Meaning & History
This name was first used in this spelling by William Shakespeare for a character in his comedy 'Twelfth Night' (1602). Shakespeare may have based it on OLIVER or OLIVA, or perhaps directly on the Latin word oliva meaning "olive". In the play Olivia is a noblewoman who is wooed by Duke Orsino but instead falls in love with his messenger Cesario.The name has been used in the English-speaking world since the 18th century, though it did not become overly popular until the last half of the 20th century. Its rise in popularity in America was precipitated by a character on the 1970s television series 'The Waltons'.
Depiction of Olivia from Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night', by artist Charles Robert Leslie (1876)
Sources & References
- Cleveland Kent Evans, The Great Big Book of Baby Names (2006)
A Series of Unfortunate Events characters, actresses, Animal Crossing characters, Code Geass characters, Disney characters, Dragon Quest characters, Fire Emblem characters, food, fruits, House of Cards US characters, never out of the US top 1000, Nintendo characters, Overwatch characters, Pokemon characters, Shakespearean characters, Stephen King characters, The Haunting of Hill House characters, The Sopranos characters, top 10 in Australia, top 10 in New Zealand, top 10 in Northern Ireland, top 10 in Norway, top 10 in Sweden, top 10 in the UK, top 10 in the US, trees, TV show titles, uncertain etymology, Violet Evergarden characters