I have unexpectedly been asked to adopt my cousin's 2 week old baby, currently named Lillie. Lillian is also the name of a beloved grandmother, and as such, there are a number of Lily, Lillian and Lillies in the family. I was wondering if there were names that Lillie could be a nickname for (still honoring my grandmother) that wouldn't be the same as the countless other tributes to my grandmother. Some ideas I have been thinking of are Delilah, Lillith, Liliana, etc but I know that you may have tons of other ideas.
Another idea is to move her first name Lillie to her middle name (she currently does not have one) and create a new first name. I like names that aren't as common:
- Beatrix or Beatrice
I am currently engaged so she will eventually end up with a hyphenated double last name where both end in a hard "en" sound.
Any suggestions for an unexpectedly new mom?
Thanks in advance!
Wow, Congratulations! You used the word “unexpectedly” only twice in your email, which I think shows incredible restraint – I wouldn’t have blinked if there were five. But I’m thrilled for you both, especially because baby Lillie is about to be adopted by someone who cares very much about her, her identity, and her name(s)!
So first of all, some of the names you’re considering sound great, and I love that you’re being creative with it. I love Delilah for a Lillie, and if you want to keep Lillie as her primary name, you could also consider Lydia or Lucille or Lilibeth, or Liliosa, which is the Spanish variant of Lily, which is amazing …
I also immediately thought of Liesel, and while you could absolutely nickname a Liesel Lillie, I was thinking that if you wanted, you could also slightly change the pronunciation of the first vowel to rhyme with the second – so it’s less “LILL-ee’ and more “LEEL-ee”. I know that people mostly think of Leelee Sobieski, but I think Lili is actually beautiful, and you could then go with Liesel or Leonora or Leonie; I also know of a young Lilo, whose real name is Liselotte… which is pretty damned cute and original to boot.
Leandra? Lavinia? And of course, the absolutely gorgeous Leilani – don’t get hung up on whether ‘Lillie” sounds like it’s close enough and whether it should be more “Leili”. The point here is that you want something that can nod to the beloved Elder Lillian, but that isn’t the exact same name.
You could go with Helena, or Eleni; you could even use Eileen, if that appeals to you, or Elise, or really anything that has a strong L sound. Luciana, Louisa – and of course, Lillie is also a completely accepted nickname for Elizabeth, or any of the variations that appeal to you ...Elizabella?
Now of course, if you decide to move it to her middle name – and she’s two weeks old, she hasn’t exactly made her imprint on the name yet – then the world is your oyster, obviously. You don’t need to choose anything that has a particular link to Lillie, though you can choose one of the longer L names above as a middle if you like… or, if it feels strange, you can make one of those long L names her first name, put the name you love in the middle spot, and call her by her middle.
I’m a huge fan of Zora, so I almost blanked out the rest of your list – but I love Penelope, too, and noting the number of xes and zs in your choices, I thought you might also like to consider Zelda, Xenia, or Xaviera… just for fun.
I cannot wait to hear how this turns out! Let us know!