The meaning, origin and popularity of the name Olivia is well known, as it is the number 1 most common name in many countries. Olivia is a pretty, feminine name that is most commonly used in English-speaking countries like the United Kingdom and the United States. The name is believed to be derived from the Latin word ‘oliva’ which means ‘olive’.
Although, contrary to this, many people believe it is not related to the olive tree at all and instead is of English origin, meaning ‘Ancestor’s Descendant’. It is also seen as a variant of the boys name Oliver, which derives from the traditional Norse name, Áleifr.
If you are a literature fan, you may know that Shakespeare named a character ‘Olivia’ in his play the Twelfth Night (1602). In his play, the character Olivia is a sophisticated noblewoman who is charmed by the Duke Orsino. However, despite the Duke’s efforts, Olivia falls head over heels for his messenger, Cesario. This helped to popularise the name, although the name Olivia dates back as far as the thirteenth century.
The name Olivia has been around for a long time, perhaps as long as the thirteenth century..
Since the mid-1990s, the name Olivia has been one of the most common names for baby girls, especially within the United Kingdom. It is so popular that, since 2014, it has been the number 1 baby name for four years straight. In Australia and Scotland, it reached the 3rd most known name for baby girls in the year 2013 and in the United States it rose to second place in 2018. It is now number 1 in Canada (and will be soon in the US)!
But don’t let it’s popularity put you off if you love this name! It is loved for a reason. Many of our Grandmothers were given this, so some families carry on the name in their honor. Even though it is a well-known, classic name, it still sounds modern and elegant.
As mentioned before, the name Olivia has been around for a long time, perhaps as long as the thirteenth century. It grew in popularity around the 18th century but did not reach it’s highest peaks until the later part of the 20th century. Many believe it’s rise to fame was partly due to the famous TV series The Waltons in the 1970’s, with the upbeat character Olivia Walton.
Many of our readers have mentioned that the name Olivia gives them a formal and upper-class image, while others say the classic name reminds them of a natural young girl who is wholesome, refined and intelligent.
Overview Of Olivia – Name Meaning, Origin And Popularity
Olivia is a feminine name of Latin or British origin. The name is common in English-speaking languages and is the number one baby girl name in the United States.
Origin: Latin, English
Popular Countries: United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand & Europe.
Nicknames: Liv, Livvy, Libby.
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Meaning Of The Name Olivia
There is a debate on the exact origins of the name Olivia, and whether it is Latin or British. So below we have included both!
So far we have found the following meanings of the name Olivia.
- Olivia Meaning In Latin: Olive Tree
- Olivia Meaning In English: Ancestor’s Descendant
- Olivia Meaning In Greek: Olive Tree – a symbol of Athena and a token of peace or fertility. The winners of Olympic games were rewarded an olive wreath.
Popularity Of The Name Olivia
As mentioned before and as you can see from the chart below, Olivia is one of the most popular baby girl names out there. So, if you are looking for something unique and different, Olivia will not be for you. However, there are a few variants if you like the name Olivia but want to mix things up a little.
Many celebrities and famous people are still naming their babies Olivia, despite how common it is. Olivia has been used for the daughter of athlete Lance Armstrong, daughter of actor Al Pacino and daughter of actor/comedian Ben Stiller & Christine Taylor. And many more!
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Variations Of The Name Olivia
There are many modern variants of the name Olivia for parents who are looking for a similar name, but less common. We have put together a short list of names that are similar to the name Olivia below:
Here are a few variations of the name Olivia in different languages:
Latin, Slovac, Portuguese: Olívia
Names That Sound Similar
The most similar names are listed above, with the most similar being Alivia and Olivya, for a more distinctive alternative. Parents who like the name Olivia, also like other classic baby names such as Isabella, Charlotte, Sophia, Emma and Grace for a baby girl. Or Oliver, Owen, Benjamin, Alexander and Liam for a baby boy.
Famous People With The Name Olivia
There have been many famous people with the name Olivia throughout history and today, from actresses and singers to painters and authors. We are sure you will know a few of these inspirational women.
Olivia de Havilland: British-American actress from 1935 to 1988. Born July 1961, Died July 2020.
Olivia Wilde: American actress and filmmaker. Born 1984.
Olivia Hussey: English actress. Born 1951.
Olivia Newton-John: British-Australian Singer-Songwriter. Born 1948.
Olivia Goldsmith: American author. Born 1949, Died 2004.
Olivia De Berardinis: American painter. Born 1948.
Do You Know More About The Name Olivia?
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