Names Like Olivia

by You Can't Call It "It"! on February 23, 2013

It’s time to get back to our “Names Like…” series.  Today is Olivia’s day.  Gorgeous Olivia Newton-John planted the name in our childhood brains as we watched her go from sweet to saucy in Grease.  I always wished my own parents had named me Oilvia, and I still think it’s gorgeous, and strikingly unusual on a thirties gal.  From Spain to Sweden, she works well in almost any Western country, and has ancient pedigree to back her up.

Many people have started to turn to Olive.  I have met a few in person under 4, and there are Isla Fischer and Drew Barrymore’s Olives.  Such a different vibe for being so similar, no???

Always loved Olivia, but prefer something more unusual?  Try these on for size:

 

Aurelia

Genevieve

Junia

Lavinia

Louisa

Lydia

Octavia

Odilia (and her cognates Ottilie, Odette, Odile)

Odessa

Olympia

Ophelia

Viola, Violet

 

Sisters: Flora, Francesca, Gwendolyn, Rosa, Wilhelmina

Brothers: Arthur, Hugo, Joaquin, Luca, Matteo

 

What would you use in lieu of Olivia?  If you have a little Olivia, what did you call her sibling? 

 

Pictured: Embroidered name hoop by Etsy artist Merriweather Council

 

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Julie February 23, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Dinah
Flavia
India
Iola
Junia
Leonie
Malia
Priscilla
Thalia
Vianne

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2 You Can't Call It "It"! February 24, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Love Flavia, India, Priscilla, Leonie, and Thalia here! Great list.

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3 Lashley February 24, 2013 at 12:32 am

I think narrowing down a list of sibling names for the very popular names is tricky, since they’re so ubiquitous. They appeal to people with a wide spectrum of tastes!

That being said, the Olivias I know have siblings named Carson, Emma, and Sawyer (one sibset) and Sadie (another).

My add-on names that are (sort of) like Olivia –
Juliana
Amelia
Valeria
Caroline

One thing that strikes me about Olivia is how fluidly it rolls off the tongue, which made me think of Juliana and Caroline, but makes names like Ophelia and Octavia seem quite different, despite sharing so many letters/sounds with Olivia. Subjective, I know, but that’s the nature of the beast I think.

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4 You Can't Call It "It"! February 24, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Oh no, you’re absolutely right! It is a tricky business, especially since I’m trying to substitute possible alternatives with unpopular names. Amelia and Caroline did not pass that test, and Valeria and Juliana barely squeak by in the low 100s.

It’s doubly tricky since I’m trying to find about 10 substitutes per popular name, and don’t want to keep recommending the same ones.

What about Louisa and Aurelia? To me, they’re under appreciated and definitely roll off my tongue.

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5 You Can't Call It "It"! February 24, 2013 at 4:36 pm

What about Veronica? I wanted to write Ursula to but I imagine its appeal is limited. ;-)

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6 Lashley February 24, 2013 at 9:56 pm

I like your list and think it’s a noble pursuit – not trying to disparage any of them! I do like Aurelia, especially. Do you think most people know how to pronounce it upon reading it?

Related: My friend has a baby named Aurelie, which seems tricky (they pronounce the first syllable AR (like art, minus the T), I think to steer people away from thinking her name is “Orally.”

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7 Emily February 26, 2013 at 3:47 pm

I love Ursula!

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8 katybug February 27, 2013 at 8:33 pm

I love Veronica! It rolls off the tongue like Olivia does. Really captures the same feel. What about Vivian? They’re probably too close to be sisters, but it could be an alternative.

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9 Katherine February 24, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Hmmmm, all the Olivias I know have much trendier named siblings.

Olivia & Annabelle
Olivia, Emma, and Grace
Olivia, Zoey, Xander
Olivia, Madison, McKensy, Taylor (boy).
Olivia, Sophia, & Dawson (boy)

I like all the names you recommended, but aside from maaaybe Genevieve, I can’t seem them being used by any of the Olivia lovers I know! The names I might pair with Olivia: Lily, Sophia, Ava, Lila, Harper, and Charlotte.

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10 rosamonte February 24, 2013 at 9:36 pm

I love Aurelia and Flavia!

Adela
Alina
Aida
Antonella
Celia
Emilia
Milena
Silvana

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11 Allie February 25, 2013 at 12:29 am

Huh, for as common as I feel like the name “Olivia” is, I know very few of them!

One is the youngest of big family: Tom (presumably Thomas, though I’m not sure?), Jason, John, Julianna (real life example, Lashley!), and Olivia. The other Olivia I knew’s brother was named Atticus, which makes me wonder if they grabbed Olivia from a literary reference as well? Most likely the Shakespearean one?

Other possible sib names/alternative names …

Shakespearean connection (though some were already mentioned, just putting them here for the set): Adriana/Adria, Aeneas, Aias (Roman version of Ajax), Alice, Alexander/ra, Beatrice, Bianca, Camilla/Camille, Cassandra, Emilia, Helena, Henry/Henrietta, Leo/Leona, Lucy, Miranda, Paulina, Phebe/Phoebe, Rosalind/Rosaline, Viola, Valeria, and of course William.

Just to note, I tried to only choose Shakespearan names with decent character qualities (and left out the villians–which may have positive connotations on other individuals, so they might not be right now?).

Another note, I might caution against Sebastian since he married Olivia in Twelfth Night, even though the name would fit nicely as a sibling and it’s becoming more and more popular!

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12 You Can't Call It "It"! February 25, 2013 at 12:32 am

Love the Shakespearean take. Helena is brilliant, as are Leona, Camille, Beatrice.

That Olivia & Atticus sibset is exactly what I’m going for here. Is Olivia older or younger?

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13 Sophia February 26, 2013 at 9:41 am

Real life siblings for Olivia that I know of are:
Nicholas “Nick” and Matthew “Matt”
Tamsin (Olivia’s twin) and Xavier
Phineas

I think Olivia is really pretty, and I love it in the middle, but I definitely prefer Olive. Shame it’s off limits to me, being my sister’s name ;)

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14 You Can't Call It "It"! February 26, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Tamsin and Phineas are fantastic.

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15 Rachel March 29, 2013 at 2:14 am

Love Tamsin, but Phineas unfortunately reminds me of Phineas Nigellus, an obnoxious character from the Harry Potter books…

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16 Christina Fonseca February 27, 2013 at 12:01 am

Alternatives or siblings to Olivia that are not as common:
Alicia
Antonia
Cecilia
Elisa
Marina
Vera

Abram
Edgar
Simon
Tobias

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17 Tori L. February 28, 2013 at 10:23 pm

I know sibset of Olivia, Amelia and Chloe. Interestingly, they are all girls in their 20s now — I guess their parents were trendsetters or at least way ahead of their time.

It has often made me think what it would be like for your name to come “in” when you were a teenager or older. Provided you liked your name, would it be strange to see all these babies running around with your name, or proud to be on the very cutting edge?

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18 Blue Juniper March 2, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Olivia is my middle name, given to honour my great grandmother Olive Vera. I have to say I’d give Vera some consideration as an alternative to Olivia, as well as Olive.

From your list I love Junia, Aurelia and Ophelia!

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19 Waltzing More Than Matilda March 3, 2013 at 8:37 am

Vivienne or Viviana remind me a bit of Olivia, and the Shakespeare name I most like as Olivia’s sister is Rosalind (Viola would just be weird). I like Rupert as her brother (Sebastian would just be weird).

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20 Stef March 3, 2013 at 5:36 pm

You pretty much just rattled off my name list. My best friend is an Aurelie – love seeing it as Aurelia too.

Others on our list with a bit of the same vibe –
Coralie, Emilia, Everly, Elodie, Delphine, Cecily, Rosalie

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21 Liv March 19, 2013 at 9:08 pm

As an Olivia, I didn’t like my name when I was a kid. I grew to really like it and its uniqueness as I became an adult. I met my first “other” Olivia in my early twenties. Now I constantly am running into Olivia’s all over (all kids of course).

I like Aveline as a substitute.

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22 Junia March 27, 2013 at 7:28 am

I love the name Olivia, but can’t use it because its my dog’s name (a rescue that came with this name). My first girl is Veronica and now I’m expecting another girl and trying to figure out a name for her. We like Zoe or Clarice, but haven’t committed to it yet. Veronica was going to be Madison until we took a look at her face, and we were boh “nah… She isn’t Madison at all LOL”.

PS: I was surprised to see my name in this list. I love it, and hope it doesn’t become too popular.

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23 Rachel March 29, 2013 at 7:39 am

Love so many of the names on that list! Aurelia, Genevieve, Lavinia, Louisa, Lydia, Ophelia, Odette!!!

For alternatives to or siblings of “Olivia”, what about:

Amalia (instead of the too-popular Amelia)
Camilla
Leandra
Cordelia
or the very simple but not-currently-popular Sylvia?

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24 natalie jane April 17, 2013 at 6:35 pm

I have a Lydia and I’ve heard from several people, “Like Olivia – only prettier!”

I’m considering Lavinia for my next baby actually.

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25 maeve April 21, 2013 at 5:07 pm

I love Olympia. NN Ollie.

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26 Hillary April 22, 2013 at 4:57 pm

I adore Sylvia!

I just wanted to answer Tori’s question. As someone who’s name became very well known when I was in high school, it was pretty awesome to have a ‘famous’ name. Suddenly people could pronounce it, spell it and remember it (I’d just say “It’s Hillary, like Hillary Clinton”). Guess if I disliked Ms. Clinton I’d feel differently, but it worked out pretty well for me!

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27 Olivia April 26, 2013 at 8:56 pm

My brother’s name is Justin. I think my parents were going for names that were trendy. However, I do think it would be cool to have a twin brother, or any brother named Oliver. It would be super adorable.

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28 Megan May 2, 2013 at 3:08 am

I know a sibset of:

Olivia
Constance
Claudia

All girls in their early 20s. And British – which makes perfect sense!!

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29 Crystal June 28, 2013 at 4:30 am

My nieces name is Olivia, and her sibling is Avery (male)

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