Girl Names: In Love with Olivia

17 Substitutes for a Favorite Name

By Abby Sandel

Not only has Olivia been a Top Ten favorite for the entire twenty-first century, it’s currently the second most popular name for girls born in the US, just a tick behind Emma.

If you’re in love with Olivia, but aren’t wild about your daughter sharing her name, here’s a solution: seventeen gorgeous girl names, all starting with O and ending in –ia. But not a one of these cracks the current US Top 100. In fact, most of these names fall far outside of the Top 1000.

Instead of Olivia, consider:

Obelia – A rarity borrowed from Greek, Obelia feels vaguely Victorian. It comes with an intriguing meaning, too – needle. A bonus? In the extended Star Wars universe, there’s a planet called Obelia.

Oceania Ocean is rising as a given name for boys and girls alike, with the feminine Oceane and Oceana gaining, too. Oceania is the frilliest of the possibilities, and for now, the rarest.

Octavia – An ancient name relating to the number eight and the musical term octave, Octavia’s profile has been boosted by Oscar-winnng actress Octavia Spencer.

Odelia Odelia is a Hebrew name with an appealing meaning – I will praise the Lord. Couple that with an on-trend sound, and it’s easy to imagine more parents considering Odelia as a substitute for Olivia.

Odyssia – The feminine form of hero name Odysseus, the very rare Odyssia signals adventure ahead.

Olicia – If we sometimes spell Olivia with an A, why not Alicia with an O? Actually, Olicia claims separate roots, a Slavic nickname for Olga or Alexandra.

Olympia Olympia blends the ancient world and modern athletic achievement. Alexander the Great’s mother was known as Olympias.

Onoria Jessica Alba has a daughter named Honor, but more elaborate versions of the name abound. There’s Honora, Annora, Onora, Honoria, and, of course, Onoria. That makes this rarity one-part virtue name, one-part Olivia substitute.

In Love with Olivia

Ophelia – A recent return to the US Top 1000, Ophelia has shed her tragic roots. Instead, it’s literary, thanks to Shakespeare; musical, thanks to the Lumineers; and undeniably stylish.

Oracia Horace is stuck in style limbo, but this Spanish feminine form could make an intriguing choice today.

Orelia – An Aurelia sound-alike, Orelia is a golden girl name.

Oria Oria looks like chart-topper Aria, but it’s another glittering gold name for girls. It’s also a medieval saint’s name, or it can be derived from Oriana, a Latin name meaning dawn.

Orinthia Orinthia means “to excite.” George Bernard Shaw gave the name to a character in his 1929 play “The Apple Cart,” writing, “Orinthia is a name full of magic for me.”

Orlandia – The feminine form of romantic, literary Orlando, Orlandia is almost completely unknown in the US.

Orphia – Mythological musician Orpheus descended to the underworld to bring his wife home. Orpheus is rare as a given name; the feminine forms, Orpha and Orphia, even more so.

Ottilia – Cousin to Otto, Odile, and Odette, Ottilia means wealthy. It made the US Top 1000 back in the late 1800s, but has faded to obscurity since.

Ovidia Roman poet Ovid’s family name was Ovidius; this is simply the feminine form. It’s among the rarest of the possibilities in English, but it’s seen some use in the Spanish-speaking world.

Would you choose any of these names over Olivia? What else would you suggest as substitutes?

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12 Responses to “Girl Names: In Love with Olivia”

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a_r Says:

March 15th, 2017 at 1:57 am

Olivia is not my style, but if I were to pick a similar name I’d probably think of Liv, Viola, Livia, Olive, Aviela, Evelia, Valoria, Evelina, Silvia or Lavinia.

I think you’ve probably picked the best of the O__ia names, although Olympia is quite nice.

I don’t mind Oralia and Ortensia, but I suspect I’m in the minority there.
Ovelia is not a bad Ophelia variant, and Oliana/Orleanna is melodic.

SoDallas3 Says:

March 15th, 2017 at 4:39 am

Olympia is really the only O name I like.

beynotce Says:

March 15th, 2017 at 9:10 am

I love Olivia, but I admit that when a name becomes wildly popular – especially in my personal exeperience, and not just statistically – some of the shine comes off the name.

Recently, I’ve been adoring Octavia and Ophelia. Obelia (nn: Bee?) and Odelia intrigue me.

To this list, I would add Odessa. Stylish O, girly but not over the top, and falls into the city/place name trend.

maimouse Says:

March 15th, 2017 at 9:43 am

I don’t really care for Olivia, though I like Olive.

I’m trying to love Octavia, but I’m still not completely there. It’s gorgeous though.

I’ve never heard of Obelia and Odelia before, but I find them really intriguing and they might make it onto my list… We’ll see!

ElsaAnne Says:

March 15th, 2017 at 11:24 am

I also like Ottavia.

lisaemmerich Says:

March 15th, 2017 at 11:45 am

The only name I would use off of this list is Ophelia, which I love. I might use another strong but girly and old fashioned name with a long O sound. Leona, Rose, Josephine… or even Eliza or Louisa.

jame1881 Says:

March 15th, 2017 at 6:20 pm

I had a baby doll named Olivia that actually looks like the baby in the image for this post lol

marythefourth Says:

March 15th, 2017 at 7:07 pm

Every time I see Honoria/Onoria I think of gonorrhea. Names that rhyme with STDs are probably not a good idea.

NaomiNY Says:

March 15th, 2017 at 11:09 pm

Out of these names, I like:

FelicitySmoak Says:

March 16th, 2017 at 1:45 am

My favorite is Octavia.

purplekismet Says:

March 16th, 2017 at 7:59 pm

If not tied to “O,” other names in the same vein include Amalia, Aurelia, Emilia, and Cecilia. Many more lovely “ia” names from the Name Sage here:

cj85 Says:

March 21st, 2017 at 2:42 pm

Odette is a good one too.

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