Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Vivian

Vivian started out as a boy’s name via an Old French form of the Latin name Vivianus which comes from “vivus” meaning ‘alive.’ St. Vivian was an important 5th century French bishop who protected and provided relief to his countrymen during the Visigoth invasions. The name was popularized in France during the Middle Ages when names were taken from saints and important Biblical figures as a protective measure for children. However, today, the name is more commonly female. Although the Normans brought the name to England after the Conquest of 1066, Vivian was popularized in England in the 19th century as a female name thanks to Lord Alfred Tennyson’s “Merlin and Vivien” published in 1859. In the poem, Vivien is the duplicitous enchantress of the wizard Merlin from the Arthurian Legends. From this Celtic perspective, the name “Béibhinn” (pronounced Vevin) means ‘sweet, melodious lady’ or ‘fair lady’ which would fit nicely for this seductress who worked her charms on Merlin.

All About the Baby Name – Vivian

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME VIVIAN

The number Five personality loves the excitement of life and can easily adapt to all situations. As natural adventurers, these personalities thrive on the new and unexpected and prefer to be in constant motion. It makes them feel alive. They'll stir up some action if there's not enough around, and as inherent risk-takers they enjoy pushing the envelope. Naturally rebellious, the Five personality has no fear and never resists change.  Traveling and new experiences feed their souls. Fives are very social and attract friends with ease. People love to be around the Five fun-loving and exciting energy.  This is also a lucky number in numerology (like the Threes), so fortune seems to shine on them, helped along by their own optimism and good-nature. Fives have a quick wit, a cerebral mind, and are generally very persuasive. 

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME VIVIAN

Vivian is another example of an old-fashioned girl’s name in America that is currently experiencing a revival in popularity. The name has been in use since the late 19th century when the U.S. government began tracking naming trends. The height of her popularity came in the teens, 20s and up to the mid 1930s when Vivian was a Top 100 choice for baby girls. The name fell off the Top 100 list in 1935 and she has yet to recapture that level of glory. The stronger-sounding Vivian does not quite have the same antique charm as some of the other recently revitalized names (Olivia, Emma or Lily, for instance), but she has a sophisticated French flair (like Adrienne or Jeanne) that sets her apart. Vivian is sort of like Eleanor – they both want to follow their old-lady counterparts to the top of the charts, but they haven’t quite emerged as wholly contemporary and modern yet. Vivian is taking her time. This name has more life in her than meets the eye. Don’t take your eye off this “sweet, fair lady” because Vivian is on the brink of coming “alive.”

Quick Facts

ON VIVIAN

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

Celtic

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

3

RANKING POPULARITY:

119

PRONUNCIATION:

VI-vee-әn

SIMPLE MEANING:

Alive, vibrant

Characteristics

OF VIVIAN

Freedom-loving

Adventurous

Adaptable

Intellectual

Easygoing

Progressive

Sensual

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Vivian

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME VIVIAN

Vivian is a character in "Merlin and Vivien”, one of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s Idylls of the King based on the Arthurian legends, and published between 1856 and 1885. She insinuates herself into the court at Camelot, and, failing to seduce Arthur, sets her cap for Merlin. Her purpose is to discredit what she perceives to be the corruption of Camelot, and she intends to destroy Merlin by convincing him to teach her a charm that will imprison him forever. As portrayed by Tennyson, she is evil hearted and bent upon destruction of all that is good, drenched in symbolism harking back to the Biblical passages on Eve, the destroyer of mankind. We’d like to give her the benefit of the doubt – she was, after all, born on a battlefield where her parents died at Arthur’s hands. Perhaps just a little revenge is in order, and if a magician-by-trade is no match for her, well, more fool him!

Popular Songs

ON VIVIAN

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


Famous People

NAMED VIVIAN

Vivien Leigh (born Vivian Mary Hartley, actress)
Vivian Green (American R&B singer)
Vivian Dandridge (actress/singer)
Vivian Hsu (Taiwanese singer/actress/model)
Vivian Joseph (figure skater)
Vivian Vance (actress)
Vivien Leigh (born Vivian Mary Hartley, actress)
Vivian Green (American R&B singer)
Vivian Dandridge (actress/singer)
Vivian Hsu (Taiwanese singer/actress/model)
Vivian Joseph (figure skater)
Vivian Vance (actress)
Vivien Leigh (born Vivian Mary Hartley, actress)
Vivian Green (American R&B singer)
Vivian Dandridge (actress/singer)
Vivian Hsu (Taiwanese singer/actress/model)
Vivian Joseph (figure skater)
Vivian Vance (actress)

Children of Famous People

NAMED VIVIAN

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

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME VIVIAN

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