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:

Old Norse: kind one
Latin: olive tree
French: peace
English: descendent of the ancestor

Origin of the name Oliver:

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.

Symbolism of the name Oliver:

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.

Baby name Oliver

Style of the name Oliver:

The style of the baby name Oliver is traditional no matter the background it comes from as it rose in popularity during the Middle Ages.

Gender of the name Oliver:

The gender of the baby name Oliver is for boys.

Pronunciation of the name Oliver:


Number of syllables in the name Oliver:

There are three syllables in the baby name Oliver.

Emotion evoked from the name 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.

Alternative spellings for the name Oliver:

  • Olivier
  • Olliver
  • Ollyver
  • Olyver

Nicknames for the name Oliver:

Popularity of the name Oliver:

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 the name Oliver:

Great middle names for Oliver and their meanings:

Famous people with the name 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)

Olivers 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”)