Meaning and Origin of: Oliver

Boy name origins & meanings

Oliver baby name

  • Old Norse : Kind one
  • Latin : Olive tree
  • French : Peace

Oliver is originally derived from the Latin word olivarius meaning olive tree planter. It also has Old French and Medieval origins. The name was originally introduced by the Normans to England. The name was popularized again in the 19th century by Dickens' Oliver Twist

Syllables: 3

Boy name variations

Family name origins & meanings

  • English, Scottish, Welsh, and German : from the Old French personal name Olivier, which was taken to England by the Normans from France. It was popular throughout Europe in the Middle Ages as having been borne by one of Charlemagne’s paladins, the faithful friend of Roland, about whose exploits there were many popular romances. The name ostensibly means ‘olive tree’ (see Oliveira), but this is almost certainly the result of folk etymology working on an unidentified Germanic personal name, perhaps a cognate of Alvaro. The surname is also borne by Jews, apparently as an adoption of the non-Jewish surname.
  • Catalan and southern French (Occitan) : generally a topographic name from oliver ‘olive tree’, but in some instances possibly related to the homonymous personal name (see 1 above).

Famous people with this first name

Popularity

Oliver is the number five most popular boys name in the US, according to 2018 Social Security Administration data. It shot up from obscurity in 2000 to the number 305 spot on the top 1000 baby boy names list. Since 2000, it has grown rapidly in popularity moving into the top 100 in 2009, and top 10 in 2017.

However, it is the 14th most popular name on FamilyEducation.com.

According to Google search data analysis, in the last five years Oliver was at its peak popularity in February and March 2016.

While the name Oliver has been in use since medieval times, it is more popular than ever today. It originally rose to popularity in medieval England, but quickly died off in popularity after rule of political leader Oliver Cromwell. It began to rise in popularity again in the 19th century thanks to Dickens’ Oliver Twist. Today it is more popular than ever thanks to pop culture, particularly a character in Harry Potter, and comedian John Oliver.

Where is it Popular?

Oliver was searched for most often in the following states:

Pairs well with these middle names

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