12 July 2010

What's In a Name?

My first name is Olivia.

In Latin, it means "olive tree", thus my screen name.
In Italian it means the same.
An olive branch often means a peaceful meeting (especially in war). Thus, another meaning of my name is "peace".
It is a variation of Olga, a Scandinavian name that means "holy".
It is also a variation of a German name (can't remember what) meaning "elf army".
It is believed to be first used by Shakespeare, in his play Twelfth Night.

I like my name. It's pretty. It sounds exotic. (Unfortunately, many other parents apparently felt the same, so there are an awful lot of Olivias floating around my area... but that's another story altogether.)

Your name pretty much decides who you are. My parents or people who know me from when I was young call me Liv, though I don't like the nickname so much now. My friends call me Livvi or just plain Olivia. Eskän calls me Olive or Olive Tree, even at school. My grandfather tried to call me Ollie for a while, but I decided to just not respond to such a degrading nickname, so that died out.

Names are very important to me. When I have a new character I need a name for, I look up something that has meaning. For example: in my novel (which I am almost done with!) the villain, who is of Gypsy descent, is originally called Pattin. Pattin is an old Gypsy name that means "leaf". He starts out as a sweet little boy who loves the forest. Eventually (I shan't reveal how!) he becomes misguidingly evil and changes his name to Zorrorian Reguli, which in Terrian Elvish means "King of All" (which is what he believes himself to be). Even a simple name like "Katie" has to have some sort of meaning for me.

So who are you? Look in the mirror; does your reflection match your name?

Incidentally, all this speak of names has made me put up a poll regarding my screen name. Go check it out in the sidebar. :)


  1. Olivia... one of my best friends is called that! I never knew a name could have so much meaning. Mine in Latin means "victorious", which sounds a lot like my name itself! Bet you can guess it ;)

  2. I love your name...I think it matches your personality from what I can see.

    My name - Carlotta - means "free man" in Italian...I guess that sort of describes me. I hate being tied down by other people...I love being free.

  3. Latin and Italian names are always the prettiest, I think. :)

  4. I agree, I love latin and italian names. That's why I chose Laurea. It means "crowned with laurel' in Latin. I like it. :)


  5. I have no clue what my name means, but I am off to go look it up now haah! I know the feeling, there are SO many "Samantha"s. I had one in all my classes one year haha!

    BTW Looking back on your posts, I AM SO jealous you met Taylor Swift!!! I have been to 2 of her concerts and we were close, but not that clse!!!!!

  6. My (real) name is Greek, but I shan't reveal more than that! :) My pen name, Elizabeth Rose, means "Oath of God" and "Of the rose blossom."

    Olivia is a very pretty and exotic name. Names can have such meaningful backgrounds and such, and I, too, like to think my characters' names out well, trying to make connections between the meanings and the character's personality. It's actually a very enjoyable pastime for me. My favorites are flower names, which is why I have the name "Rose" for my pen name. I also love the name Violet.

    In Christ,
    Lizzy Rose

  7. Don't forget Hebrew names. They've got some pretty gorgeous ones. ;) I love my name, and I know exactly what you mean about names! When I'm writing, I can' write if my character's name doesn't fit. As in, I don't know who the character is until I've got the name right. It just seems wrong. Have you ever tried Nymblr? Oh, goodness, its amazing. There's so much power to names. And I've found that what your name means, you usually resemble. I believe that I am Hannah. :)

  8. Whoops! I forgot to tell what my name means. ;-)

    From the Hebrew name חַנָּה (Channah) which meant "favour" or "grace". Hannah was the mother of the prophet Samuel in the Old Testament. As an English name, Hannah was not regularly used until after the Protestant Reformation. The Greek and Latin version Anna is used in the New Testament and was traditionally more widely used as a Christian name.
    Excerpted from behind the name

    Other translatiosn include...
    # Hannah is a personal name, also spelt Hanna, Hana, or Chana, deriving from the Hebrew language חַנָּה (Channah), meaning "He (God) has favoured me/favours me (i.e. with a child)." or "gracious". ...

    Hannah (חנה, also occasionally transliterated as Chana; )) is a prophet and the wife of Elkanah mentioned in the Books of Samuel. According to the Hebrew Bible she was the mother of Samuel. The Hebrew word "Hannah" has many meanings and interpretations, including "beauty" and "passion".
    taken from google

    In Europe the name is highly popular in Germany and is believed to have originated from the Irish-Gaelic name Aine which means brilliance taken from blurtit

    Yeah...I like my name. :-)

  9. Thanks for leaving that comment! I just added it to the blog! Thank you!


  10. I have no idea what my name means in Italian or Latin. LOL =D That was a beautiful post, Olive! :-)

  11. My name-- Sofia, means wise, and that makes me smile. It makes me feel like I should live up to my name, makes me feel like I should try harder in school. Its also the name of a city, which is close to the top of my Places to Travel list. In Madagascar there is the River Sofia. And in the north region of the country, there is a region Sofia. I think thats really cool. I hadn't researched it until just now, and I found that out.

    I have a friend named Oliva too. She was super excited when, a couple of months ago, she discovered her name means "elf army" because she claims that she always knew she was elvish.


  12. I love the name Olivia:). Coincidentally it's also the name of one of my closest friendsXD

  13. I have a couple friends named Olivia and I call them all Livvy. And we are reading Twelfth Night in school this coming year!
    My name means "eternal ruler" in Norse and "complete ruler" in Scandinavian. I guess this kind of describes me, because I am a little bossy, but I like the meaning because it makes me feel like a queen.
    My name is pretty uncommon, but even more uncommon is my middle name which means "born of fire". I like this name too, even more so because one of my favorite characters on a show that I watch has the name for a last name.
    Okay, puzzle time! To find out my middle name, use this code: sentence:word:letter


    So see if you can try to figure it out ;)

  14. My name, Bethany means "place of figs" and it's a town near Jerusalem. I think its not really ment to discribe someone though :)

  15. My name "Brooke" Means what you might think it means: One who lives near a brook. Also meaning "Stream". I was actually thinking about changing my blog name to either "Brooke" or "Stream" myself.
    I think my name fits me very well, and your name fits you too I think!


  16. Very neat post, Olive Tree! I too love my name. I've met some Emma's but I still think it's unique and has a nice ring to it!
    I'm quite the opposite with my names in novels... if I want a new one, I pick one with... *a nice ring to it.* I guess I just like neat-sounding names!

  17. I go by The Golden Eagle and I'm not going to say my real name, but I think it means "One who brings good news" which I like. My middle name means "Treasure" in another language. :)

  18. Pretty sure my first name means "Beautiful woman" and my middle means "God is gracious" so combining the two, it's sort of like "Beautiful Grace." Which is what I'm thinking of calling my photography.

  19. My real name, which I will not tell, means "wise child," "pure" and "who is like God?" (which is funny because apparently my middle name means that as well). I completely agree about names having a LOT of meaning and importance in defining who we are.

  20. As far as characters in my books go, I usually pick a name that has something to do with the character. For example, one of my characters is named Anila which is a name that means "wind, air" Anila can control the air and is very breezy and happy.
    I also take names that I think are cool and usually spell them a different way, like Elyian, Ellian, etc.
    One of my all-time favorite names is Stella, which means "star."
    I also like Welsh names, like Arianrhod (silver wheel), Talaith (fair maiden), or Rhiannon (great queen).
    Another rule I use is scrambling/adding letters in a name. A part of my screen name, Akire, is a scramble of my real first name. Another part of my screen name is Kayana, which comes from the second part of my middle name, plus "ana".

  21. I really like this post!
    You have a lovely blog :D

  22. My first name: Caylee apparently means "slender, and then next to that the word French was in parentheses and it also said my name meant "From the forest." I thought that was pretty interesting. :)

  23. Sadly, when ever I look up my name, it comes up as the 'other' version. But my middle name, Chloe, means verdant and blooming. :)

  24. My name is Abigail, which means 'Father's Joy'


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