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Origin, Meaning And History of Lila

The baby name Lila is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘līlā’ (pronounced lee-la), which means play, divine play, beauty, or dark beauty. The Sanskritic word Leela has been used as a girl’s name and an alternative for play in Hinduism for thousands of years, starting from ancient texts such as the Mahabharata and Bhagavad Purana. In Hebrew, Lila is shortened from Delilah and is associated with Liora, meaning the “light of god.”

It also has linguistic roots in Arabic and Hebrew as Lyla or Lilah and is interpreted to mean night or dark beauty. The name also means purple in German and Persian due to its association with the lilac tree. Lila is also associated with the lily in Greek and Latin. The name is also interpreted as ‘she who belongs to the people’ in Polish. In Talmud and Jewish mythologies, Lilah or Laylah is considered an angel.

Historically, the name Lila, its variations, and many meanings have been widespread across the Hindu, Greek, Persian, Arabic, and Christian mythologies. In Hinduism, the word Leela is associated with the playfulness of Lord Krishna. The Bible also reflects this meaning through the idea of Sabbath rest or the reconnection between the divine and the human. In addition, a similar connotation of this sacred connection is depicted in the Persian version of the Layla-Majnu story. The names Lilea and Leila in Greek and Arabic cultures are associated with stories of brave, intelligent, and beautiful forest nymphs and princesses.

Lila is pronounced as lay-laa, liy-laa, li-la, lil-a, and liy-laa across the world. It is associated with the English name variations Lyle, Layla, Lilian, Lilliana, Laela, Leila, Lola, Lina, Lilo, Luna, and Lily, and at times is used as a nickname for the same. A few bynames associated with Lila are Lee, Lil, Lulu, Lili, Lia, Liddy, and Li-bella.

The name Lila gained popularity in the United States and the globe around the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This name’s popularity was further raised by fictional characters such as Lila from an episode of the animated series scooby-doo, Lila Sawyer from Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew book series, Lila Cheney from the new mutants annual marvel comics, and Lila Pitts in the Netflix series the umbrella academy.


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She who belongs to the people
 L..  La..  Laa..  Lal..  Lau..  Lay..  Lei.. 

How To Pronounce Lila?


Famous People With The Name Lila

  • Lila CockrellAn American politician and first female mayor of San Antonio who championed initiative for infrastructure and economic development
  • Lila Abu-LughodAn American anthropologist and professor who conducted extensive research on Arab culture and authored numerous influential books
  • Lila Althea FenwickAn American lawyer, human rights activist and co-founder of the Foundation for Research and Education in Sickle Cell Disease, who is the first black woman to have graduated from the Harvard Law school
  • Lila LeeAn American actress famously known for her beauty, emotional expression, and screenwork in silent and sound films
  • Layla MoranA British politician and vocal advocate for mental health and environmental issues, and the first woman of Palestinian descent to become a member of parliament.

Lila On The Popularity Chart

According to the US Social Security Administration chart, the popularity of the name Lila has seen consistent rises and falls over the years. Check out these graphs to know the ebbs and tides in the popularity of the name.

Popularity Over Time

The name initially saw a steady rise in popularity between 1980 and 2010, around the latter part of which over 19,000 per one million babies were named Lila. However, the popularity of the name saw fluctuations after this peak, which are depicted in the graph.

Source: Social Security Administration

Rank Over Time

The ranking for the name Lila saw an initial drop from 989 in 1980 to 1500 in 1993, after which it had several minor fluctuations amidst a rise towards two hundred.

Source: Social Security Administration

Names With Similar Sound As Lila

The name Lila is pronounced as lay-laa or liy-laa. The names Leela, Lailaa, Lailah, Layla, and Leila are all names that sound similar to Lila.

Names With Similar Meaning As Lila

The names that have the same meaning of night or dark as Lila include Laila, Laili, Lailie, and Laylah.

Name Numerology For Lila

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