Olivia Name Meaning

Baby girl in pink pants smiling on bed

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Looking for a baby girl name with a touch of modern elegance? You may have found it with Olivia.

Olivia is a Latin name meaning "olive tree," and the feminine alternative to the boy name Oliver. Records of the name Olivia date back to 13th-century England. Its initial popularity might be attributed to the beautiful, sought-after heiress in William Shakespeare's play, Twelfth Night.

There are only a handful of popular O names for girls in the U.S., with Olivia taking charge as the favorite option.

  • Origin: The name Olivia is a Latin name meaning "olive" or "olive tree."
  • Gender: Olivia is frequently used as a girl name. The masculine alternative, Oliver, is commonly used for boys.
  • Pronunciation: Oh-LIV-ee-ah

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 Olivia?

Olivia is a wildly popular name for baby girls, not just in the United States but throughout the UK, Australia, and Canada. It has ranked in the top-100 U.S. names since 1990.

After the premiere of Scandal in 2012, Olivia's popularity skyrocketed thanks to the TV show's powerful lead character, Olivia Pope.

In 2014, the refreshingly strong, female name made the jump from #3 to the #2 spot in the U.S., remaining there until its victorious transition to #1 in 2019. According to the Social Security Administration, Olivia was also the most popular girl name in 2020.

Name Variations

Here are the most common variations of the name Olivia:

  • Olyvia (English)
  • Alyvia (English)
  • Lyvia (English)
  • Livia (English, Latin)
  • Livie (Latin)
  • Olive (Irish)
  • Olivie (Latin)

Similar Names

Other girl names ending in A:

  • Emma
  • Ava
  • Sophia
  • Isabella
  • Amelia
  • Mia
  • Aria
  • Stella
  • Brianna
  • Ella
  • Anna
  • Moira
  • Mia
  • Bella
  • Arianna
  • Maya

Other girl names starting with O:

  • Ophelia
  • Octavia
  • Oakley
  • October
  • Oaklynn
  • Ocean
  • Opal
  • Oona

Other trending girl names for those who like the name Olivia:

  • Charlotte
  • Juliette
  • Elizabeth
  • Lily
  • Violet
  • Grace
  • Lucy
  • Claire
  • Caroline
  • Abigail
  • Madison
  • Chloe
  • Harper

Common Nicknames

Common nicknames for Olivia include:

  • Liv: Suitable for a lively, energetic personality. Liv is a Scandinavian word meaning "life." Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler created a buzz around the name Liv with his actress daughter, Liv Tyler (known for her movie roles in Empire Records, Armageddon, and The Lord of the Rings).
  • Ollie: Describes someone patient, kind, and generous. Once reserved for boys, Ollie is a charming, unique nickname that is becoming a more popular option for girls.
  • Livie: Similar to Liv, the name Livie is perfect for girls with fun, outgoing personalities. Livie is a cheerful, playful name for those who are optimistic, funny, easy-going, and always up for a good time.

Suggested Sibling Names

  • Evelyn
  • Hannah
  • Owen
  • Alexander
  • Levi
  • Eva
  • Claudia
  • Tyler
  • Ethan
  • Brooke
  • Matthew
  • Jack
  • Hannah

Famous People Named Olivia

Whether it's iconic actress Olivia Newton-John from Grease or modern-day movie stars like Olivia Munn, the name Olivia has certainly made a lasting impression on pop culture. In contrast, it is also the name of Saint Olivia of Palermo, a 9th-century Sicilian patron saint.

Famous Olivias:

  • Olivia Wilde, American Broadway actress, director, and television/film star best known for her role in the TV drama, House
  • Olivia Frances Culpo, Miss USA and Miss Universe 2012
  • Olivia Goldsmith, American author best known for her novel, The First Wives Club, which was adapted into a popular movie in 1996
  • Olivia Mary de Havilland, British-American actress and two-time Oscar winner, known for starring in Gone With the Wind (1939) and The Heiress (1949)
  • Olivia Smart, three-time British national junior champion ice dancer, currently competing for Spain

Fictional Olivias:

  • Olivia Benson, detective on the TV drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
  • Olivia Pope, crisis manager on the TV political drama Scandal
  • Olivia Castle, a main character in the Final Destination movie series
  • Olivia Dunham, FBI agent in the science-fiction TV series, Fringe

More Baby Names

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

1 Source
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  1. Social Security Administration. Popular baby names.

By Alex Vance
Alex Vance is a freelance writer covering topics ranging from pregnancy and parenting to health and wellness. She is a former news and features writer for Moms.com and Blog Writer for The HOTH. Her motherhood-related pieces have been published on Scary Mommy, Motherhood Understood, and Thought Catalog.