"olive tree or elf army"

Oliver Origin and Meaning

The name Oliver is a boy's name of Latin origin meaning "olive tree or elf army".

Oliver is an international star, ranking near the top of the charts in the US and throughout the English-speaking world, along with a host of European and Latin American countries, from Norway to Chile, Slovenia to Switzerland.

Long a popular choice in England, Australia and New Zealand, Oliver entered the list of Top 100 baby boy names in the U.S. for the first time in 2009, but has already jumped to the top of the charts. Why? Because Oliver is energetic and good-natured, stylish but classic, with a meaning symbolizing peace and fruitfulness.

Oliver derives from Olivier, the Norman French variation of the Ancient Germanic name Alfihar ("elf army") or the Old Norse Áleifr ("ancestor's relic"), from which comes Olaf. Olivier emerged as the dominant spelling for its associations with the Latin word oliva, meaning "olive tree."

Oliver was used as a given name in medieval England after the spread of the French epic poem ‘La Chanson de Roland,’ which features a character named Olivier. It lost favor after the seventeenth century rule of Oliver Cromwell, then was revived in the nineteenth century.

Oliver's biggest boost in this country came from the hit book and movie Love Story, which also catapulted the name 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 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.

International forms include the French Olivier, the Spanish Olivero, and the Italian Oliviero.

Parents considering Oliver for their sons might consider that with Olivia at the top of the charts for girls, there will be an awful lot of children with names starting with Oliv-.

# 3 in the US

Oliver Rank in US Top 1000

# 15 on Nameberry

Oliver Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Oliver Popularity

Famous People Named Oliver

  • Oliver CromwellLord Protector of Britain
  • Oliver StarkBritish actor
  • (William) Oliver StoneAmerican film director
  • Norvell "Oliver" HardyAmerican comic
  • Oliver Wendell HolmesAmerican physician and writer
  • Oliver GoldsmithIrish novelist, playwright and poet
  • Oliver Scott "Oli" Sykeslead vocalist of British band Bring Me The Horizon
  • Oliver MarachAustrian tennis player
  • (Robert) Oliver ReedEnglish actor
  • Oliver PhelpsAmerican war hero
  • Oliver James PlattAmerican actor
  • Oliver Graham ChrisEnglish actor
  • (Oliver) Burgess MeredithAmerican actor
  • Oliver LodgeEnglish physicist and writer
  • Jamie OliverEnglish celebrity chef
  • Oliver "Olly" MursEnglish musician
  • Oliver Martyn John PhelpsEnglish actor, twin brother to actor James Phelps
  • Oliver JacksonCohen, English actor
  • Oliver ColemanEnglish Actor
  • Oliver Prinz von Anhaltson of actress Zsa Zsa Gabor
  • Oliver Alexander "Olly" ThorntonBritish actor and lead singer for the band Years & Years
  • Oliver (born William Oliver Swofford)American pop singer
  • Oliver "Oli" WhiteBritish YouTuber
  • Oliver Rutledge HudsonAmerican actor, son of actress Goldie Hawn and brother of Kate Hudson
  • Oliver Hackett (b. 1974)son of guitarist Steve Hackett of Genesis
  • Oliver Miller Bernsen (b. 1989)son of actor Corbin Bernsen
  • Oliver Saunders (b. 1991)son of actress Garcelle Beauvais and Daniel Saunders
  • Oliver Bacharach (b. 1993)son of songwriter Burt Bacharach
  • Oliver Ragland Stills (b. 2004)son of musician Stephen Stills
  • Oliver Watson (b. 2005)son of actor Barry Watson and TV presenter Tracy Hutson
  • Oliver Chevallier (b. 2005)son of TV presenter Michaela Strachan and Nick Chevallier
  • Oliver Philip Savage (b. 2006)son of actor Fred Savage
  • Oliver Shane Hawkins (b. 2006)son of drummer Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters
  • Oliver Wolfgang Puck (b. 2006)son of celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck
  • Oliver McLanahan Phillips (b. 2007)son of actress Julie Bowen and Scott Phillips
  • Oliver Lange (b. 2007)son of TV presenter Carrie Bickmore and Greg Lange
  • Oliver Lennon (b. 2009)son of actor/comedian Thomas Lennon
  • Oliver Michael Jacobs (b. 2011)son of actress Sarah Lancaster and Matthew Jacobs
  • Oliver Egan (b. 2012)son of TV chef Kelsey Nixon and Robby Egan
  • Oliver Neil Allen (b. 2013)son of singer Kris Allen
  • Oliver Gunnar Franzén (b. 2013)son of ice hockey player Johan Franzen
  • Oliver James "Ollie" Lanning (b. 2013)son of American family vloggers Bryan & Missy Lanning
  • Oliver Finlay Dallas (b. 2014)son of actors Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas
  • Oliver Levon Myers (b. 2016)son of singer Zach Myers of Shinedown
  • Wyatt Oliver Olsenson of actor Eric Christian Olsen
  • Oliver Francis Followill (b. 2018)son of American rock drummer Nathan Followill, brother to Violet Marlowe
  • Oliver Julian "Ollie" Patrick (b. 2018)son of American YouTube personalities Matthew and Stephanie Patrick
  • Oliver Rhett “Ollie” Fisher (b. 2020)son of YouTube personalities Kyler and Madison Fisher

Oliver in Pop Culture

  • "Oliver Twist" novel by Charles Dickens and its main character
  • Olivercat in "Oliver & Company,"
  • Oliver Barrett IVcharacter in book/movie "Love Story"
  • Cousin Oliver Tylercharacter on TV's "The Brady Bunch"
  • Oliver Wellescharacter on TV's "Slings and Arrows"
  • Oliver Jonas "Ollie" Queen aka the Green ArrowDC Comics superhero
  • Oliver Wendell Douglasmain character on TV's Green Acres"
  • Dr. Oliver Threadsoncharacter from season 2 of TV's "American Horror Story"
  • Oliver Oakencharacter on TV's "Hannah Montana"
  • Oliver Woodcharacter in the Harry Potter series
  • Oliver Riverscharacter in J.K. Rowling's "The Original Forty"
  • Oliver Traskcharacter on TV's "The OC"
  • Oliver Birdcharacter in Marvel Universe
  • Oliver Melendycharacter in the Melendy series by Elizabeth Enright
  • OliverEnglish Vocaloid voice bank
  • Olivercharacter in Shakespeare's As You Like It
  • Oliver Deaconcharacter from video game 'Ace Attorney'
  • Olivera character in "Mighty Med"
  • Oliver McKinleycharacter in "Althea and Oliver" by Cristina Moracho
  • Oliver Hamptoncharacter on TV's "How to Get Away with Murder,"
  • Prince Oliverson of Queen Wendy & King Loki in Amanda Hocking's Trylle series short story Ever After
  • Oliver Sullivanfather of Cassiopeia & Samuel in "The 5th Wave"
  • Oliver Tatecharacter in book/movie "Submarine"
  • Olivermain character in video game "Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch"
  • Olivercharacter in the novel/film "Call Me By Your Name"
  • Maxxie Olivercharacter from British TV series "Skins"
  • Oliver's Armysong by Elvis Costello
  • Oliver "Olly" Brightcharacter in Nicola Yoon's book/movie "Everything Everything"

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