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BellaOnline's Baby Names Editor

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Olivia - Girl Name

Guest Author - Nancy Man

Wondering where the name Olivia came from? Unfortunately, the derivation of the name is uncertain. Shakespeare used it in Twelfth Night, and he may have based on the Latin word for "olive," oliva, or on the male name Oliver, or...on some other name or word.

One thing we do have a lot of information about is usage. After being a moderately popular baby name for decades, Olivia slowly declined in popularity from the late '40s through the early '70s. The decline was reversed with the help of a character named Olivia on the popular TV show The Waltons (1971-1981). The name plateaued at about 200th place for a little more than a decade, then in the mid-1980s it began to rise again. It first broke into the top 100 in 1990, and here's how it's ranked since that point:
  • 2009 - 3rd most popular girl name in the U.S.
  • 2008 - 4th
  • 2007 - 7th
  • 2006 - 7th
  • 2005 - 5th
  • 2004 - 4th
  • 2003 - 5th
  • 2002 - 10th
  • 2001 - 10th
  • 2000 - 16th
  • 1999 - 20th
  • 1998 - 21st
  • 1997 - 27th
  • 1996 - 34th
  • 1995 - 39th
  • 1994 - 50th
  • 1993 - 50th
  • 1992 - 58th
  • 1991 - 61st
  • 1990 - 72nd
Third is as popular as the name has ever been. (Do you think Olivia will ever be the #1 name in the U.S.?)

Notable women with the name Olivia include:
  • Olivia D'Abo (b. 1969) - English actress.
  • Olivia Goldsmith (1949-2004) - American writer.
  • Olivia de Havilland (b. 1916) - American actress.
  • Olivia Hussey (b. 1951) - British actress.
  • Olivia Judson (b. 1970) - British biologist.
  • Olivia Manning (1908-1980) - British writer.
  • Olivia Munn (b. 1980) - American actress.
  • Olivia Newton-John (b. 1948) - Australian singer and actress.
  • Olivia Nordgren (1880-1969) - Swedish politician.
  • Olivia O'Leary (b. 1949) - Irish journalist.
  • Olivia Wilde (b. 1984) - Irish-American actress.
  • Olivia Williams (b. 1968) - English actress.
Other forms of the name are Olivie, Oliwia and Olyvia, and nicknames include Ollie, Livia, Liv, Livi and Vi.


10,000 Most Popular Baby Girl Names 10,000 Most Popular Baby Girl Names

Want more than the top 100 or top 1,000 baby girl names? Here's a complete list of the 10,000 most popular baby girl names in the nation! Click to learn more.
This site needs an editor - click to learn more!

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Content copyright © 2014 by Nancy Man. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Nancy Man. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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