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Oliver - Names

Meaning of the name Oliver

Gender:

Male

Meaning:

olive tree (by association with Latin oliva),
elf warrior (from Germanic Alfher: alf: ‘elf’, hari: ‘warrior’)

History & etymology:

Oliver is a name of Germanic origin. It derives (most likely) from the name Alfher, which is composed of alf: ‘elf’ and hari: ‘warrior’. The modern spelling was influenced by the Latin word oliva.

The name became popular in the 8th century Western Europe after an epic poem The Song of Roland featuring a character named Oliver had been written. A sudden leap in the name’s popularity after the 17th century may be attributed to the infamous Oliver Cromwell. Then again, in the 19th century, Oliver was back in vogue because of the release of Charles Dickens’s novel Oliver Twist. At present, Oliver is the most popular given name for boys in the UK, Canada and Australia.

The patron saint of the name is St. Oliver Plunkett, a 17th century Irish archbishop and Primate of All Ireland. He was a victim of Christians’ persecutions. Having refused to abandon his people and his vocation, he faced death by hanging, drawing and quartering. His feast day is celebrated on 11th July.

Alternative spellings & nicknames:

Olivier, Ollie
Diminutives: Oli, Ollie

Similar names in other languages & name days:

Austria
11th July: Oliver

Czech Republic
2nd October: Oliver

France
12th July: Oliver

Germany
11th July: Oliver

Hungary
21st November: Olivér

Ireland
12th May: Oilithir (unrelated to Oliver)

Italy
27th March, 27th May: Oliviero

Poland
27th May: Oliwier

USA
11th July: Oliver, Ollie

Famous people named Oliver:

Oliver Cheshire (1988-) - English model
Oliver Cooper (1988-) - American actor
Oliver Cromwell (1599 - 1658) - Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland
Oliver Dahl (1998-) - American novelist
Oliver Evans (1755 - 1819) - American inventor of high-pressure steam engine
Oliver Hardy (1892 - 1957) - American actor
Oliver Heldens (1995-) - Dutch DJ
Oliver Hudson (1976-) - American actor
Oliver Jackson Cohen (1986-) - English actor
Oliver James (1980-) - English actor
Oliver Kahn (1969-) - German soccer player
Oliver Phelps (1986-) - English actor
Oliver Proudlock (1988-) - English reality show star
Oliver Reed (1938 - 1999) - English actor
Oliver Stone (1946-) - American director
Oliver Sykes (1986-) - English metal singer
Oliver Torres (1994-) - Spanish soccer player
Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809 - 1894) - American novelist

Fun facts:

Popularity (2015)

USA: 19th
England and Wales: 1st
Canada: 1st
Australia: 1st
New Zealand: 1st
Ireland: 31st
Northern Ireland: 6th     
Scotland: 2nd

Denmark: 9th
Finland: 5th
Hungary: 21st
Netherlands: 137th
Norway: 2nd
Spain: 41st

Lucky colors: brown, red
Lucky stone: Ruby
Ruling planet: the Moon
Characteristics: enthusiastic, sociable, cheerful, popular, clever

Medieval English equivalent of Oliver is Noll.

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