"from the forest"

Sylvia Origin and Meaning

The name Sylvia is a girl's name of Latin origin meaning "from the forest".

The musical, sylvan Sylvia seems poised to join former friends Frances and Beatrice and Dorothy back in the nursery.

Sylvia has been consistently on the popularity list since records started being kept. She was a Top 100 name from 1932 to 1948, reaching a high of Number 48 in 1932.

Spelled Silvia, she was the mother of the twins Remus and Romulus, who were the mythological founders of Rome, and was a character in Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona. The Bard also penned the immortal lines "Who is Silvia? what is she, that all our swains admire her?" -- words echoed in the Edward Albee play The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?

Sylvias have also played major roles in Clare Booth Luce's classic play The Women and the Fellini film La Dolce Vita.

Sylvia Plath was the Tragic Heroine of modern poetry.

The French Sylvie is an appealing alternative.

# 426 in the US

Sylvia Rank in US Top 1000

# 191 on Nameberry

Sylvia Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Sylvia Popularity

Famous People Named Sylvia

  • (Estelle) Sylvia PankhurstEnglish suffragette and socialist
  • Sylvia PlathAmerican poet and novelist
  • Sylvia Sidney (born Sophia Kosow)American actress
  • Sylvia PetersonAmerican singer of The Chiffons
  • Sylvia Shaqueria FowlesAmerican basketball player
  • Sylvia LewisAmerican actress, dancer, and choreographer
  • Sylvia Louise HitchcockMiss USA and Miss Universe 1967
  • Sylvia of Hollywood (born Symnove Johanne Waaler)Swedish,American fitness guru to the stars
  • Sylvia Celeste BrowneAmerican psychic and author
  • Sylvia Llewelyn Daviesmother of the Davies boys, the inspiration for J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan character
  • Sylvia Lucia PetersBritish television presenter and actress
  • (Aichia) Sylvia Chang, Taiwanese actress/pop singer
  • Sylvia JeffreysAustralian journalist and TV presenter
  • Sylvia Lim (Swee Lian)Singaporean politician
  • Sylvia MoyAmerican songwriter and producer
  • Sylvia Rhyne HatchellAmerican college basketball coach
  • Sylvia Alice EarleAmerican marine biologist
  • Sylvia Grey Dalton (b. 2012)daughter of actor Brett Dalton
  • Sylvia Zamperinisister of WWII POW Louis Zamperini
  • Sylvia Riveratransgender woman and LGBT+ activist
  • Sylvia HoeksDutch actress

Sylvia in Pop Culture

  • Sylviaballet by Leo Delibes
  • Sylviacharacter in Graham Greene's "The End of the Affair"
  • Sylviathe goat in Edward Albee's "The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?"
  • Sylvia FineFran's mother on TV's "The Nanny"
  • Sylvia Garlandcharacter in film "The Truman Show"
  • Sylvia Parker Jr.character in fictional podcast "Alice Isn't Dead"
  • Sylvia TietjensChristopher's unfaithful Roman Catholic wife, a malicious beauty, in novels by Ford Madox Ford
  • Sylvia Fowlercharacter in Clare Booth Luce's "The Women"
  • Sylvia Weischaracter in film "In Time'
  • Queen Sylviaruler of Halloway in "The Black Jewels" trilogy
  • Sylvia Redbirdcharacter in the 'House Of Night' series by PC Cast
  • Sylvia Benningtoncharacter in films "Three Men And A Baby" and "Three Men And A Little Lady"
  • Sylvia the Zbornakcharacter on TV's "Wander Over Yonder"
  • Sylvia Miskin McFly ( aka Trixie Trotter)character in the Back to the Future video game
  • "Sylvia's Mother"song by Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show
  • "Sylvia"song by Stevie Wonder
  • Sylvia Greenone of the two heroines of Joan Aiken's "The Wolves of Willoughby Chase"
  • Sylvia Tillycharacter, Starfleet officer in the TV series, Star Trek: Discovery