About OliverGo back to names list
From the French name, Olivier, recorded as the name of one of Charlemagne’s retainers, the close companion in arms of Roland in the Chanson de Roland. Whereas Roland is headstrong and rash, Oliver is thoughtful and cautious. Ostensibly this name derives from Late Latin olivarius ‘olive tree’, but Charlemagne’s other paladins all bear solidly Germanic names, so it is more probably an altered form of a Germanic name, perhaps distantly connected with Old Norse Oleifr ‘ancestral relic’. It has remained in more or less continuous use since the medieval period, becoming increasingly popular since the 1980’s. Famous bearers include Oliver Cromwell (politician), Oliver Bierhoff (footballer) and Oliver Twist (fictitious character in novel of the same name).