Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Yvonne

Yvonne (like Yvette) is a French female name, the feminine equivalent of Yves. The French Yves developed from the Medieval French “Ivo” (an older version of Yves), from the Germanic element “iwa” meaning “yew”. Many etymologists believe the Germanic version was ultimately borrowed from an ancient Gaulish (Celtic) word for the yew tree, “ivos”. The yew tree was sacred to the ancient Celts and revered almost as highly as the oak. They believed the yew symbolized immortality and had certain mystical powers (which is why the ancient Celtic Druids used wood from the yew tree in the construction of their “magic” wands). There were two important Saint Ivos (Yves) in France, one in the 11th century and one in the 13th century, the latter being a patron saint of Brittany (a Celtic community in northwest France). It was these two holy men who helped perpetuate the names Ivo and then Yves throughout France in the Middle Ages. Yvon originally developed as a masculine diminutive of Ivo in the Middle Ages and Yvonne became the female form. As a diminutive, Yvonne could be said to mean “little yew”. The English embraced this name in the 19th century, although it’s no longer popular today.

All About the Baby Name – Yvonne

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME YVONNE

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 YVONNE

We know Yvonne dates back as far as we have available data (1880). By the turn of the 20th century, she was a moderately favorite name. Her popularity continued and she saw most of her success in the 1930s (the highest position she ever achieved was #77 on the charts in 1937). While Yvonne only held Top 100 status for about five years, the name held fast to the charts until the mid-1990s. For some mysterious reason, the name went out of fashion quickly. 2002 marks the last year Yvonne would claim Top 1000 status; in fact, only 132 baby girls were named Yvonne in 2012 (compared to a modestly better 152 for Yvette). It’s unclear what sent Yvonne into her freefall decline and off the American radar. She’s a perfectly charming, old-fashioned French name. We also love the Celtic connection to the “yew” tree – very magical!

Quick Facts

ON YVONNE

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

French

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

N/A

PRONUNCIATION:

ee-VON

SIMPLE MEANING:

Yew

Characteristics

OF YVONNE

Freedom-loving

Adventurous

Adaptable

Intellectual

Easygoing

Progressive

Sensual

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Yvonne

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME YVONNE

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

Popular Songs

ON YVONNE

Yvonne
a song by The Saw Doctors

Famous People

NAMED YVONNE

Yvonne Meusburger (Austrian tennis player)
Yvonne De Carlo (actress)
Yvonne Elliman (singer)
Yvonne Craig (ballet dancer/actress)
Yvonne Strahovski (Australian actress)
Yvonne Arnaud (musical actress)

Children of Famous People

NAMED YVONNE

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

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME YVONNE

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