Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Clive

Clive is the transferred use of an Anglo-Saxon surname into a masculine personal name. It comes from the Olde English “clif” meaning “cliff, steep slope” – this location-based surname would have been assigned to men who hailed from a town established on or near a cliff or steep riverbank.  There are several places in England so-called Cliff or Cliffe in the counties of Yorkshire, Hampshire and Kent (to name a few). There are several variant spellings of this medieval surname including Cliff, Cleft, Cleeves, Clive, etc. and it made its first appearance in the Domesday Book of 1084 in the form of “de Cliua.”  As a personal name, it seems that the First Baron of Clive, Robert Clive (aka Clive of India), influenced usage in the late 18th century.  He played a huge role in the establishment of British India which generated great wealth for the English Monarchy through the formation of the East India Company (which would soon control half the world’s trade).  Another famous name bearer was C.S. Lewis (Clive Staples Lewis), author of The Chronicles of Narnia series.  There’s something about Clive that just sounds so, so British to us. It’s so quintessential English – sort of like Nigel, Graham and Simon. 

All About the Baby Name – Clive

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME CLIVE

Romance is the hallmark of the Six personality. They exude nurturing, loving, and caring energy. Sixes are in love with the idea of love in its idealized form - and with their magnetic personalities, they easily draw people toward them. Like the number Two personality, they seek balance and harmony in their life and the world at large. They are conscientious and service-oriented, and a champion for the underdog. These personalities naturally attract money and are usually surrounded by lovely material objects - but their human relationships are always primary. They thrive in giving back to others rather than being motivated by their own desires. This is when they achieve great things. Sixes are natural teachers, ministers and counselors.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME CLIVE

Clive is a pretty rare name. It’s only achieved Top 1000 status a few times around the turn of the 20th century and again in the 1930s. But for the most part, this one has been off the American radar. In fact, only 56 baby boys were given the name Clive in 2013.  English actor Clive Owen has brought a little more attention to this name, although not enough to jump-start usage. Still, we like it.  Clive is a solid name – one-syllable, dignified and a tiny bit dangerous (think: cliff).   
 
 

Quick Facts

ON CLIVE

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

1

RANKING POPULARITY:

N/A

PRONUNCIATION:

KLYVE

SIMPLE MEANING:

Cliff

Characteristics

OF CLIVE

Humanitarian

Community-minded

Family-oriented

Loving

Affectionate

Compassionate

Sensitive

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Clive

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME CLIVE

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Clive

Popular Songs

ON CLIVE

We cannot find any popular or well-known songs with the name of Clive


Famous People

NAMED CLIVE

C.S. Lewis (English author)
Clive Owen (English actor)
Clive Barker (English filmmaker)
Clive Anderson (English TV host)
Clive Cussler (American author)

Children of Famous People

NAMED CLIVE

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Clive

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME CLIVE

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Clive