Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Vivienne

Vivienne is the common female French form of Vivian, original a boy’s name via an Old French form of the Late Latin 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, and Vivienne is a more elaborate version of the original. 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 bee-VEEN) means ‘sweet, melodious lady’ or ‘fair lady’ which would fit nicely for this seductress who worked her charms on Merlin. The more fanciful spelling of Vivienne is mainly French and developed as a more defined female name.

All About the Baby Name – Vivienne

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME VIVIENNE

The number one personality is a leader - strong and competitive. They are willing to initiate action and take risks. One personalities work hard toward their endeavors and have the ability to apply their creative and innovative thinking skills with strong determination. They believe in their ability to succeed and are too stubborn to be hindered by obstacles. Ones meet obstacles head-on with such mental vigor and energy that you better step aside. They resent taking orders, so don't try telling them what to do either. This is an intensely active personality, but they are also known as starters rather than finishers. They have a propensity to become bored and will move quickly to the next project if not properly challenged.  They are the ones to think up and put into action new and brilliant ideas, but they are not the ones to stick around and manage them. This personality has an enthusiastic and pioneering spirit. They are distinctly original.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME VIVIENNE

Vivienne is currently riding the wave of popularity reintroduced by her more commonly spelled sister Vivian. Both are exemplary of the revival interest in more old-fashioned girl names gaining much popularity in today’s naming practices (Olivia, Emma and Sophia, for example). The more elaborate spelling of Vivienne experienced relative low popularity in America during the 19-teens and 20s, but then retreated to obscurity for the next nearly 80 years. The name would not reappear on the charts again until 2009. Not coincidentally, in July 2008 the well-known and much-admired actress/activist Angelina Jolie gave birth to twins: Knox Léon and Vivienne Marcheline. This celebrity influence (like many others) helped to jump start Vivienne back onto the female naming charts. Whether you prefer Vivienne, Vivien or Vivian, all three are gorgeous French-inspired versions of an originally “lively” Latin medieval name. The more fanciful or Francophile parent will prefer Vivienne as a more sophisticated choice, while the nickname Vivi brings her down to earth. The ‘vibrant’ meaning behind the name gives her a sassy quality that’s hard to deny. Two famous name bearers and fashion designers, Vivienne Westwood and Vivienne Tam, provide an artistic edge to this classical beauty.

Quick Facts

ON VIVIENNE

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

French

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

3

RANKING POPULARITY:

280

PRONUNCIATION:

VI-vee-әn

SIMPLE MEANING:

Alive, vibrant, and lively

Characteristics

OF VIVIENNE

Independent

Individualistic

Ambitious

Strong-willed

Inventive

Successful

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Vivienne

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME VIVIENNE

Popular Songs

ON VIVIENNE

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


Famous People

NAMED VIVIENNE

Vivienne Tam (designer)
Vivienne Westwood (designer)
Vivienne Patricia "Patti" Scialfa (musician)

Children of Famous People

NAMED VIVIENNE

Brangelina; Rosie O'Donnell;

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME VIVIENNE

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