War of the Lilies. :)
I think this is destined to be a question I never really have the solution to, but that doesn't keep me from trying. Lily is a name that honors my grandmother in a very wonderful and special way, and I think in some form, it'll always be on my list--I just wish I could decide in which form! I honestly love most Lily names, but I usually am able to narrow it down to Liliana, Lillian, and Lilia--my three favorites (although I do have a special place in my heart for Lilias, Lilibet, and Liliane!). But alas, my dilemma:
Liliana. I love how princessy and feminine it is, but there are days (like now!) where it just feels so blah and like it's just another -ana name. Another plus: it honors both grandmothers. Lily for one grandmother, and Ana means "grace", which is my other grandmother's mn (then again, I always planned on using Grace somewhere in my first daughter's name to honor this grandmother, so do I really need the 'ana'?).
Lillian. It's so, so, so classic. Which I love. And I've been told it goes better with a lot of my favorites than Liliana, but my top choice for a girl is Isabelle, and it has been for what seems like forever. As distinct as Isabelle and Lillian sound, they're both forms of Elizabeth and I don't know if I can get past that. Deal breaker?
Lilia. I love how unexpected it is, but I'm not sure if I can really see me with a Lilia. It almost seems too unusual, but I think that's part of its appeal for me--I generally love a similar style, but sometimes I feel like I don't want to stick to that familiar/classic/predictable style. Then again, it's probably way too similar to use with Olivia, which is in my top three (and has been for as long as Isabelle has been number one, if not longer).
In the war of the Lilies, which wins? Argh, I'm always so torn!
I have an Isabelle and we are considering Lillian for our new baby girl. I really like Lillian, but one of my reservations with it, is that it has "old lady" associations. Liliana is also lovely! Either way, a child with one of those names will very likely get Lil or Lilly.
Lillian wins for me! Lillian and Isabelle seem fine to me for sisters. Not many would know they were derived from Elizabeth, outside of name nerds of course ;). With Lillian you can always use Lilia as the NN.
Lillian is the winner for me. I worked with a wonderful woman named Lillian and it gives me the warm fuzzies when I hear it. It is a beautiful name.
Lillian. Like you said, it's classic. When I think about Lilian, my mind goes straight to the flower and not to Elizabeth (although I've read about their connection before). So I don't think it's a problem.
Lillian for me as well. Maybe some name nerds will know their etymologies, but Isabelle and Lillian seem plenty distinct phonetically and association-wise.
Lillian is clearly your favourite. I think it's sweet with Isabelle. Yes, they've got a lot of the same letters, but they sound very different. As for them deriving from the same name... which name does not have a link to Elizabeth?? An exaggeration, I know.
Lillian (or Lilian?) is my favourite of the ones you mentioned as well. Liliana is very frilly. It's actually the one thing I think is funny about your signature, the other names are no-nonsense names, beautiful, but they sound like they can wield an axe if you know what I mean. And Lillian's got literary ties to Ayn Rand's fantastic Atlas Shrugged, as well as The Chimes by Dickens (if I remember my Dickens correctly, if not, off with her head!) I also like just plain Lily/Lili/Lillie, Lilou or Lylie!
I see you like Lilian best, why would you torn?
Personally, I love Lilia because it's close to my culture(lee-lee-uh is how I pronounce it) and has some great associations to me but advice to use the name you love. Isabelle and Lilian sound adorable together.
I know a Liliana and she is such a cute pie but I don't adore her name. It's quite pretty but a bit frilly, is it what you are looking for? If yes, it's a great choice.
Lily is too overexposed for my taste but I like Lila/Lilac. Have you considerEd it?
@ottilie - haha, yes, you're right! Right now Lillian is by far my favorite, but it often goes in waves--sometimes I vastly prefer Liliana, or even Lilia. Sometimes I do find Lillian quite boring and not feminine or pretty at all. But right now I honestly adore it, and saying Lillian is so much fun! I think I'd be tempted to use the full Lillian and not even bother with Lily. :)
@mclevine - lol, because I have OCD and I've got it bad! It honestly really bothers me, the idea of using more than one form of the same name. Like, couldn't I be more original? It seems like a waste of all those perfectly good names out there to reuse the same name. Sometimes I like frilly, which is why I fell for Liliana in the first place--I love how it exudes femininity. I don't know, I know a lot of my other favorites are as @ottilie said--feminine and beautiful, but still quite no-nonsense and definitely not frilly. I think part of me loves the idea of a frilly name because I have felt that my unisex one has held back my femininity, but at the same time, I wonder if a daughter of mine could really pull off frilly--which is why I think these feminine-but-not-frilly names have appealed to me in the past. Still, I love the occasional frilly--I think I just usually stick it in the MN spot. :)
As for Lilac and Lila--Lilac almost seems too GPish for me, I can't really see me using it, and I adore Lila. I'd considered it years ago, and it was on my top 10, but then a family member used it (Lyla). Unknowingly, this family member has taken four names from my personal list (Lila, Grace, Jack, and Grayson!) for her two kids, and since Grace, Jack, and Grayson are all very important family names to me that I refuse to budge on, I feel like I should at least let her have Lila all to herself. :)
For me, Lillian wins, hands down.. classic, feminine, with a splash of vintage... I was just thinking about this name yesterday ;) It really is a stunner.