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

Viola Origin and Meaning

The name Viola is a girl's name of Italian, Latin origin meaning "violet".

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.

16 names similar to Viola

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Viola. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Viola, 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 Viola using our baby name generator.


- this week

Famous People Named Viola

Pop Culture References for the name Viola


Viola's International Variations

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


Amora Says:


Wow, very pretty.

bubblegumgirl Says:


If this wasn't associated with the instrument, I would definitely consider naming my daughter this. The name sounds super pretty though!

KatherineTheGreat Says:


I personally don't care about the spanish interpretation for Viola. In all reality the translated isn't any different from english: Violada or Violated? Like to be honest if that wasn't the case there's a million names from different cultures that's offensive to Americans and vice versa. So I am not going to pay any mind to those comments because I still think this is a great name. People need to stop obsessing on translations to cultures that they will never learn the language for. Let's be real most of us are never going to leave are state or country and if we do it's one similar to the ones we grow up in. I feel we stop valuing names because we like them and want to see that for our kid and start becoming obsessed with one cares. I feel as long as the name can be pronounce, read, spelled and you can see that for your child to live and use when interacting with other children, it shouldn't be an issue.

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.