Lillian or Elizabeth - need a name for baby #2

We have a 2.5-year-old named Margaret (she goes by Maggie) and need to pick a name for her sister, who will be here in a week. We've decided on Claire for a middle name. Can't decide to go with the classic Elizabeth and have lots of options for nicknames or go with Lillian and call her Lilly. I'm just not sure whether Lillian is going to go up in popularity, which I don't want to happen. Thoughts?  


June 11, 2019 7:45 AM

Elizabeth has had a much more stable popularity curve than Lillian. If you want a name that says 2019, choose Lillian, because while it was less popular than Elizabeth in 2018 (ranked 34 compared to Elizabeth's 13), it has many more sound-alike names in Lilian, Lillie, Lily, Lilly, Liliana, etc. It also declined sharply from the 1940s through the 1990s, meaning there are fewer middle-aged Lillians. Elizabeth has never ranked lower than 25. Check out the graphs using the Name Voyager tool. They both complement Margaret nicely. And, for what it's worth, some Elizabeths go by Lily, so you could get both names in one if you were to go that route.

June 11, 2019 6:02 PM

Both are great names and pair well with Margaret.  I prefer Elizabeth for you because it is so, so classic as opposed to Lillian's trendiness (not tryndeigh, just trending!).  I do love the nickname options too.  Eliza, Bess, Betsy, Zibby, Lisbet, etc...

June 12, 2019 2:34 AM

You should go with the name that makes your heart sing.  From the way you wrote your post, it sounds like you prefer Lillian / Lily but are overthinking it.  Both Elizabeth and Lillian are lovely names and there are no red flags.  For the record, Elizabeth is near the top of my list of boring-hohum names, but am a big fan of Lillian. But the point is: this is not my baby, it is YOUR baby.  Which name do YOU like more?  Forget the charts.

It is also more than possible to split the difference.  Queen Elizabeth's family nickname was Lilibet.  ;)

June 13, 2019 9:29 AM

Thanks for the reminder to just pick the name I like the most! 

June 13, 2019 9:28 AM

My husband's grandmother was technically an Elizabeth, but she was always called Lily. (I'm not sure her kids even knew her "full" name.)

I say split the difference: name her Elizabeth, and use Lillian and Lilly as nicknames. (One of Lillian's origins is as a nickname for Elizabeth.) You'll have a truly timelessly-named pair of daughters with a chameleon-like choice of nicknames to blend in or stand out with.