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Gender: Male Meaning of Oliver: "olive tree" Origin of Oliver: Latin Oliver's Popularity in 2018: #5

Oliver Origin and Meaning

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

Oliver derives from Olivier, the Norman French variation of the Ancient Germanic name Alfher or the Old Norse Aleifr, which comes from 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.

Oliver, a very popular choice in England, Australia and New Zealand, only 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 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 also enjoying huge popularity throughout Scandinavia at the moment. More exotic foreign flair comes from the French Olivier, the Spanish Olivero and the Italian Oliviero.

16 names similar to Oliver

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Oliver. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Oliver, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!

Find other names based on Oliver using our baby name generator.

Popularity

Rank in US: #5

- this week

Famous People Named Oliver

Pop Culture References for the name Oliver

Noll, Ollie, Olliver, Ollyver, Olyver

Oliver's International Variations

Oilibhear (Irish) Olivier (French) Oliviero (Italian) Oliverio (Spanish) Olivieros (Portuguese) Oliwjer (Polish)

Comments

TechnoKitten Says:

2019-01-25T19:36:46

Number 1 in THREE countries.It's sad that it's getting overused.such a beautiful name

Dadtwobe Says:

2018-12-04T06:54:06

I love this name. Having said this, is it becoming too common now? I also like William, Theo, James, and Luke .

Megan Cox Says:

2018-09-19T14:45:49

I’m having this same problem, but I’ll stick with this name. No other boy names have stuck with me like Oliver!

Francoamericano Says:

2018-08-31T19:28:03

I really love this name, but Im worried that it is going to become too basic

xAlice Says:

2018-06-07T02:53:01

I love Oliver but hate Olivia for some reason haha.

NameObsession Says:

2018-05-19T06:17:02

I've known I wanted to name my son Oliver since I was about 9 years old. I hate that it's so popular now. When I fell in love with it it was at #140 and the only person I had ever heard of named Oliver was Oliver Wood in Harry Potter. I've been absolutely devastated watching it gain popularity over the last few years.

Tigris Says:

2017-10-05T03:27:15

I love this name and hubby suggested this as a possible name. But as I sit here, I find myself saying "Aw-Liverrr" with my MI-US accent. The "Liver" part is beginning to bug me. If you are British, "Aw-Livah" sounds so much more posh and less "liver"-like. I love it in a British accent, but not in my own accent, sooo I'm thinking this will be on our list of No's. Accents are definitely something to consider when naming kids.

justlookinaround Says:

2017-08-27T02:17:26

I like Oliver for a middle name, like Henry Oliver. My name is Olivia, so I thought it would be a cute way to incorporate my name. How do you all feel about the name combo?

Alaina Says:

2017-05-24T19:42:25

I think Oliver is good for when there a baby. But when they get older when there Oliver or Ollie, it just feels like only a baby name. And it doesn't sound good when they would get to be a kid, teenager, and adult. That's my perspective.

DeerAbby Says:

2017-02-18T15:19:28

I love this classic British name, and husband actually agreed to it because Oliver Queen is the Green Arrow. Haha. We named our first Oliver Ronan and it fits him so well (we call him Ollie) BUT it's so dang popular now! It was like just barely in the top 100 when we picked it, and not only is it creeping up the list, I know like 5 Olivers his age, and he's only 20 months! Must be something in the water!

paulapuddephatt Says:

2016-11-26T00:07:48

Wonderful name

maddiepie Says:

2016-09-19T00:44:33

oliver is a really, really nice name

autumnreverie Says:

2016-07-08T05:02:57

Ollie makes for a cute nickname.

autumnreverie Says:

2016-07-08T05:01:22

It also means "ancestor's descendant."

Hardly_Known Says:

2016-07-01T03:33:02

I don't like it, perhaps because it is so common, or because I think of a dirty urchin, or just that first syllable "Ol-" feels unpleasant.

thorn144 Says:

2016-05-08T05:32:12

I don't think this name grows up very well. I think it conjures up images of young English boy, like a previous commenter said, but I don't think it sounds like a very strong man name, it's too cutesy. That's just why personally, I'm staying away from Oliver!

Haids1987 Says:

2016-02-16T15:15:03

All the Olivers I know are total spoiled brats. Same with Olivia. I just don't like this name.

headintheclouds Says:

2015-09-17T04:31:10

Oliver's just one of the classic names that don't sound too boring or tired, if that makes sense- like John, Richard etc. It's the ultimate versatile name too- an Oliver can be a preppy investment-banker-go-getter, a free-spirited artist and anything in between, a little baby boy to teenager to older gentleman, and so on. My issue with the name is that I'm hearing it EVERYWHERE lately, to the point that I'm starting to go "ANOTHER one?". But really there's good reason for its popularity, just as it is with its counterpart Olivia.

claracooks Says:

2015-09-07T22:10:19

I love this name so much!

LowSlash Says:

2015-07-09T21:01:12

Me too! Close friends recently named their little one Oliver, though, so that takes care of that :)

victoria_ann12345 Says:

2015-07-09T20:33:42

I absolutely adore this name, but the popularity of it makes me reconsider. It's very disappointing.

Hallie Says:

2015-04-07T00:13:30

use to hate this name but now I love it!:)

ThistleThorn Says:

2015-02-17T22:47:26

I always think of a cute little British boy wearing knee socks and a hat!

franklyjennifer Says:

2015-01-02T22:32:30

I am so in love with this name. One of my absolute favorites.

jeanniebear Says:

2014-12-28T06:08:49

i love this name for a baby boy :( too bad i can't use it my cousins name is oliver, although hes never really around. I don't know ugh i want it!

Caroline Says:

2014-12-26T10:10:25

I LOVE THIS!

PineWarrior Says:

2014-12-18T11:24:49

If I was to be born a boy, I would have been named Oliver-however, that won't stop me from considering this name if I ever have a boy :)

Leah3456 Says:

2014-11-15T15:36:18

I like this name!

KateMB Says:

2014-11-15T03:45:48

Love this name

Guest Says:

2014-10-09T01:57:56

Your comment made me curious, so I did some research. Here's what I found:

The English Oliver comes from the French Olivier which comes from the Germanic Alfihar (or similar). The Germanic name is derived from alf (elf) and hari (army), thus meaning "elf army." However, etymologists speculate that the French, and therefore English, form was highly influenced by the Old French word olivier (olive tree) from the Latin oliva. So, in a way, Oliver can be said to mean both "elf army" AND "olive tree" because it is derived from both Germanic and Latin sources.

Olivia, on the other hand, was a name invented by Shakespeare which appeared in his play Twelfth Night. He may have developed it directly from the Latin oliva, in which case it must mean only "olive tree," or as a feminine version of Oliver, in which case it can also said to be both Latin and Germanic.

Sources: behindthename[.]com and etymonline[.]com

eveyalecia Says:

2014-10-06T00:49:48

Your comment made me curious, so I did some research. Here's what I found:

The English Oliver comes from the French Olivier which comes from the Germanic Alfihar (or similar). The Germanic name is derived from alf (elf) and hari (army), thus meaning "elf army." However, etymologists speculate that the French, and therefore English, form was highly influenced by the Old French word olivier (olive tree) from the Latin oliva. So, in a way, Oliver can be said to mean both "elf army" AND "olive tree" because it is derived from both Germanic and Latin sources.

Olivia, on the other hand, was a name invented by Shakespeare which appeared in his play Twelfth Night. He may have developed it directly from the Latin oliva, in which case it must mean only "olive tree," or as a feminine version of Oliver, in which case it can also said to be both Latin and Germanic.

Sources: behindthename.com and etymonline.com

ponspontis Says:

2014-05-15T22:51:35

I don't think this meaning is right. I've always known it to mean "elf army"; it is a nordic name. The Swedish form of Olivia also means this.

KittyMomma246 Says:

2014-02-18T02:42:27

A classic boy's name. Absolutely love it.
Once extremely popular, but not as popular today, which makes it appealing.
Love the nature theme as well.