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Lilith

Today's name: Lilith
Alternate spelling: Lillith
"Lilith" by John Collier, 1862

Potential nicknames: Lil, Lily, Lilly, Li-Li, Lithy/Lithie, Lila, Lilah

Pronunciation: LIL-ith

Origin: (1) Arabic, meaning "of the night." (2) In Jewish folklore - Lilith was Adam's first wife, who thought she was equal to Adam because they were created at the same time out of the same material. In some legends she chose to leave Adam, in others she spoke the name of God and vanished. (3) In Jewish mythology, Lilith is thought to be a demon, most likely from an entire class of female demons, but scholars debate this. The name could come from the Akkadian word lilitu, meaning either "spirits" or "of the night," or the Hebrew lilit or lilith, meaning, roughly, "female night being/demon." (4) There are also Sumerian, Babylonian and Mesopotamian meanings to this name, although they are disputed and hard to come by.

Fun fact: (1) In some myths, Lilith is a blood-thirsty demon, which has been a great inspiration for vampire story authors in need of a name. (2) Lilith can be seen as a powerful feminist symbol: a woman who knew she was equal to Adam and refused to be subservient to him, thus rebelling. In fact, the Lilith Fair, a concert specifically for female musicians, which helped donate to women's charities nation-wide, was created by Sarah McLachlan and had a three year run, with a reboot a few years later.

Popularity: In 2010, Lilith ranked #992 on the Social Security Administration's list of the top 1000 most popular baby names. In 2011 it went up to 923 with 279 births. There were also 82 spelled Lillith.

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