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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