Oliver was an extremely popular name during medieval times due to the introduction of Olivier from France with the Norman army. He is said to have brought peace during times of war. When Oliver Cromwell came to political leadership, however, the name was no longer used near as much. Now, however, the name is on the rise again, even remaining on the top 10 list in recent years due to the popularity of Oliver Twist and of the character named Oliver in “Harry Potter.”
Meaning of the Name Oliver
Oliver means “kind one” or peace. The name Oliver may come from the old French word when is “Olivier”, which the Normans brought to historical England. The name spread in popularity throughout Medieval times, even reaching the cultures with a Latin background. Some even say the name comes from the Latin word “olivarius” which means olive tree planter, but this may be more of a folk story.
The name Oliver has many historical meanings, each of which is different. Some say it is from the French man, “Olivier” who was a peacemaker in the Norman army. Others say that it comes from the Old Norse name, Aleifr, however, during the invasion of England.
Still, others believe that it comes from the Latin word for olive tree planter, which is “olivarius”, though this is the least likely. An olive branch does represent peace, however, so it does tie in well with the French and Norse meanings.
Nicknames for Oliver
The emotions that come from the name Oliver are a sense of humility and meekness. The name is a bit simple, but it would represent someone who is very kind. Oliver is traditional no matter the background it comes from as it rose in popularity during the Middle Ages. If you're looking for a nickname for the Oliver in your life, we've created a list below to help get you inspired:
Oliver Name Details
Gender: Oliver is traditionally considered to be a boys name.
Alternative Spelling for Oliver
Oliver Name Popularity
When looking at the Social Security Popularity Index, it is easy to see that the baby name Oliver rose in popularity at the time of “Oliver Twist”, as it was in the top 100 list around the early 1900s. The name came back on the top 100 list from 2009 to 2020, and now it is even in the top 5 list. It has ranked as the third most popular name for boys in both 2020 and 2019.
Related Names for Oliver
Great Middle Names for Oliver and Their Meanings
- Carson (son of marsh dwellers)
- Charles (free man)
- Anthony (priceless one, highly praiseworthy)
- Tyson (firebrand)
- Connor (lover of wolves, lover of hounds)
- Jackson (son of Jack/John)
- Andrew (strong, manly)
- Austin (great, magnificent)
Famous People Named Oliver
- Oliver Chesire (professional model)
- Oliver Sykes (metal singer, Bring Me the Horizon)
- Oliver Phelps (actor, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”)
- Oliver Tree (rock singer)
- Oliver Stark (actor, “9-1-1”)
- Oliver Francis (rapper)
- Oliver Hudson (actor, “Black Christmas”)
- Oliver Stokes (actor, “The Damned United”)
- Oliver Cromwell (former politician)
Oliver in Popular Culture
- Oliver Twist (title character in Charles Dickens' “Oliver Twist”)
- Oliver Martext (character in Shakepeare's “As You Like It”)
- Oliver (title character in “Oliver & Company”)
- Oliver Tyler (character in “The Brady Bunch”)
- Oliver Queen (DC Comics character, The Green Arrow)
- Oliver Wood (character in “Harry Potter”)