Oliver first name popularity, history and meaning

Find out how popular the first name Oliver has been for the last 50 years (from 1974 to 2023) and learn more about the meaning and history.

Meaning of Oliver

A masculine given name of Old French origin meaning "olive tree".

Popularity of Oliver by gender

Based on the last 50 years of data, Oliver is more commonly used as a male name, with approximately 100% of people named Oliver being male.

For the most recent data in 2023, there were 14,741 male babies and 27 female babies born with the name Oliver.

Yes—according to the SSA data, 27 baby girls were named Oliver in 2023, despite it being a predominantly male name. We'd love to know why!

Year Male Count Female Count
2023 14,741 27
2022 15,076 28
2021 14,683 26
2020 14,261 23
2019 13,953 22
2018 13,487 19
2017 13,220 15
2016 13,058 18
2015 11,663 20
2014 9,445 13
2013 7,275 12
2012 5,921 9
2011 5,412 9
2010 4,664 7
2009 4,287 7
2008 3,602 11
2007 2,910 7
2006 2,351 0
2005 1,793 0
2004 1,491 6
2003 1,374 5
2002 1,166 5
2001 978 0
2000 978 0
1999 782 0
1998 734 5
1997 669 0
1996 607 0
1995 597 0
1994 643 0
1993 665 5
1992 664 0
1991 582 0
1990 625 0
1989 460 0
1988 440 0
1987 461 6
1986 338 6
1985 371 0
1984 397 7
1983 434 0
1982 455 0
1981 403 6
1980 393 7
1979 407 0
1978 422 8
1977 338 7
1976 337 5
1975 355 0
1974 347 0

The history of the first name Oliver

The name Oliver is derived from the Old French name Ollivier, which itself came from the ancient Germanic name Alfihar. The name Alfihar is composed of the elements "alf" meaning "elf" and "hari" meaning "army" or "warrior". Together, they create the meaning "elf warrior" or "the elfin ruler".

The name Oliver first appeared during the Middle Ages in France, where it gained popularity due to its association with the legendary hero Oliver, a close advisor and companion to Charlemagne. Oliver was a celebrated character in the medieval French epic poem "The Song of Roland", which recounted the battles between the Franks and the Moors during Charlemagne's reign.

One of the earliest recorded uses of the name Oliver dates back to the 11th century, when it was borne by Oliver de Breteuil, a Norman nobleman who accompanied William the Conqueror during the Norman conquest of England in 1066. After the conquest, the name Oliver became more widespread throughout England and other parts of Britain.

Throughout history, several notable figures have borne the name Oliver. One of the most famous was Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658), the English military and political leader who played a crucial role in the English Civil War and served as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

Another famous Oliver was the English poet Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774), best known for his novels "The Vicar of Wakefield" and "The Deserted Village", as well as the play "She Stoops to Conquer". Goldsmith was a prominent figure in the literary circles of 18th-century London.

In the realm of science, Oliver Heaviside (1850-1925) was a self-taught English mathematician and physicist who made significant contributions to the understanding of electromagnetism and the development of vector calculus.

The name Oliver also has religious connections. Saint Oliver Plunkett (1629-1681) was an Irish Roman Catholic archbishop who became a martyr and was canonized by the Catholic Church in 1975.

Finally, in the world of entertainment, Oliver Reed (1938-1999) was a renowned English actor known for his roles in films such as "Oliver!", "The Three Musketeers", and "Gladiator".

Data source

The first name data used on this page comes from the Social Security Administration (SSA). They've been collecting data on baby names since 1880.

The history and meaning of the name Oliver was researched and written by our team of onomatology and genealogy experts.

If you have a correction or suggestion to improve the history of Oliver, please contact us.

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If you found the data or information on this page useful in your research, please use the tool below to properly cite or reference Name Census as the source. We appreciate your support!

"Oliver first name popularity, history and meaning". NameCensus.com. Accessed on July 12, 2024. http://namecensus.com/first-names/oliver-meaning-and-history/.

"Oliver first name popularity, history and meaning". NameCensus.com, http://namecensus.com/first-names/oliver-meaning-and-history/. Accessed 12 July, 2024

Oliver first name popularity, history and meaning. NameCensus.com. Retrieved from http://namecensus.com/first-names/oliver-meaning-and-history/.

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