Vivian (given name)
|Region of origin||Western Christianity (Western Roman Empire)|
|Related names||Vivien, Viviane, Vivienne, Vivianne|
|Look up Vivian in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
Vivian is a given name, originally a Latin name of the Roman Empire period, masculine Vivianus and feminine Viviana, which survived into modern use because it is the name of two early Christian female martyrs as well as of a male saint and bishop.
History and variants
The Latin name Vivianus is recorded from the 1st century. It is ultimately related to the adjective vivus "alive", but it is formed from the compound form vivi- and the adjectival -ānus suffix used to form cognomina.
The latinate given name Vivianus was of limited popularity in the medieval period in reference to Saint Vivianus, a 5th-century bishop of Saintes; the feminine name was that of Saint Viviana (Bibiana), a 4th-century martyr whose veneration in Rome is ascertained for the 5th century.
The name was brought to England with the Norman invasion (occasionally recorded in England in the 12th and 13th centuries). The masculine given name appears with greater frequency in the Early Modern period. The spelling Vivian was historically used only as a masculine name, but has in the 19th century was also given to girls and was a unisex name until the early part of the 20th century; since the mid 20th century, it has been almost exclusively given as a feminine name in the United States. Use of Vivian as a feminine name in the US peaked in popularity in 1920 at rank 64, but declined in the second half of the 20th century, falling below rank 500 in the 1980s. Its popularity has again picked up somewhat since the 1990s, as of 2012 having attained rank 140.
Variants of the feminine name include Viviana, Viviane, Vivienne. The French feminine spelling Vivienne in the United States has peaked sharply in recent years from below rank 1,000 (no statistical record) to rank 322 in the period 2009–2012. The Italian or Latin form Viviana has enjoyed some popularity since the 1990s, reaching rank 322 in 2000. The spelling Vivien is the French masculine form, but in English speaking countries it has long been used as a feminine form, due to its appearance as the name of the Arthurian Lady of the Lake in Tennyson's Idylls of the King of 1859. For the masculine name, the variant Vyvyan has sometimes been used, based on the Cornish surname itself derived from the given name. The intermediary form Vyvian is also occasionally found.
The Gaelic name Ninian has sometimes been identified as a corruption of Vivian, but it is now considered more likely derived from Welsh Nynniaw, which is itself of uncertain origin, but likely renders Nennius. Bébinn is an unrelated, genuinely Gaelic name which has on occasion been rendered as Vivian in English.
As a surname
The given name Vivian was introduced to Norman England in the 11th or 12th century and over time gave rise to a variety of British surnames, including Videan, Vidgen, Vidgeon, Fiddian, Fidgeon, Phythian.
The Vyvyan family has been a prominent family of Cornwall since the 16th century. The Vyvyan baronetcy was created in the Baronetage of England for Sir Richard Vyvyan in 1645. Baron Vivian was created in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1841.
Vivian has been used as a surname in the United States and Canada since at least the 1830s, presumably derived from the Cornish surname. Notable bearers of the surname include Weston E. Vivian (b. 1924); C. T. Vivian (b. 1924).
List of individuals with the name
Masculine given name
- Vivianus, a Roman jurist who flourished in the late 1st or early 2nd century AD, often cited by Ulpian and by Paulus.
- Flavius Vivianus (fl. 460), politician of the Eastern Roman Empire
- Saint Vivianus (d. 490), the first known bishop of Saintes
- Vivian Van Damm (1895-1960), English Impresario of the Windmill Theatre, London
- Vivian Jackson (1946–2010), Jamaican reggae musician also known as Yabby You
- Vivian ("Viv") Richards (born 1952), Antiguan cricketer and sports commentator
- Vivian Blake (1956–2010), Jamaican criminal
- Vivian Balakrishnan (born 1961), Singaporean politician (in Chinese, the name is rendered 維文, pinyin wéi-wén)
- Vivian Campbell (born 1962), Northern Irish heavy metal guitarist
- Vivian Harris (born 1978), Guyanese boxer
- Jean-Baptiste Vivien de Châteaubrun (1686-1775), French dramatist
- Vivien Thomas (1910-1985), American surgical technician
- Marc-Vivien Foé (1975-2003), Cameroonian footballer
- Vyvyan Holland, born Vyvyan Oscar Beresford Wilde (1886–1967), English author/translator, second son of Oscar Wilde and Constance Lloyd
- Lieutenant-General Vyvyan Pope (1891–1941), World War II British Army officer
- Captain Sir Vyvyan Holt (1896–1960), British soldier, diplomat, and Oriental scholar
- Major-General Vyvyan Evelegh (1898–1958), World War II British army officer
- Vyvyan Adams (1900–1951), British Conservative Party politician
- Vyvyan Evans, Professor of Linguistics
- Vyvian Pike (born 1969), English cricketer
As a pseudonym or nickname
- "Vivian" was a nickname given to Chaim Herzog in the 1940s.
- Vivian Stanshall, stage name of Victor Anthony Stanshall (1943–1995), English comedic musician
Feminine given name
Late Antiquity (spelling may differ depending on tradition)
- Vivian Dandridge (1921–1991), American actress
- Vivian Green (born 1980), American R&B singer
- Vivian Joseph (born 1948), American figure skater
- Vivian Vance (1909–1979), American actress
- Vivien Cardone (b. 1993), American actress
- Vivien Duffield (b. 1946), British philanthropist
- Vivien Leigh, born Vivian Mary Hartley (1913–1967), English Academy Award-winning actress
spelling Viviana or Viviane
- Viviane ("Vivi") Fernandez (b. 1977), Brazilian model
- Vivienne Boyd (1926–2011), New Zealand politician
- Vivienne Chandler (b. 1947), French actress and photographer
- Vivienne de Watteville (1900–1957), United Kingdom author
- Violet Vivienne ("Vivi") Goonewarden (1916–1996), Sri Lankan politician
- Vivienne Segal (1897–1992) American actress
- Vivienne Spence (b. 1965), Jamaican track and field athlete
- Vivienne Trumpy, stage name Vivi Gioi (1917–1975), Italian actress
- Vivienne Westwood (b. 1941), English fashion designer
- Vyvyane Loh, Chinese Hui-Shien, Malaysian-American novelist, choreographer, and physician
hypocoristic Vivi (used as given name in Scandianavia)
- Vivi-Anne Hultén (1911–2003), Swedish figure skater
- Vivi Bach (1939–2013), Danish actress and singer
- Vivi Flindt (born 1943), Danish ballerina
- Vivi Friedman (1967–2012), Finnish film director
- Vivi Krogh (born 1919), Norwegian anti-immigration activist
As a pseudonym or adopted name
- Vivian Chow, Chinese 周慧敏 Zhōu Huìmǐn (born 1967), Hong Kong singer and actress
- Vivian Hsu, Chinese 徐若瑄 Xú Ruòx (born 1975), Taiwanese singer, actress and model
- Vivienne Poy, Chinese 利德蕙 (Ley6 Dak1-wai6) (b. 1941)
- Vivienne Tam, Chinese 譚燕玉 (Tán Yànyù), Hong Kong fashion designer (b. 1957)
- Tennyson used the name Vivien for the Lady of the Lake in his Idylls of the King (1859).
- Vivian Alamain Kiriakis, a character on the American soap opera Days of our Lives
- Vivien Harmon, one of the main characters in the American TV show, American Horror Story
- Vivian Volkoff, daughter of the main antagonist of Chuck's season four.
- Vivian Joan Abbot Walker, one of the main characters of the novel Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells.
- Vyvyan Basterd, the "headbanger" character (played by Ade Edmondson) in the British comedy series The Young Ones.
- Vivian Ward, the title character (a prostitute) in the American movie, Pretty Woman (played by Julia Roberts).
- Vivian Banks, or "Aunt Viv" character (played by Janet Hubert-Whitten and Daphne Maxwell Reid) in the American comedy series "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"
- Vivian Sternwood, General Sternwood's oldest daughter and a key figure in Raymond Chandler's hardboiled crime novel The Big Sleep.
- Vivian Smith-Smythe-Smith, a character from the Monty Python sketch called Upper Class Twit of the Year
- Bruce W. Frier, Thomas A. J. McGinn, Thomas A. McGinn, A Casebook on Roman Family Law, Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 477.
- compare vivi-parus "viviparous", vivi-fico "vivify"; also vividus "vivid".
- "Vivian" at Behind the Name
- "Vivienne" at Behind the Name
- "Viviana" at Behind the Name
- "Vivien" at Behind the Name
- HouseOfNames.com[unreliable source?] "Richard Vivian was a planter of Careless Harbour, Newfoundland, in 1830".
- William Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology Volume 3, 1849, p. 1279
- List of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air characters
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