Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Holly

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • English
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 449
Simple meaning:
Holly tree; bright and cheerful

Characteristics of Holly

  • Multi-talented
  • Intuitive
  • Oneness
  • Idealistic
  • Philanthropy
  • Independent
  • Perfection

Etymology & Historical Origin - Holly

Holly is from the English vocabulary word signifying the holly tree, an evergreen shrub ornamented with bright red berries associated with winter and Christmastime. The word holly comes from the Olde English “holegn” and Middle English “holi(n)”. Beginning with the ancient Celts, the holly leaves would be brought into homes as bright and cheerful decoration; they were also considered a symbol of good luck. The holly plant stays green even through the darkest, coldest winter climates of Northern Europe and America indicating their perseverance and vigor. The prickly leaves of the plant also symbolize protection and victorious defense from outside elements. More than anything, however, the holly shrub is connected to Christmas and yuletide merriment, warmth and comfort. As a female given name, Holly is a 20th century coinage. Today, the name is remarkably popular in Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Australia. In fact, out of all the English-speaking nations, Holly is currently least popular in the United States and Canada. Apparently there’s a continental separation for appreciation of this darling name.

Popularity of the Name Holly

This bright, cheerful name first entered the panoply of American female names in 1939. Within the first 10 years, Holly showed remarkable success advancing from complete obscurity to moderate usage. By 1969, she was a Top 100 favorite girl’s name in America. When we hear this name, not only do we think of Christmas but we also remember Holly Golightly, the madcap character from Truman Capote’s 1958 novella “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and the 1961 film adaptation starring Audrey Hepburn as the irrepressible Holly (see literary references below). The name Holly would remain on the Top 100 list for almost 25 straight years, dropping off in the early 1990s. Since the turn of the 21st century, Holly is no longer a name in vogue. Today, Holly is given to barely 750 baby girls per year in the United States. Holly, like Noelle and Natalie, are cute names for December babies or those born on or around Christmas day. But even when Holly is not associated with the holidays or wintertime, it’s still a bright and affable name. It’s so full of vitality and strength as well as friendliness and optimism. Holly reminds us of Molly, Dolly and Polly. They are all such “jolly” names. Plus, it doesn’t really matter which month of the year you name your daughter Holly because when you welcome your baby girl into the world it will be a joyful “Holly”day anyway!
Popularity of the Girl Name Holly
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Holly

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Holly

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Holly

    Holly Golightly (Breakfast at Tiffany's) Holly Golightly is the main character of Truman Capote’s short novel, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, published in 1958 and later adapted to the screen in 1961 with the incomparable Audrey Hepburn as Holly. The character has since then become a cultural icon of elegance, zaniness and the urge to live life right now, for all it is worth. In the translation from the novella to the screen, Holly’s beginnings and overall character were watered down a bit, but her essence remains. She is a person who strives to know everything that the world has to offer, especially on the “fun” side, but she is also a warm and loving and ultimately naïve observer of the world around her. If we were all to see the world through Holly’s eyes, wouldn’t it, indeed, be like having “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” every day of our lives? We think so.

    Holly Martins (The Third Man) Holly Martins is the main character of “The Third Man”, a 1949 British noir film based on a novella by Graham Greene, which he prepared for the screen play. Holly is an American pulp fiction writer searching post World War II Vienna for his old friend (Harry Lime) who has offered him a job. As memorably played by Joseph Cotton, Holly is a good, decent, almost innocent man who stumbles through the ruined, divided city in search of truth and justice. He is no match for the evil that Lime embodies, nor for the deceptive manipulation of his love interest, Anna. As he is drawn further and further into their intrigue, Holly loses some of his naïve outlook as the optimistic American, but he still perseveres in his self-appointed quest. What he finds is corruption personified, but we have the feeling that, even as he leaves war-torn Europe behind, against the backdrop of that inimitable zither music, Holly will pick up the pieces and go on, sans Harry, sans Anna.

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Holly

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Holly

    Holly Bloom's Garden (Sarah Ashman) - The luminous garden scenes and playful language in this tale of late-blooming self-discovery tell the story of Holly Bloom, a girl who wants nothing more than to be a great gardener but simply doesn't seem to have the knack. Despite suggestions and support from her green-thumbed mom and siblings, Holly just can't get her garden to bloom. She waters and fertilizes and uses all the right gardening tools, but her daffodils don't grow, and her daisies keep drooping. Armed with a positive attitude and unwavering perseverance, Holly finally realizes that she does not need to grow flowers with soil and seeds to be a success. Inspired by her artistic father, she taps into her natural creative abilities and surprises everyone by growing her own unique garden—from paper, paste, pipe cleaners, and paint. Recommended for ages 5-8.

    Holly Claus: The Christmas Princess (Brittney Ryan) - When young Christopher writes a letter to Santa Claus, he poses a question no one has ever thought to ask before: Dear Santa Claus, What do you wish for Christmas? Miraculously, Santa's longtime wish comes true, and a baby girl is born—Princess Holly Claus. But just as the Land of Forever joyously celebrates her arrival, far away an evil is unleashed. A curse is placed on Holly, freezing her heart in ice so her future will be bound by a world of darkness. And with the Gates of Forever now locked, Santa can no longer spread the magic of Christmas to children everywhere. As soon as Holly finds a way to make a daring escape, she begins an astounding journey to the Empire City, determined to free herself and, once and for all, bring back Christmas. This extraordinary and beautifully illustrated adventure is an everlasting gift of Christmas enchantment. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Holly Takes a Risk (Gillian Shields) - This fun and light new series is about the Sisters of the Sea, mermaids who live in the underwater Coral Kingdom. With shiny foil and adorable mermaids on every cover, this series is sure to entice even the most reluctant chapter book reader. The stories focus on six mermaid friends who’ve been sent by their mermaid Queen, Neptuna, to retrieve six magic crystals. Along the way, an evil mermaid named Mantora has set traps for the mermaids that wreak havoc for the ocean and the creatures that live it in. The determined mermaids must foil Neptuna’s attempts, and also help protect and save the ocean life throughout their mission. Recommended for ages 6-9.

    Holly the Christmas Fairy (Daisy Meadows) - There's trouble in Fairyland again! Jack Frost is up to his old tricks. This time, he has stolen Santa's sleigh. There were three special gifts onboard. Without them, Christmas could be ruined! Will this holly jolly holiday be changed forever? Or can Rachel and Kirsty save the day, with a little help from Holly the Christmas Fairy? Find the three glittering gifts in this Rainbow Magic Special Edition and help save the Christmas magic! Recommended for ages 6-9.

    Holly's Jolly Christmas (Nancy Krulik) - What's better than getting one new Katie story? Getting two! With this newest Super Special, kids can get into the holiday spirit by following Katie's latest misadventures, first at a Christmas tree farm and then at a Santa's Workshop theme park, where she switcheroos into…Well, we won't spoil the surprise, but here's a hint: she doesn't have a red nose but she sure has antlers! Recommended for ages 7-10.

    Holly's Red Boots (Francesca Chessa) - A little girl, a snowy day, and a pair of red boots add up to a cozy story with interactive art that is certain to charm the lap-sit crowd. It's finally snowing! Holly wants to play outside, but Mom says Holly must wear her red boots. Holly and her cat, Jasper, decide to search for everything red. They find a red car, a red hat, and a red bathrobe, but no red boots. When Holly finally finds them, the snow has melted; but her boots are still perfect for splashing in the puddles left behind. Recommended for ages 3-7.

    Holly's Secret (Nancy Garden) - A new town and new classmates, but the same family -- with two moms. “Dear Diary, Until today I was Holly Lawrence-Jones. But starting tomorrow I'm going to be Yvette Lawrence-Jones. My family doesn't know that yet, but I'll tell them tomorrow, and that's the name I'll tell the people at school, too. Yvette's going to be sophisticated and grownup-feminine enough to have white ruffled curtains, and maybe even a boyfriend. She's also going to have a NORMAL family. Kids are not going to make jokes about her and say mean things, because there won't be any reason for them to do that...The reason for "The Plan," as Holly refers to the creation of her new self, is primarily to hide from the schoolmates in her new hometown the fact that she has two mothers who are gay. But trying to hide something so big proves to be a daunting task. Nancy Garden has written a novel infused with humor, but one that also tackles prejudice and reinforces an old saw: Honesty is the best policy. Recommended for ages 8-12.

    Jam and Jelly by Holly and Nellie (Gloria Whelan) - Times are hard and winter is very cold in northern Michigan. Without a warm coat, Holly might not be able to start school. Can Mama figure out a solution before the spring flowers turn to winter snows? National Book Award winner Gloria Whelan's lyrical prose is beautifully matched by detailed paintings from Michigan artist Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen. Recommended for ages 5-8.

    My Weird School #14: Miss Holly Is Too Jolly! (Dan Gutman) - Miss Holly, the Spanish teacher, is hanging mistletoe everywhere! That means boys will have to kiss girls. And girls will have to kiss boys. Ugh! Miss Holly is taking the holidays way too far! Recommended for ages 7-10.

    The Legend of Holly Claus (Brittney Ryan) - Santa Claus is the King of Forever, Land of the Immortals. When one special boy writes to Santa asking what no other child has ever asked, a miracle occurs: Santa and Mrs. Claus are blessed with a daughter. But the birth of Holly Claus also brings about a terrible curse—from an evil soul named Herrikhan. Holly's heart is frozen, and the gates to Forever are locked, barring exit or entry. As she grows into a beautiful and selfless young woman, Holly longs to break the spell that holds her people hostage. With four faithful and magical animal friends, she escapes to the wondrous world of Victorian New York, where she will face countless dangers, adventures, and a miracle all her own. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    The Story of Holly and Ivy (Rumer Godden) - Ivy, Holly, and Mr. and Mrs. Jones each have one Christmas wish. Ivy, an orphan, wishes for a real home and sets out in search of the grandmother she's sure she can find. Holly, a doll, wishes for a child to bring her to life. And the Joneses wish more than anything for a child to share their holiday. Can all three wishes come true? Rumer Godden's classic tale, illustrated by Caldecott Medal winner Barbara Cooney, is filled with the warm glow of the Christmas spirit. Recommended for ages 5-8.

  • Famous People Named Holly

    Famous People Named Holly

    Famous People Named Holly - Holly Hunter (actress); Holly Robinson Peete (actress); Holly Hobbie (doll); Holly Madison (reality TV star); Holly Valance (actress)

  • Children of Famous People Named Holly

    Children of Famous People Named Holly

    Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Holly - Richard Branson (business tycoon); Charlton Heston (actor); Jack Palance (actor); Michael Bolton (singer)

  • Historic Figures

    Holly - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Holly - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Holly.

Personality of the Girl Name Holly

The number Nine personality represents the completion or ending of the cycle, and a need for perfection. This is the personality that moves from "self" to a greater understanding and compassion for the human condition and the world order. They want to make the world a better place. Nines are capable of great spiritual and humanitarian achievements. They are courageous and fearless, able to fight great battles on behalf of worthy causes. These personalities will not tolerate injustice. They are compassionate people with a strong sensitivity to others. They are able to both educate and inspire. Friendships and relationships are the lifeblood to the Nine, and they place a high value on love and affection. Nines are often exceptionally gifted artistically, and they have a keen imagination and enterprising mind.

Variations of the Baby Name - Holly

  • No Variations Found.
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