Oliver + Olivia Alternatives

Oliver the Musical poster, from bookyourtickets.co.uk

Oliver and Olivia are both #1 for their respective genders here in England&Wales in 2010, and as such I’ve been thinking about both quite frequently of late, more so about possible alternatives to them. It therefore seems about time to formulate a post, and indeed finally draw up a list of alternative names for our two most popular names.

The name Oliver is usually taken to be derived from the Old French olivier, which means olive tree. Aside from that, it could come from the name Olaf, which means ancestor’s relics.

When it came to choosing and picking names for the list, I tried to include a variety of names. In my reckoning, there are three key components to the name Oliver: The O, the V and the ER ending – so the primary aim was for each name to have at least one of these components. Aside from that, there was a dash of gut feeling thrown in for good measure. You may contest the worthiness of some of the names to be on this list, but I’m pretty satisfied with how it turned out:

  • Alistair/Alister
  • Apollo
  • Avery
  • Bartholomew
  • Brooks
  • Calder
  • Callister
  • Chevalier
  • Clive
  • Cole
  • Colin
  • Colton
  • Eliezer
  • Elijah
  • Errol
  • Everard
  • Farrell
  • Gavin
  • Gulliver
  • Holbrook
  • Holden
  • Ivor
  • Keller
  • Leopold
  • Lester
  • Malcolm
  • Miller
  • Nicholas
  • Nolan
  • Oleksandr
  • Olson
  • Paulo
  • Prosper
  • Randolph
  • Rolf
  • Rio
  • River
  • Rollo
  • Severin
  • Solomon
  • Soren
  • Stellan
  • Sullivan
  • Trevor
  • Vernon
  • Virgil
  • Wolf
  • Walter

Then we have Olivia. She came about thanks to Shakespeare, who may have based her on Oliver or on the Latin word for olive: oliva.

When it came to collecting together a list of alternatives to Olivia, the main aim was to pick out names with a middle v sound, and a good selection of names heard and not so oft heard – since despite what many may hope for, I doubt everyone likes to use completely distinct names. Again, a few names made it onto this list on the back of my gut instinct.

  • Aurelia
  • Avalon
  • Aveline
  • Avie/Evie
  • Aviva
  • Avril
  • Caoimhe (Keeva)
  • Clover
  • Davina
  • Doveva
  • Elodie/Eloise
  • Evadne
  • Evangeline
  • Evelyn
  • Everild(a)
  • Flavia
  • Gavrielle
  • Genevieve
  • Ginevra
  • Hillevi
  • Lavinia
  • Lilavati
  • Linda/Linden
  • Loveday
  • Maeve
  • Mavis
  • Mireille
  • Nova/Novavie
  • Octavia
  • Odila
  • Olympia
  • Ophelia
  • Ottilie
  • Ovelia
  • Parvati
  • Ravenna
  • Reverie
  • Reviva
  • River
  • Savannah
  • Verdandi
  • Violet
  • Vivienne/Vivian
  • Willow
Categories: Alternative Names | Tags: , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Oliver + Olivia Alternatives

  1. There are very few names that I truly dislike, but Olivia and Oliver are two of them. I just don’t get their appeal or why they are so popular. I mean, Oliver is just the letter O plus the word liver.

    The alternatives I think work better for Oliver are Avery and Olson, and I like Ottilie and Octavia instead of Olivia. Great lists.


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