Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Olive

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • English, Latin
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 291
Simple meaning:
Olive tree, emblem of peace

Characteristics of Olive

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

Etymology & Historical Origin - Olive

Olive is the English vocabulary word for a type of tree from the Latin “oliva”. The olive tree is an emblem of peace, such as when one "extends an olive branch". The root of this can be found in the Bible (Genesis 8:11) when a dove came to Noah after the great floods subsided with a freshly plucked olive leaf. The olive leaf thus became a symbol of impending peace. The olive tree was also sacred to the Greek goddess Athena; it was her gift to the people of Athens in a contest among gods to decide who would become the city’s namesake. The olive tree serves many uses (fine wood, olive oil, medicinal benefits, the olive leaf and olive fruit) and so it was chosen as the most useful gift. As a female name, Oliva dates back to at least the days of the early Roman Empire. It was in use in Italy as evidenced by a second century St. Oliva of Brescia who was martyred during the rule of Emperor Hadrian. There was also a 9th century legend about a thirteen year old girl named Oliva from Palermo, Sicily who was abducted by Muslims and taken to Tunis (Northern Africa) and confined to a cave. According to the tale (which many took to be true), Oliva captivated her kidnappers with her beauty and piety and thus converted many Muslims to Christianity before she herself was martyred. Olivia – the similar sounding name – was a female name creation by William Shakespeare (for more information on this history, see the name Olivia). Olivia is a hugely popular name among English speakers today, while the shorter two-syllable Olive is less so. The name Olive is most popular in Australia today.

Popularity of the Name Olive

Interestingly, back in the late 1800s and early 1900s Olive was actually quite a bit more popular than Olivia. The reverse is true today. It was in 1934 when Olivia first surpassed Olive in usage. Olivia is one of the most popular names for American baby girls today while Olive has had a difficult time hanging onto the charts. As you can see by the graph below, Olive was a Top 100 favorite in the early part of the 20th century but quickly went out of fashion as the decades progressed. In 1951, the name Olive completely disappeared from the female naming charts. Her hiatus from usage would last over 50 years. It was not until this century, in the year 2007, that Olive returned to the American consciousness. Not surprisingly, a year before in 2006 a Sundance indie film called “Little Miss Sunshine” was released to delighted audiences across America. The central character in the movie is a quirky seven year old cutie-pie named Olive who is a refreshingly untrained contestant in a beauty pageant called “Little Miss Sunshine”. Filmgoers couldn’t help but to fall in love with Olive and the following year the name reentered the female charts. Olive got another boost of interest when actress Isla Fisher and her avant-garde comic husband Sacha Baron Cohen named their first daughter Olive in 2007. While most Americans prefer the ever-popular and arguably overused Olivia for their daughters, Olive is a cute and sweet alternative (perhaps less pretentious and a little more vintage). It cuts a lengthy four syllable name down to two while still retaining the name’s inherent “old lady” charm. Liv and Ollie are possible nicknames. We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the antiquated association with Olive Oyl, the skinny, big-footed, sometimes fickle girlfriend of Popeye (but this is fast becoming a dated reference people no longer seem to consider). In any case, when we think of the name Olive, we just think: Olive You!
Popularity of the Girl Name Olive
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Olive

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Olive

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Olive

    Olive Oyl (Popeye Cartoon) Olive Oyl is the cartoon girlfriend of Popeye the Sailor Man, created by Elzie Crisler Segar in 1919 for his comic strip series, Thimble Theatre. The strip was later renamed Popeye, the Sailor Man, after that character became the most popular. Let it be said, however, that Olive was a major character before Popeye himself even appeared, in 1929. She is some gal, all right. Tall, rangy, sporting that retro bun, she is an independent woman when it comes to men – the chaser as often as the chasee, she seems to settle on Popeye when it suits her fancy (e.g., when he rescues her from the abusive Bluto, with whom she often flirts). The strip was adapted to the cartoon screen by Fleischer Studios in 1933, and she was voiced eventually by Mae Questel, who also voiced Betty Boop, which is when we got used to that high-pitched voice of hers, alternately cooing sweet nothings to Popeye or bawling him out in high fashion. When Popeye came to the big screen in 1980 in the person of Robin Williams, Shelley Duval proved to be the absolute incarnation of our girl Olive. We just have one little question: Who exactly are Swee’Pea’s parents??

  • Popular Songs on Olive

    Popular Songs on Olive

    An Olive Grove Facing the Sea - a song by Snow Patrol

    An Olive Tree - a song by Basia

    The Olive Branch - a song by Sullivan

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Olive

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Olive

    Cherry and Olive (Benjamin Lacombe) - Cherry Sullivan prefers reading books to playing with the other children in her class. They make fun of her for being plump, and they are not nearly as entertaining as the adventures she reads about. Though she's shy and keeps to herself, Cherry secretly longs for a friend. When she discovers a stray dog at her father's animal shelter that is also plump and shy (and a bit wrinkly), she names her Olive and they become fast friends. Cherry finds the courage within herself to stand up for the dog and protect her--something she has not been able to do for herself. Beautifully illustrated, this touching story is sure to strike a chord with all who have ever felt a little lonely and yearned for a friend. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    My Sister Olive (Paula Russell) - A charming tale of the bond between sisters, and a celebration of the way children see their siblings as unique. “This is my big sister Olive. / I Love Olive. / And Olive Loves Me. / I call her MY Olive.” The narrator idolizes her big sister, Olive, and thinks that she is the best in the world at everything she does. But Olive knows that her little sister is the greatest at something very special. Recommended for ages 3-6.

    No Ordinary Olive (Roberta Baker) - Introducing Olive, a busy little girl who enjoys making bubble gum-raisin pancakes and perhaps will be president someday (or an astronaut). This is the story of Olive's unordinary adventure in growing up. It's about being yourself, and about how learning to use your imagination is the most important lesson of all. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Olive (Chloe Allred) - Olive is a young girl with a love for art and her floral pattern stretch pants. When she starts getting bullied at school, she starts to question some of the most basic things about herself. This is the story of how Olive overcomes that pain with the help of her grandma Birdie Lou. Recommended for ages 6-9.

    Olive and Snowflake (Tammie Lyon) - Olive and her dog Snowflake are the best of friends. They do everything together including…getting into trouble! Olive’s parents decide to send Snowflake to obedience school. Maybe if Snowflake learns to behave, they won’t have to give him away. Olive worries that her parents might give her away, too. So she accompanies Snowflake to obedience school. Will she and Snowflake learn the doggy tricks that will help them get along with family and friends? Tammy Lyon’s soft-color acrylic and pencil illustrations add to the story’s charm and highlight the special relationship between a girl and her dog. Recommended for ages 3-6.

    Olive and the Big Stream (Kirk Werner) - Join Olive, the little-streamer-fly-that-could, Gilbert the Gold-Ribbed Hare's Ear, Polly the Partridge and Orange, and the rest of the Camp Tightloops gang as they follow their dreams down The Big Stream. Zip and dart along with Olive as the importance of catching and releasing a wild trout finally sinks in. Fly-fishing fans young and old will agree that Olive is the real keeper in this action-packed, fact-filled sequel to Olive The Little Woolly Bugger. Recommended for ages 5-8.

    Olive Goes for a Wild Ride (Kirk Werner) - Olive the Woolly Bugger is back for another fast-paced adventure as she Goes for a Wild Ride. This time Olive snags a new friend, Clark, the small fry with a big heart. Together, the darting duo head downstream where they run into everything from Sockeyed Jack, the spawning salmon, to all other walks of wildlife. Even a terrifying tumble over the waterfall doesn't dampen Olive's spirits as she discovers the fascinating circle of life - in and along the river. Ideal for fly-fishing veterans and rookies alike, this third tale in the Olive series reminds us what makes the great outdoors so great. Recommended for ages 5-8.

    Olive the Little Woolly Bugger (Kirk Werner) - Your children will get hooked on fly-fishing with Olive and a cast of colorful characters. This is the first title in this series of great kid's books and features eye-catching illustrations, delightful dialogue, and kid-friendly facts. It is going to make a big splash! Recommended for ages 5-8.

    Olive The Orphan Reindeer (Michael Christie) - A young doe reindeer, lost and taken into Santa and Mrs. Claus's home, longs to ride on the big trip. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Olive's Balloon Adventure (Polly Thatch) - Olive likes to do everything by herself. But when she accidentally starts floating around the world in a hot air balloon, she needs lots of help from her new friends to get back home. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Olive's First Sleepover (Roberta Baker) - Olive has played over at her friend Lizard's house before, but tonight she is sleeping over for the first time. Making pepperoni-marshmallow pizza is tons of fun. But when it's time for bed, Olive finds out that Lizard sleeps without any lights on at all...Those dark shadows are awfully creepy. And what's that noise down the hall? This charming story about best friends and new experiences shows how courage and imagination--and a little purple slime--can transform even the spookiest situation, and help allay a child's fear of sleeping over a friend's house for the first time. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Olive's Ocean (Kevin Henkes) - Sometimes life can change in an instant. Martha Boyle and Olive Barstow could have been friends, but they weren't. Weeks after a tragic accident, all that is left are eerie connections between the two girls, former classmates who both kept the same secret without knowing it. Now, even while on vacation at the ocean, Martha can't stop thinking about Olive. Things only get more complicated when Martha begins to like Jimmy Manning, a neighbor boy she used to despise. What is going on? Can life for Martha be the same ever again? Recommended for ages 10-13.

    Olive's Pirate Party (Roberta Baker) - When Olive Elizabeth Julia Jerome's parents announce that her birthday party will be held at old Aunt Tiffany's house, Olive is sure her plans have walked the plank. What will Olive and her pirate friends do? Will anyone have fun? What if they break something? Here is a spirited story, full of love and unexpected birthday surprises, that celebrates kids' special relationships with elderly relatives. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Olive, My Love (Vivian Walsh) - The beloved--but confused--pup Olive is back! But this time she's not heading off to the North Pole to help Santa…This time she's out to return a one-of-a-kind lost object: a heart. And not just any heart, but a heart as large as Olive's own. In her search to find its one, true owner, she makes the acquaintance of a cast of characters who show her what it truly means to give all of one's love. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Olive, the Other Reindeer (Vivian Walsh) - A modern Christmas classic, Olive the Other Reindeer is the story of a little dog named Olive with big reindeer dreams! When the book was first published in 1997, it enjoyed great reviews and has since sold more than 1 million copies. This new edition is a larger version of the original book, and features flaps to lift, spots to scratch and sniff, and a pop-up grand finale. Designed to be a perfect holiday gift, this edition will appeal to Olive's many fans and is sure to make new ones. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Olive: The Duck Who Learned to Fly (Luke Hayes) - Hoping to learn to fly, a duckling named Olive takes advice from all the farmyard animals. She has fun, but is never satisfied. Finally a crow advises her to simply step off the top of the barn. “I’m scared,” Olive says. “I don’t know how to fly. Don’t I need to get nervous? Don’t I need a balloon or a kite or a plane? Or something?” “Nope,” the crow said. “All you need is you.” This charming, upbeat fable makes a perfect bedtime story for kids ages 3 to 6. Kindle edition.

    Olive: The Duck Who Went to School (Luke Hayes) - Pearl doesn’t like first grade. Not until the day she takes her pet duck Olive to school for show-and-tell. Together, Pearl and Olive tackle school work and face down bullies. In the end, Pearl decides, “Olive isn’t just a duck. She’s my friend.” This gentle story is just right for readers aged 6-9. It also makes a wonderful bedtime story for younger kids.

    Oscar and Olive Osprey: A Family Takes Flight (Janie Suss) - Oscar and Olive Osprey tells the heartwarming story of two ospreys that come to live at the end of Janie Suss' pier on a platform built just for them. Janie watches as the two ospreys build their nest, raise three babies, and defend themselves and their offspring against predators. In addition to the exciting story, readers learn about ospreys' habitats, migration patterns, and other fun and interesting facts. As the young birds learn to hide, fly, and catch fish-all at a different pace and with different levels of success-children can relate to their own learning experiences. Filled with amazing color photographs, Oscar and Olive Osprey will delight children and parents alike, and inspire an emotional connection between their own lives and the lives of these beautiful creatures. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Pip: The Story of Olive (Kim Kane) - A story about fitting in and finding the strength to be yourself. Olive is an only child. She lives by the sea in a ramshackle old house with her mother, Mog—successful, busy, and hardly ever at home. Olive is very pale and very quiet and she doesn’t quite fit in. But she has a best friend, Mathilda, and that’s what matters. And then Mathilda decides to be someone else’s best friend. Just as life really can’t get much worse, Pip shows up. Brash, loud Pip, who is everything that Olive is not, and is about to cause Olive a whole heap of trouble—and open her up to a whole world of possibilities. Recommended for ages 8-11.

  • Famous People Named Olive

    Famous People Named Olive

    Famous People Named Olive - Olive, Lady Baillie (Anglo-American heiress); Olive Thomas (silent film actress); Olive Beech (pioneering aviator and businesswoman)

  • Children of Famous People Named Olive

    Children of Famous People Named Olive

    Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Olive - Drew Barrymore (actress); Isla Fisher (actress); Sacha Baron Cohen (comic/producer)

  • Historic Figures

    Olive - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Olive Thomas Pickford (20 Oct 1894 – 10 Sep 1920) - Olive Thomas was a beautiful young movie actress during the silent era of filmmaking and well-known for her early death. Born in Pennsylvania to an Irish family of modest means, Olive moved to New York City when she was 18. It was shortly thereafter that the young girl won a contest called “The Most Beautiful Girl in New York City” which landed her a cover on the Saturday Evening Post and a position with the Ziegfeld Follies. She performed a risqué act in the “Midnight Frolic” show which made her uber-popular with the wealthy males in the audience. She was known for her remarkable beauty, porcelain skin and bright violet eyes framed in long dark eyelashes. The men went crazy for her and lavished her with gifts. Eventually Olive made her way into films and met and married actor Jack Pickford (brother of Mary Pickford). The two young lovers eloped and led a volatile and wild life in the fast lane of partying. In 1920, at the age of 25, Olive Thomas, mistaking the bottle for something else, accidentally swallowed poison in a French hotel room while on a second honeymoon with her husband. She tragically died a few days later and her body was brought back to New York for a jam packed funeral ceremony. She became a poster child of her day for the fast-living consequences of successful youth. It is said her ghost still roams the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York City.

Personality of the Girl Name Olive

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 - Olive

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