Oliver Name Meaning

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What Does Oliver Mean?

Oliver is a well-known name with a variety of meanings in different languages.

The name Oliver is derived from the old Norse name Áleifr, meaning “ancestor’s descendent.” Introduced by the Normans to England, the name also has roots in France. In French, olivier means "olive tree." It was later associated with the Latin word oliva, which means “olive.” The spelling of the name Olivier changed to Oliver, and it became a common medieval name in England. The olive tree has long been associated with peace, dignity, fruitfulness, and beauty.

Origin: Oliver comes from Old Norse meaning “ancestor’s descendants.” It also stems from the Latin and French words for “olive” or “olive tree”, respectively.

Gender: Oliver is commonly used as a boy name.

Pronunciation: ahl-i-vehr

Although many baby names are separated by gender, Verywell Family believes that sex does not need to play a role in your name selection process. It’s important to select a name that you feel suits your new baby the best.

How Popular Is the Name Oliver?

Oliver was quite a popular name in the United States in 1900, when it was ranked at No. 95. Thereafter, It dropped to its lowest at No. 471 in 1986. However, the latest Social Security Administration data show promising results for the name Oliver. It ranked No. 32 in 2014 and is at its highest rank at No. 3 in 2020. According to SSA, the number of births with the name Oliver is 14,147, which represents 0.772% of total male births in 2020.

Name Variations 

The following are variations of the name Oliver:

  • Oilibhéar (Irish)
  • Oilibhéir (Irish)
  • Olivér (Hungarian)
  • Óliver (Spanish)
  • Olivier (French)
  • Oliviero (Italian)
  • Olívio (Portuguese)
  • Oliwer (Polish)
  • Oliwier (Polish)

Similar Names

Similar sounding names to Oliver:

  • Alexander
  • Alistair
  • Donovan
  • Everett
  • Fraser
  • Oscar
  • River

Other names starting with O:

  • Olin
  • Oren
  • Orion
  • Otis
  • Owen

Suggested Sibling Names

Looking for a sibling name for Oliver? Here are some popular suggestions:

  • Abigail
  • Alice
  • Fredrick
  • George
  • Henry
  • Isabella
  • Olivia
  • Thomas

Famous People Named Oliver

There are many famous people named Oliver throughout U.S. history.

  • Oliver Cromwell, English general and statesman, who led armies against King Charles I during the English Civil War
  • Oliver Goldsmith, Canadian 19th century poet
  • Oliver Heaviside, English mathematician and physicist who invented a new technique for solving differential equations
  • Oliver Laurence North, American political commentator, television host, military historian, and author
  • Oliver McCall, American professional boxer best known for winning the WBC heavyweight title in 1994
  • Oliver Norvell Hardy, American comic actor and one half of the Laurel and Hardy double act
  • Oliver Platt, Canadian American actor who was nominated for many awards, including a Golden Globe Award and four Primetime Emmy Awards
  • Oliver Stone, American filmmaker, director, and writer best known for the movie Scarface and war drama Platoon

More Baby Names

Still searching for the perfect baby name? Check out these related baby name lists for even more options: 

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  1. Social Security Administration. Popularity of name. Updated 2020.