Oliver, now the Number 1 name in England for the second year running, also entered the Top 100 in the U.S. for the first time in 2009, and is now at Number 78. Why? Because Oliver is energetic and good-natured, stylish but not nearly as trendy as twin-sister Olivia, with a meaning symbolizing peace and fruitfulness.
Oliver works particularly well with single-syllable surnames, as in Oliver Stone, North and Puck (son of Wolfgang). Other celebrities who have chosen Oliver include Bridget Fonda, Fred Savage, Stephen Stills, and Taylor Hawkes.
Popular in medieval times, Oliver lost favor in England after the seventeenth century rule of Oliver Cromwell, then was revived in the nineteenth century. Its biggest boost in this country came from the hit book and movie "Love Story," which also catapulted Jennifer to stardom. Notable namesakes range from Oliver Wendell Holmes to Oliver Hardy to Oliver Stone. In fiction, there is Oliver Twist, and Oliver is also a Harry Potter name.
Oliver is enjoying huge popularity throughout Scandinavia at the moment, ranking Number 2 in Norway. More exotic foreign flair comes from the French Olivier, the Spanish Olivero and the Italian Oliviero.