike.)

September 2, 2015 3:27 AM

Is it pronounced something like lee-lee-kuh? I'm guessing the reason Lilike has never charted but Lilika has is because Lilika is more likely to get a three-syllable pronunciation. If I saw Lilike I'd be tempted to parse it as "Lil' Ike"  or lee-like, especially if I had no context as to the origin of the name.

If we'd used Adele as a first name, to get the ah-deh-leh pronunciation that is the family name, we'd have respelled it Adela... which has the advantage of not looking wrong because it's also a legit spelling in other languages. But still I can understand how if you want a terminal -e pronounced as an "uh" sound in an English-speaking context, sometimes changing it to an a is the easier option.

September 2, 2015 4:41 AM

Yeah, one of those that always confuses me is Isolde, which I take to be I-sol-duh, but which kind of wants to be Is-old. But even though it's right in other languages, Isolda just seems wrong.

I do love Adela though.

September 2, 2015 1:04 PM

Hungarian doesn't do schwas: Lilike would be /LEE-lee-keh/ -- that's epsilon, as in bell or elephant.

To explain why Lilika in particular rubs me wrong: -ka/ke is a diminutive suffix in Hungarian, i.e. it can be tacked onto almost any name, though it's usually added to an already-diminutive form.[1] As with all suffixes, the choice of vowel depends on what comes before. So for example, Márta becomes Márti, then Mártika. In the instant case, it goes Lila -> Lili -> Lilike; but compare Lajos [a masculine name, usually translated as Lewis, I think] -> Lali -> Lalika. Vowel harmony means that you don't get Lalike or Lilika.

[1] OK, so technically, that's backwards: what happens is that you have a name, say Julia. You want to add the ka/ke diminutive, but that requires a vowel change in the end of the name: Julika (not Juliaka). And then you further diminutize (is that a word?) the name by dropping the ka/ke: Juli. And then there's stuff like Mária -> Marika -> Mariska -> Mari; I think Maris isn't much used as a shortened diminutive because it's too close to máris "immediately". Confused yet? :)

September 2, 2015 6:07 PM

Thanks again for all your advice an discussion around the Lily- names!

Funny that you mentioned Adele/Adela lucubratrix, as they are both also on our list. Not sure which of them I like most though, and even though Lily is very similar to- and could be a nickname for Emilia, I just can't stop liking it just a little bit more than our other name candidates.

For Adele/Adela I like the nickname Della(I would have liked Addie, but here in sweden it would be pronounce more like Ah-di, which I don't like), so maybe to get to Della we should go with Adela, but I'm more drawn to the sound of Adele. Ahhh, why must it be so hard to name a baby? :))

Other names on the list are Odette, Alma, Thea, Elysia (but too close to Emilia), Ariane and Ada. 

Do you think any of them fit especially good or bad with Emilia? Any other suggestions are welcome too!

Thanks again for all your helpful advice :) 

September 2, 2015 7:39 PM

Funnily enough, the Adele I named my daughter after (middle name slot) went by Della. Great name. I think one could just as easily be Adele with the uh-DELL pronunciation and still be Della as a nickname! Goes wonderfully with Emilia!

September 2, 2015 8:10 PM

I also love Ada, and very much like Alma and Odette as well - they're a pleasantly funky-clunky step away from Emilia, but I really like that style, so I say that in a positive way. Thea is another great choice, striking me as comparably international as Emilia... and there are a ton of elaborations there, too.

Ariane just reminds me of Aryan too much for comfort. I love Ariadne, so I want to be on board, but somehow just can't get there. This is definitely a personal issue, and I have known Arianes that I liked very much, so I don't think it would be a handicap for your child.

September 2, 2015 10:10 PM

I love the name lily it never suited any of my little girls, bit one version of lily that I love he most is Liliya and if I ever thought that that name would suit my little girl then I'd use it, it is basically Lily in Bulgarian