Alternatively spelled Lilly or Lili or Lillie, Lily is a traditionally feminine name that's popular in English, Hebrew, and German. It comes from the flower of the same name, which is often said to symbolize purity, innocence and beauty. Names with similar meanings include Cate, Catelyn, Catherine, Inesa, Liliana, Orlena, Rachael, Safa, Safiyyah, and Trinette. And if you like Lily you may love other flower names, too, such as Rose, Violet, Daisy, Susan, Dahlia, Camellia, Acacia, Aster, Poppy, Primrose, Holly, Zinnia, Petunia, Daphne, Iris, Jasmine, or Chrysanthemum.
Famous Lilys (Lilies?) in history and pop culture include Lily Chee, Lily Allen, Lily Tomlin, Lily James, Lily Collins, Lily Marston, Lily Rose, Lily Kate Cole, and Lily LaBrant. Lily Bart is the fictional protagonist of Edith Wharton's iconic novel, 'The House of Mirth,' and 'The Lilly' is a famous poem by William Blake.
Popularity-wise, Lily truly began taking off in the U.S., England and elsewhere in the second half of the 1900s. Lily entered the top 100 names for U.S. girls in 2002 and peaked in 2011 at #15; it's still holding strong in the top 50 in 2020.
Lily in quotes:
“As the pain that can be told is but half a pain, so the pity that questions has little healing in its touch. What Lily craved was the darkness made by enfolding arms, the silence which is not solitude, but compassion holding its breath.” — Edith Wharton, 'The House of Mirth'
"The modest Rose puts forth a thorn:
The humble Sheep, a threatning horn:
While the Lilly white, shall in Love delight,
Nor a thorn nor a threat stain her beauty bright."
— 'The Lilly,' by William Blake
"The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat." — Lily Tomlin