Dear Amy: Where does my name come from? — Olivia, Surprise, AZ
Dear Olivia: That is a great question. There are many unique names from all over the world. Fortunately, there are websites that are designed specifically for research on names. For instance, Behind the Name,
behindthename.com, provides the origin and meaning of names through a searchable database. You may be surprised to learn that the name Olivia, as you spell it, was first used as a character name by William Shakespeare in the comedy “Twelfth Night.” Your name and its various spellings or derivatives is commonly used in 16 different countries and is ranked fourth in popularity in the United States.
It’s also fun to research other names, such as a sibling’s or a classmate’s. You may think that a name like Michael, for example, originated in the United States; however, it dates back to biblical times. As you are conducting your research, click the Show Family Tree link to find out just how old your name is. You can also click on See All Relations to view names that are similar to yours. You’ll have a lot of fun learning interesting facts to share with family and friends.