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The first name 

Oliver is a male first name. In very rare cases it is also used for girls.

The name Oliver is very popular!

The first name Oliver is one of the top 100 most popular boys names in the US – currently at #12 in our SmartGenius ranking. Over 1,000 babies each year are named Oliver, accounting for approximately 0.70 % of all newborn boys. In the entire USA, approximately 213,541 people – children, adults and seniors – currently bear the name Oliver. That is 0.06 % of all living Americans.

You won't believe all there is 
to discover about the name

What does the name 
Oliver mean?

For the first name Oliver, the origin is not definitively clear. There are three possible origins for the name. Oliver possibly comes from Scandinavian and is derived from Olaf. This would give the meaning ‘descendant of the great-grandson’. A descent from the Old High German name ‘Alfhari’ is also probable, which means something like ‘warrior of the nature beings’. Another origin could be the Latin ‘Olivarius’, which translated means ‘olive tree planter’.

Oliver is name with many famous namesakes

A comedian

Oliver Hardy (1892 - 1957)
Hardy was a U.S. comedian and actor best known as part of the comedy duo Laurel and Hardy. He was the heavy but good-natured half of the duo. Together they made more than 100 films. Besides acting, Hardy was also a talented musician.

A regisseur and producent

Oliver Stone (*1946)
Oliver Stone is an American director, screenwriter and producer best known for his political films. Stone has directed a variety of films, including 'Platoon' (1986), 'Born on the Fourth of July' (1989) and 'Natural Born Killers' (1994). He has also worked on a few series and has received several awards for his works.

A neurologist

Oliver Sacks (1933 - 2015)
Oliver Sacks was a British-US neurologist and author. He is best known for his work as a neurologist and for his books, which are often about his patients and their rare neurological disorders. Some of his best known books are 'The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat' (1985) and 'Awakenings' (1973), a film adaptation of the book with the same name premiered in 1990 with Robin Williams and Robert de Niro in lead roles.

A fictional character and a book

Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist is the eponymous main character of the Charles Dickens novel 'Oliver Twist'. The novel was published as a book in 1838 and tells the story of the orphan boy Oliver Twist, who grows up in the poorhouses and streets of London and is eventually drawn into the world of crime. The novel is considered one of the most important works of world literature.

A soccer goalkeeper

Oliver Kahn (*1969)
Oliver Kahn is a former German soccer player, who played as goalkeeper. Kahn has received many awards and honors during his career, including the title of 'Germany's Footballer of the Year' eight times and the 'Golden Goalkeeper' (best goalkeeper in Europe) three times. He also won the 'Golden Ball' (best player of the tournament) at the 2002 FIFA World Cup. He is considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

A fictional superhero

Oliver Queen
Oliver Queen is a fictional superhero known in the role as 'Green Arrow'. He is a character from the DC Comics universe. His character has appeared in various media, including comics, television series, and movies. He is known for his political views and his role as 'Liberal Robin Hood', often fighting against social injustice and corruption.

Go on a journey to places 
with your name

When you hear the name Oliver, you might first think of people. But did you know that there are also places with the name Oliver? Are you also called Oliver? Maybe one day you will visit the places that are named just like you...

In England,...

more precisely in Warwickshire, you can find the Oliver Lodge Building, named after the English physicist and author Oliver Lodge.

A glacier

In the Antarctic Ross Dependency there is the Oliver Glacier. The glacier was named after glaciologist Edward J. Oliver in 1966.

Several places...

are named Oliver, like a small town in British Columbia, Canada, known as the Wine Capital of Canada.

Oliver Bridge

The steel truss bridge was completed in 1939 and spans the Saint Louis River in Duluth, Minnesota. It is named after Oliver Traphagen, a prominent lawyer and businessman.

Oliver -
a popular traditional name in the U.S.

History tends to focus on the most famous and the best. But even those who play second fiddle leave their mark: Oliver is one of those names without which the orchestra would be incomplete. In fact, Oliver has reached the SmartGenius top ranking of #3 more than once - and again, not too long ago, the last time being in 2022. But even though the peak of popularity was not so long ago, the name Oliver has been given to newborn boys every year since records began. Oliver is a name of exceptional, enduring popularity, carrying the special vibes of the 20th century into the 21st.

In years where the graph has no value, the name Oliver was given less than five times or even none at all in the entire USA.

Oliver has arrived in the 21st century

The popularity of the traditional name Oliver peaked only recently: the name has definitely arrived in the 21st century. Oliver has made it into the top ten more than once, in 2022 it was #3 in our statistics: the chances of meeting a Oliver are pretty high these days. Traditional names often prove to be perennial favorites, so who knows, maybe Oliver will eventually become one of the most popular names of all time.

Oliver -
well known in all states of the USA, most popular in Utah

There are only 386 different male names registered in every single state in the U.S., and Oliver is one of them. However, Oliver is not equally widespread in all states, but people in Utah seem to particularly fancy this name – the 3,759 men called Oliver who live here are 0,276% of all male residents and push their name up to #81 in our SmartGenius statistics, easily placing it in the top 100 most common male names in Utah. If you look at all the states in the USA together, you can currently find as many as 213,541 people with the name Oliver. Across all regions and age groups, this lands Oliver on position 165 in our SmartGenius ranking of the top male names – of course, the current popularity as a baby name for newborns looks somewhat different, as you can see from the statistics above.

Oliver has 6 letters 
and begins with an O

Well, you might say, you probably figured that out yourself! But what you might not know is: The letter O is pretty rare as an initial letter for boys' names: only 1.8% of all common boys' names in the US begin with an O. The most common first letters of boys' names, by the way, are J, A and D, while X, U and Q are the least common initials of boys' names.

With six letters, the name Oliver is of average length. In fact, 28% of all common first names in the US consist of exactly six letters. 24% of all first names are shorter, while 48% have seven letters or more. On average, first names in the US (not counting hyphenated names) are 6.5 letters long. There are no significant differences between boys' and girls' names.

That means that since 1.8% of all boys’ names begin with an O, this initial occurs only about half as often as the other letters on average. Nevertheless, there are of course single names beginning with an O, which are quite popular

Other names with 
O, l, i, v, e and r

If you take all the letters in the name Oliver – O, l, i, v, e and r – and put them together again, you can form another name, such as Orvile.

With hands, flags and sounds 
How to say Oliver

If your name is Oliver and someone asks after your name, you can of course just tell them what it is. But sometimes that isn't so easy - what if it's too loud, and you don't understand them well? Or what if the other person is so far away that you can see them but not hear them? In these situations, you can communicate your name in so many other ways: you call spell it, sign it, or even use a flag to wave it...

This is how you spell the name Oliver

So that everyone really understands you when you have to spell the name Oliver, you can simply say:







This is how the name Oliver is spelled in the NATO phonetic alphabet

The NATO alphabet often helps people spell words on the phone or radio when there are communication problems.

How do you write Oliver in Braille?

Braille is made up of dots, which the blind and visually impaired can feel to read words.



You want to tell a deaf person that your name is Oliver

Just use American Sign Language!

The name Oliver is particularly colorful in the Semaphore flag signaling system!

These flags are used for maritime communication - each flag represents a letter.


Have you ever waved the name Oliver

In the navy, sailors of two ships might wave flags to each other to send messages. A sailor holds two flags in specific positions to represent different letters.


Beeping like crazy...

In Morse code, letters and other characters are represented only by a series of short and long tones. For example, a short tone followed by a long tone stands for the letter A. Oliver sounds like this: