Category: baby name Lily
By Linda Rosenkrantz
If you’re looking for a name for your Easter season baby, one logical point of departure could be the lily, a prime symbol associated with the resurrection, with rebirth and a new beginning. The white lily known as the Easter Lily has long signified purity, hope, innocence and peace.
Let’s take a long look at Lily, her homegrown and distant variations and noted bearers.
It is with great sadness that we report the death of one of our most treasured contributors, K. M. Sheard. Kay ran the delightful website, Nook of Names, and was the author of a giant, encyclopedic compendium of name information, Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Names, which we have found to be an invaluable resource.
In tribute to the memory of Kay, here again is one of her characteristic Nameberry blogs–with its unique mix of scholarship and humor, first published in 2013.
By K. M Sheard of Nook of Names
I have been musing about names which, on the surface, appear to be straightforward adoptions of English words, but are, in fact — in origin at least — entirely unrelated. The most popular name of this kind currently in use is Lily.
Lily — now almost exclusively associated with the flower (so much so that the Wikipedia entry entirely fails to mention its original roots) — actually arose in the Middle Ages as a short-form of Elizabeth — Lylie. This quickly developed its own pet-form — Lillian/Lilian, which has been treated as a name in its own right since at least the 16th Century. It didn’t see much use, though, until the latter 19th Century, when it rapidly became one of the most popular girls’ names across the English-speaking world. And, inevitably, it was usually shortened to Lily. Lily was also very popular in its own right in the early 1900s in the UK; in the US, however — where short and pet-forms often seem to be shunned in favour of the full form — Lily remained relatively rare.