Olivia is a feminine given name with English origins. By exploring its etymological background, I’ve learned the meaning of the name Olivia wand what it represents.
Meaning of the Name Olivia: Derived from the Latin for olive, the meaning of the name Olivia is “olive tree” or “tree of olives.”
Origins of the Name Olivia
The name Olivia originated in England where it was derived from the Latin word oliva, meaning “olive.” It’s unknown when exactly Olivia was first used as a given name, but records show that English families began naming their daughters Olivia as early as the 13th century.
Around the turn of the 17th century, the name Olivia appeared in a play produced by William Shakespeare. Known as “Twelfth Night,” the play tells the story of a love triangle, with one of the main characters being Countess Olivia.
After appearing in the “Twelfth Night,” the name Olivia became popular in England and surrounding English-speaking countries. It has since become a popular feminine name in the United States and Canada.
Popularity of the Name Olivia
Olivia has become a popular girls’ name in several English-speaking countries, including the United States. In 1880, it ranked as the 235th most popular girls’ name in the United States. In 1900, Olivia was the 251st most popular girls’ name in the country. In 1920, Olivia ranked as the 287th most popular girls’ name in the United States.
By 1970, Olivia fell to the 542nd most popular girls’ name in the United States. However, it quickly changed trajectory, with Olivia becoming more and more popular with each passing year. In 1975, birth records show over 1,000 newborn girls were named Olivia, making it the 232nd most popular girls’ name during that year. By 1990, Olivia broke into double-digit popularity, ranking as the 72nd most popular girls’ name. The name Olivia peaked in 2009 when it ranked as the 3rd most popular girls’ name in the United States.
Olivia is even more popular in the United Kingdom. For nearly a half-decade, it has ranked as the single most popular girls’ name in the United Kingdom.
Famous women named Olivia include American actress Olivia Burnette, American author Olivia Ward, American artist Olivia De Berndinis, American senator Olivia Cajero Bedford, English swimmer Olivia Allison, American actress Olivia Cole, English actress Olivia Colman, English actress Olivia Holt, American author Olivia Coolidge and American actress Olivia Wilde.
Popular variants of the name Olivia include Olive, Livia, Oliva and Oliver.
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