Viola Desmond is a prominent figure in the Canadian Civil Rights Movement. She was kicked out of a theater in Nova Scotia for refusing to sit in the area designated for black people.
Viola is an instrument. Which makes me like this name even more!
It is a beautiful name, and the musical association with a rich, resonant instrument is wonderful, too.
Isn't it lovely?
Viola was my maternal Great-Grandmother's name. She was wildly unconventional but nobody called her "VIOLA" instead, she was just "VI" to others and "Grandma Vi" to us.

She was extremely creative and funny. She rarely wore clothes and spent most of her time in Vegas. I found modeling photos of her along with serious family gathering photos with only her making a silly face. I did not know her that well, but she made a big enough impression on me to always think of how similar I am to her now as an adult.
I am pregnant with my 5th child who is a girl, I really WANT to love this name to keep it in the family, but I cannot get past the "Vi" nickname in fears that the same reference will be applied to my daughter by friends or strangers etc.

However, we pronounced it VYE-OLA vs. VEE-OLA. She would always answer the door naked and it was really disturbing. She wrote books but never published them. She was always on the run and lived an exciting life.
The great thing about Viola is that all 3 of its pronunciations are beautiful! There's Shakespearean (VIE-a-la,) modern English (vie-OH-la,) and Italian (veeOH-la.) Also, she's one of my favorite Shakespearean characters and one of my dream roles! Such a nice flowery name. The only downside is that musicians tend to think of violas as inferior instruments, and they make a lot of "Viola jokes" for some weird reason. But that's not really important! I'd totally name a future kid or pet of mine Viola, using the Shakespearean pronunciation!
It’s an instrument but it sounds beautiful as a name.
Reminds me of the phrase, “Voila!” (French for behold)
It's pretty, but I prefer Violet.
I like this name! Viola feels mature and elegant! Fits perfectly for middle age and older women! Viola is also a pretty rare name. Viola is a good quality name.
Nope. Sounds like the instrument that my parents play.
Next there will be Piano, Aerophone and Guitar (all the instruments I play, lol)
Viola is also Estonian, Finnish, Latvian, and Slovak. The name day for Viola in Estonia is June 3. The name day for Viola in Finland is June 3. The name days for Viola in Latvia are May 4 and November 24. The name day for Viola in Slovakia is May 18. [noted -ed]
It is important to know that
- The Viola is a string instrument that since the 18th century has been the middle voice between the violin and the cello.
- Viola in Italian means "purple".
Elegant name! So pretty.
Also Finnish name. Finnish name day June 3. [noted -ed]
Reminds me of ravioli for some reason.
Viola is the blonde-haired main character of the horror video game and manga "The Witch's House". In the game, the player guides Viola throughout the haunted house, solving puzzles and avoiding traps, uncovering the secrets of the witch who lives there, who is revealed to be a sick and dying purple-haired girl named Ellen who wants to swap bodies with Viola.
I play Violin, Viola, and Piano (as a hobby). I don't like this as a name. I prefer Violet :)
I appreciate Viola Juliette, I think this name still has that old Hollywood glamour. Wither this becomes popular or not, I will still use it. It's my favorite girl's name.
This name reminds me of the musical instrument. Also, considering the Spanish translation, this wouldn't be a very good name for a child (at least where I live). I prefer Violet.
I personally don't care about the Spanish interpretation for Viola. In all reality the translated isn't any different from English: Violada or Violated? Like to be honest if that wasn't the case there's a million names from different cultures that are offensive to Americans and vice versa. So I am not going to pay any mind to those comments because I still think this is a great name. People need to stop obsessing on translations to cultures that they will never learn the language for. Let's be real, most of us are never going to leave our state or country and if we do it's one similar to the ones we grow up in. I feel we stop valuing names because we like them and want to see that for our kid and start becoming obsessed with one cares. I feel as long as the name can be pronounced, read, spelled and you can see that for your child to live and use when interacting with other children, it shouldn't be an issue.
My name is Viola and it's pronounced VI-LA. I was named after the Viola in Shakespeare's 12th Night.
Gives me the impression of a mysterious woman with dark eyes and a beautiful smile. I love that there's not much nicknames for this name and love how classic but modern potential this name has. It's older but I can totally see it become vogue one day, Viola Florence, is my favorite pairing. This name has this old Hollywood glamor to it with a richness in sound that I don't hear often.
I prefer it pronounced "VI-Ola", not "Vee-Ola" like the instrument. This same pronunciation is used in Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night".
Viola Cadaverini, a character in the video game Ace Attorney. Her grandfather is a mafia boss.
My sister's name is is Viola. Her nickname is Violka.
It’s a nice name, reminds me of the instrument though. Could be a really pretty middle name.
I prefer Viola to be pronounced (vee-OH-luh). Gorgeous and lovely and charming. Has an old fashioned element and antique beauty. Has a softer sound than Violet. Take heed of the charm Viola has.
This is my 100 year old grandmother's middle name, Pearl Viola.
In 2018, 85 is the most common age for an American (U.S.) Viola who is registered female with the Social Security Administration. It is the 830th most common female first name for living U.S. citizens.
It's okay. I like both pronunciations.
Viola is a conjugation of the Spanish verb "violar" which means "to rape" - so it would be he/she/it or you formal rapes. Just in case you are living in a place where a lot of people speak Spanish.
We just named our baby girl Viola! Pronounced in the Shakespearean way: VIY-e-la, much like violet. Viola is a twin character from Shakespeare (as is our baby), plus she generally kicked ass, took names, and got things done in typical Shakespearean strong female lead tradition. They got the pronunciation correct in Shakespeare in Love with Gwyneth Paltrow (as far as the traditional English pronunciation... understood that there’s a different pronunciation in Italian). I was very disappointed when I discovered that they mispronounced it in “She’s the Man, ” which is a modern adaptation of Twelfth Night (viy-O-la). It already bothers me when people say it wrong, but we knew it would happen and we decided to deal with it because we liked the name so much. I’m sure she’ll probably hate me for it! We already sometimes just call her “Vi, ” which I also think is baby cute and also teenager cool. I’ve also seen Lola as a nickname but that isn’t really sticking for us. The instrument is pronounced completely differently (vee-O-la).
Viola is delicate and gorgeous, it's better than Violet in my opinion. It makes me think of the color purple and of the flower.
Viola Barry (March 4, 1894 – April 2, 1964) was an American silent film actress who starred in a number of films during the decade of the 1910s.
Viola Davis is an American actress and producer. She is the only black woman to be nominated for three Academy Awards, winning one, and is the only black actress or actor to win the Triple Crown of Acting. In 2012, she was listed by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Viola Liuzzo was an American civil rights activist. She was assassinated on March 25th, 1965.
I actually really like this name. Mostly because I like the instrument, and I met a person dear to me who plays the Viola. I never liked how it is sometimes pronounced "VAI-oh-la" because it just sounds so... English.
The name Viola is also used in Finland.
Viola is also Czech name. Czech pronunciation is "vee-aw-luh" (shortly). [noted -ed]
Viola Eade is a character in Patrick Ness’s young adult book series ‘Chaos Walking’.
Also used in Hungary. Pronounced: VI-o-law.
The name Viola was given to 188 girls born in the US in 2015.
My name is Viola and I'm italian. We pronunciate it Vee-O-lah. We don`t put the emphasis (accent) on the VEE because "vìola" (VEE-o-lah) means "he violates". Also, we don`t pronunciate it Vi-o-la (i like island) because it looks like the italian word "vaiolo", which means "smallpox". Hope it helped!
I think Viola is the most beautiful name and it partly represents melody and harmony, so whoever has that name has a beautiful voice no matter what people say!
And violins are the most harmonized instruments!
My name is also Viola after my paternal grandmother. I didn't care for it in my younger years but now that I am older I find Viola much more to my liking. And it also bothers me when people mispronounce my name.
It is not pronounced like the instrument. It's pronounced like the start of violin or violet. Vio then la. Viola. I hate when my name is mispronounced.
Love it pronounced Vee-oh-la, the variant is used in some Slavic countries. The other variant is odd because of this violin thing.
Jake the Dog named his dog/rainicorn hybrid daughter Viola in the show Adventure Time.
I'm not a big fan of this as a name but I do like the instrument!
Viola is the first Gym Leader in Pokemon X and Y. She uses Bug-type Pokemon.
It drives me insane when people pronounce this name as vye-O-luh. Both the musical instrument and the Latin word are pronounced vee-O-luh, and the name is no different.
The name Viola was given to 162 baby girls born in the US in 2012.
The name Viola is also used in Georgia, where it is fairly uncommon.

In Georgian, Viola is written as: ვიოლა.
I want to like it, but I don't. I love violet, but a Viola is an instrument, and just doesn't sound like a name to me.
Unfortunately, it means "rape" in five languages. (Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian.)
In Italy the name, which is considered very trendy and feminine nowadays, is pronounced Vee'ola (accent on the O which has an open and short sound, as in God). It means purple, and yes it it is the same name of a musical instrument, it is the name of a flower too, and was used by Shakespeare for one of his best heroines, but for sure it has nothing to do with rape as mentioned in a comment above. In Italian 'to rape' is 'violare' (Vee'olaray), quite formal and old fashioned expression anyway, the verb is more often used in its common meaning which is 'to break the rules or the constraints'. Vìola (accent on the I for a totally different sound and word becoming 'Veeola) corresponds to 'he rapes' in this case. By the way formal Italian requires that the name is written Viola and the verb Vìola, with the accent on the i. Of course the name requires the capital V which the verb does not. No possible confusions between the two for those who know the language then.
The English pronunciation, Vy-ola with the y as in sky sounds unpleasant to Italians because it strictly recalls vaiolo, which is smallpox for us, besides sounding like a deformation of a name that in our perception belongs to us, but of course it is normal that names are adapted to the pronunciation of the cultures they are imported into.
Funny how a lovely name can get nasty resonances just changing the way it is pronounced.
I love the name Viola, for everything in its meaning: the musical connection, the colour, the flower and the Shakespearean character.

I prefer pronouncing it Vie-OH-la because to me VIE-o-la or VIE-la sounds a little pretentious and seems like you're rushing to get the name out of your mouth.

I quite like the nicknames Vi, Lola and Ola. I would love to use this as a name for a daughter of mine someday.
Gorgeous name! I'd pronounce it 'VIY-oh-la' (viy as in violet) and I'd definitely consider naming one of my daughters Viola someday!
The Italian pronunciation is VYOH-lah. [noted -ed]
The rules of pronunciation for this name are quite simple. When used as a girl's name or to refer to the flower, Viola is pronounced "VIE-ə-lə" or sometimes "vie-OH-lə". When referring to the musical instrument, the word is pronounced "vee-OH-lə" exclusively.

Viola is the name of one of the protagonists in Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night, and is one of the Bard's most popular heroines (probably because she's witty, charming and clever). I love the name, and it's much more sophisticated and unique than Violet (which is quite nice, but has a somewhat dated and dowdy ring to it that it is still struggling to shake off).
A famous bearer is American actress Viola Davis (born 11 August 1965). She's well-known for her stage work, including Tony Award-winning performances in "King Hedley II" and "Fences". Her best known film credit is "Doubt" (2008), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award.
This was my grandmother's name. Her parents were Italian, and everyone in my family pronounces it "vie-OH-la". But I think the Shakespearean pronunciation sounds younger and fresher.
The viola is regarded as a more introverted instrument.
I have also heard this name pronounced "VIE-la" with no "O" sound. Much as an English speaker would pronounce the word Violet (VIE-let).
This is my name. Well, my middle name technically, but I've always been called Viola (pronounced vie ah lah). It's much nicer than the increasingly common Violet. It suits me well, and it will when I'm 80. :)
Very elegant name. It's not old-sounding and fits the younger years well while still aging beautifully.
Viola was the name of a woman in Britain directly after the Roman occupation; she wrote one of the poems in admirable Latin inscribed on stones that archaeologists have been finding - the professor of Latin who read out her poem in a TV documentary today pronounced her name as VEE-uh-luh.
Viola is a VERY nice name I barely hear.
Very nice. For some reason, I like this better than Violet.

And I don't care that a Viola is an instrument.
Viola makes me think of the musical instrument, and it sounds very old-fashioned. Violet and similar names are so much nicer.
I think Viola is a beautiful name. I love it. It sounds so gothic and romantic. I don't know why people are against it because a viola is an instrument. To me, that's a plus. How could anyone say "no" to the name Viola? It's passionate, elegant, warm and soulful.
If you love the name Violet, but want something a little more unique, then Viola is the perfect name for you! I prefer to pronounce it "VIE-oh-lah" or "VIE-lah."
The traditional English and Shakespearean pronunciation is "VIE-ə-lə"
Famous bearer: actress Viola Davis.
I love the play Twelfth Night where there is a character called Viola. Also at the very end of the film "Shakespeare in Love" there's a shot of Gwyneth Paltrow's character walking along the shore and the final voiceover saying something like "... And her name was... Viola" I really like that, and think Viola is a lovely, strong name (pronounced Vie(like sky) o - la. I've always pronounced the instrument as Vee (like see) - o - la.
My great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother were both named Viola. They pronounced it vie-O-luh.
I've always pronounced this name vie-ohl-ah. But my sister plays the viola, and we try to pronounce the human name different from that of the instrument, which we normally pronounce vee-ohl-ah.
This is SUCH a beautiful name if you pronounce it Vee-oh-luh.
Does anyone remember Viola Swamp?
The traditional, Shakespearean pronunciation is "VIE-o-la", with the stress on the *second* syllable. Not "vie-O-la" like the pronunciation key has it.
Remember that this name has the stress on the second syllable, so it doesn't sound like 'violin' or 'violent'. It's an elegant, pretty name, but I don't really like names with a stressed 'o' sound. That's why I prefer Violet.
The instument is vee-oh-la not vie-oh-la. The name is more commonly pronounced vie-oh-la here.
I've heard the word viola used as a exclamation of joy when completing something or finding something, much like eureka.
You mean Voilà, that means "to call attention, to express satisfaction or approval, or to suggest an appearance as if by magic." It's a different spelling than Viola and pronounced Vwa-la.
I adore the name Viola! It is a great alternative to Violet, which is getting a bit too trendy for my tastes (at least in my area), and it's just a lovely name altogether. A nice combo I heard was Viola Frances. :)
Somehow it makes me think first of the flower and the color - not about the instrument.
Amanda Bynes played Viola in the movie "She's the Man" (a modern adaptation of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night"). Great movie, too.
It could be used as a name for someone who is passionate about music and wants to name their child after their passion (like how they use famous musicians as names for their children). I mean I personally think it is a lovely name, with or without its musical association.
Beautiful name, although perhaps a bit like calling your kid Cello or Flute. Still, I might use it yet.
In my home state of Illinois there is a small town called Viola. It's in the west-central region of the state. I think I remember that town better because Viola is also the name of my great-grandmother.
Viola has nothing to do with the violin, although there is a related instrument with this name. I think that Viola is a lovely name (when pronounced "vee-OH-la") and is quite underused.
The instrument and name are said differently. If you're going to make comments comment correctly!
Besides, the name has nothing to do with the "violin" as you so quaintly put it. Viola is a Shakespearean name and is incredibly rare these days which is a bonus (unlike Orlando and Jessica and Olivia, fellow Shakespearean names)
To me naming my child 'Viola' is like naming her Trumpet or something.
I do not like this name and it is dumb. It is a violin for Pete's sake. Why not choose a better name, such as Alexandria or Bob?
I do not like this name and it is dumb. It is a violin for Pete's sake. Why not choose a better name, such as Alexandria or Bob?
― Taydbug112 11/28/2006

Who on Earth would name their girl Bob? And by the way, Viola is after the flower, not after violin.
I believe that Viola can also be pronounced VI-OH-LAH, VI as in sky.
The feast of Saint Viola is 3 May.
Viola Dana (born Virginia Flugrath, June 26, 1897-July 3, 1987) was a silent movie actress.
Viola is also the name of an instrument similar to the violin. It is slightly larger in size and has a lower string.
Connecting to Twelfth Night Gwyneth Paltrow's character in the film Shakespeare In Love was called Viola.
In Sweden, Viola is usually pronounced as "vee-O-lah" but I've also heard "VEE-o-lah".
Viola makes me think of a violin.

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