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Gender Feminine
Pronounced Pron. wee-VEE-nah(Dutch)
  [key]
Other Forms FormsVivina, Vivine, Vivinna, Wevina, Wevine, Wévine, Wijvina, Wivine, Wivinna, Wivinne, Wyvina, Wyvine

Meaning & History

This name is best known for being the name of the Franco-Flemish abbess and saint Wivina of Groot-Bijgaarden (c. 1103-1170). She is known in modern French as Wivine de Grand-Bigard. After her lifetime, the usage of this name has mainly been in her honour.

The meaning of her name is uncertain, but it is generally agreed that the name is at least partially of Germanic origin. According to French sources, the name is a compound name that consists of the Germanic elements witu meaning "forest" and win meaning "friend". Meanwhile, Dutch sources derive the first element from Old Dutch wîf meaning "woman, wife", though in my opinion the obscure Germanic element found in Alavivus could also be a viable candidate. As for the second element: the Dutch sources neglect to explain it. However, in the case of the saint at least, it seems plausible that -ina is a latinization or variant of the Old French feminine diminutive suffix -ine. The saint's name would then be a diminutive of the original Germanic compound name.

Finally, a Spanish source claims that the name is a Germanic adaptation of the Latin name Viviana. This option seems to be the least likely of all, for it appears to be based on nothing but the visual resemblance between the two names.
Added 1/7/2015 by LMS
Edited 4/27/2021 by Lucille