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Gender: Female Meaning of Viola: "violet" Origin of Viola: Latin

The name Viola is a girl's name of Italian, Latin origin meaning "violet". Viola and is often added to lists like Gorgeous Flower Names for Babies and discussed in our forums with posts like "Best name or combo from previous poster's signature!".

From the experts:

Viola has several positive elements going for it: the rhythm of the musical instrument, the association with the flower, the trending 'Vi' beginning and its leading role in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.

In the Bard's gender-bending comedy of identity and disguise, Viola is the appealing, passionate heroine. Later takes on this tale include Shakespeare in Love, with Gwyneth Paltrow as Viola de Lesseps and She's the Man starring Amanda Bynes.

The most distinguished current bearer is Oscar- and Emmy-winning actress Viola Davis.

Viola was a Top 50 name from 1899 to 1911, falling off the list in 1972, but is still popular in other countries such as Italy, where it is Number 15. And with Violet not sounding quite as fresh as it did, the strong Viola could find herself back in the running.

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

Famous People Named Viola

Viola Elisabeth of Teschen, Queen consort of Wenceslaus III of Bohemia and Poland.
Viola Davis Tennon, American actress.
Viola Fauver Gregg Liuzzo, American minister and civil rights activist.
Viola Farber, American choreographer and dancer.
Viola Tree, English actress.
Viola Harris, American actress.
Viola Emily Allen, American silent film actress.
Viola Barry (born Gladys Viola Wilson), American silent film actress.
Viola Dana (born Virginia Flugrath), American silent film actress.
Viola Cheptoo Lagat, Kenyan middle distance runner.
Viola Bauer, German skier.
Viola Odebrecht, German footballer.
Viola Myers, Canadian sprinter.
Viola Estelle Gentry, American aviatrix.
Viola Maud Compton, English actress.
Viola Keats, English actress.
Viola Mary Lyel, English actress.
Viola Mae Wills, American pop singer.
Viola Gillette, American operatic contralto.
Viola Spolin, American theatre coach.
Viola Haqi, Dutch model.
Viola Poley, German rower.
Viola Maud (Lyttelton) Grosvenor, Duchess of Westminister 10 June 1912 – 3 May 1987) was the wife of Robert Grosvenor, 5th Duke of Westminster.
Viola Georgina Grosvenor (b. 1992), English heiress; granddaughter of Viola Grosvenor.
Viola Mikkelsen (b. 1992), daughter of actor Mads Mikkelsen.
Viola Baah (b. 2012), daughter of actress Beverly Afaglo and singer Praye Honeho.
Viola Philomena Gallagher (b.2014), daughter of ators Megan Hilty and Brian Gallagher.
Viola Forchhammer (b.2016), daughter of Lukas Forchhammer of the band Lukas Graham.
Reece Viola Hamilton, daughter of athletes Laird Hamilton & Gabrielle Reece.

Pop Culture References for the name Viola

Viola, main character in Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night;" twin of brother Sebastian
Viola Eade, main character in the "Chaos Walking" trilogy
Viola, character in the Chalet School series
Viola "Vi," waitress in the movie "Grease"
Viola, one of Jake's daughters in animated series Adventure Time
Viola Hastings, character in film "She's the Man"
Viola De Lesseps, character in film "Shakespeare in Love"
Viola, character in "Saints Row 3"
Viola Cadaverini, character in "Ace Attorney" video game series
Viola, character in video game "The Witch's House"
Viola, character in the Soul Calibur series of games.
Viola, a bug-type gym leader from the Pokemon video games and anime
Viola, character in anime "Kiddy Grade"
Viola, character in video game series TimeSplitters
Viola, character in the Japanese video game series Zone of the Enders
Viola, character in video game Eternal Sonata
Viola Beach, late English rock band
A viola is a stringed instrument, slightly larger than the violin, missing the violin E string and instead has a C string.


Viola's International Variations

Violka (Czech) Yolande, Viole (French) Jolanta (Polish)


Daphodil Says:


I am not sure about the French, but I read in a thread about the name that it has the same issues as in Spanish. A shame because it really is a beautiful name!

Leonina Says:


French speaking? But in French it would be violer or violenter, wouldn't it?

Catgirlmri Says:


I play violin, but I have listened to a lot of viola and love the music. I love the name too- as long as you pronounce it vie oh la. And not that I would ever name a kid Cello (poor kid!) but believe it or not, it's on here!

headintheclouds Says:


There's lots to love about this name. Viola has the literary Shakespeare and musical instrument associations, and it's definitely unusual but has a familiar accessibility to it. The sound is lovely and stunning, in both the "vye-o-la" and "vee-o-la" pronunciation.
Also IMO it's very elegant and sophisticated, while also having a lively and spunky feel. This quality makes it timeless and ageless to me, where Viola would suit an energetic little girl, and she would grow into the name as an adult. The actress Viola Davis also lends the name gravitas.
(Reading the comments below, a downside to Viola would definitely be its sound to Spanish and French speakers! That might be a problem if you do live around Spanish/French-speaking populations.)

mill1020 Says:


Uh oh. Wow. Maybe I should rethink this one.

paulapuddephatt Says:


Sweet name, and a nice alternative to Violet.

NamesakeSans Says:


To violate, to rape. That's all I see. That's not to say it's an ugly name, it's just my Spanish speaking side not letting me get past it. A Mexican singer actually has a sister by the name Viola Dorantes. Violadora means rapist or violator. Can you imagine? The horror.

Marcella Weiß Says:


I prefer Violet.

SimoneKadele Says:


I used to say vee-OH-luh like the instrument, but then I played Viola in Twelfth Night and found myself going with VIE-uh-luh. I like both pronunciations, though I can't help but hear "vile" a bit in the second....

Daiseymae Says:


Viola was my great-aunt's name, and she pronounced it "vye-ola". My daughter does play the viola in orchestra, so she doesn't understand the "vye" in it.

DolphinLover17 Says:


Its not my favorite name.

Daphodil Says:


Viola is also a conjugation of the verb 'violar', which means 'rape' in Spanish. I definitely don't recommend this name to people that live in areas with a large French-/Spanish-speaking population.

MaryKathryn Says:


Not that big of a fan. I can see the appeal, but something about it just doesn't make it appealing to me.

Tilelli Says:



Angelicaecb Says:


Same, I used to really like this name until I heard people saying "vee" and pointed out the instrument. I think it'd be great to honor a Violet. Only problem I personally had with it is it's closeness to "Voila!"

Alicia1 Says:


With Violet so popular right now, Viola seems fresh. It's much prettier and soft sounding too!

Cheyenne Says:


This is my daughters middle name. I named her after my beloved grandmother who died (she always went by Vi "vye"). I think it's a beautiful name.

CocoWhite Says:


Agreed. I actually do play the instrument, so naturally I always pronounce it with the "vee" sound, but I know from experience that most people who aren't familiar with the instrument will instinctively pronounce the first syllable like "vye". And honestly, I think it sounds prettier that way.

geeknamezyo Says:


My favorite name of all time. The "vye" pronunciation is much better than "vee" in my opinion--unless you're deliberately honoring the musical instrument.

Myosotis Says:


Such a beautiful name, especially a with the Vee-oh-la pronunciation. The one Vio- name that isn't too reminiscent of violent. But I do think it would be a bit weird if you play the viola. Way better than naming your kid Recorder though (which is what I play :P).

caroblaise Says:


I play the viola too, and although it is a beautiful instrument and a beautiful name, I could never use it. It just seems like to me, since I play the instrument, it's like naming a child cello or piano or trumpet.

sorciereblanche Says:


I'm going to name my child this. Favorite name out of them all ^_^

Giinkies Says:


I really like this name. Harper and Violet are popular atm so I think in a few years this will crack the top 1000.

CocoWhite Says:


I play the viola (the musical instrument), and I can tell you it's very beautiful. It's similar to the violin in a lot of ways, but it's got a deeper, richer sound.