Gender: Feminine
Origin: Latin
Meaning: “wood; forest.”

The name is a feminine form of Silvius, which is derived from the Latin silva meaning, “wood; forest.”

In Roman legend it was borne by the mother of Romulus and Remus (the founders of Rome), Rhea Silvia. It has been suggested that at one time she have been worshipped as a minor forest diety.

It was also borne by a 6th-century Italian saint credited as being the mother of St. Gregory the Great.

Before the 16th-century, Silvia’s usage was relegated to continental Europe, it gained notoriety in England after being used by Shakespeare in his 1594 play, The Two Gentleman of Verona. 

The spelling of Sylvia has been the standard in the English-speaking world since the 19th-century.

Currently, it is the 554th most popular female name in the United States, (2010). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:

# 61 (Spain, 2010)
# 282 (the Netherlands, 2010)

Other forms of the name include:

Sylviya Сыльвія (Belarusian)
Silviya Силвия (Bulgarian)
Sílvia (Catalan/Portuguese)
Silvija (Croatian/Lithuanian/Slovene)
Lesana (literally meaning “woods; forest” it is sometimes used as a Czech and Slovakian equivalent of Sylvia)
Silvie (Czech)
Silvia (Estonian/Italian/Romanian/Slovak/Spanish)
Sylvia (Finnish/English/German/Scandinavian)
Sylphide (French)
Sylvaine (French)
Sylviane (French)
Sylvie (French)
Szilvia (Hungarian)
Sylvía (Icelandic)
Silva (Italian/Slovene)
Silvestra (Italian)
Silvana (Italian/Hungarian/Slovene)
Silvania (Italian)
Silviana (Italian)
Silvina (Italian)
Silvietta (Italian)
Sylvi (Norwegian)
Sylwia (Polish)
Sil’vija Сильвия(Russian)
Silvena (Slovene)
Silvenka (Slovene)
Silverija (Slovene)
Silvica (Slovene)
Zülfiye (Turkish)
Síl”viya Сі́львія(Ukrainian)

Common diminutives include:

Silva/Silvinka (Czech)
Sylvette (French)
Silviuccia (Italian)
Lyya or Lyka (Russian)
Syl”va or Sylya (Russian)
Ylya (Russian) 

It is the name of a classical French ballet, Sylvia, ou La nymphe de Diane, (1876).

Sylvia is also the name of a species of warbler.

In recent years the name has been borne by American poet, Sylvia Plath (1932-1963), Queen Silvia of Sweden (b.1943)

Masculine forms include:

Silvije (Croatian)
Silvijo (Croatian/Slovene)
Silvio (Croatian/Italian/Portuguese/Spanish)
Sylvain (French)
Silvius (Latin)
Sylwiusz (Polish)
Silviu (Romanian)




Gender: Feminine
Origin: Lithuanian
Meaning: “forest dweller”

The name is composed of the Lithuanian elements, giria (forest) and -en (which denotes something).

The designated name-day is December 21 and November 21.


Silver, Silvère

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Latin
Meaning: “woods”
Fre (seel-VARE)

The name is derived from the Latin, Silverius, which may possibly be from the Latin word, silva, meaning “forest; woods.”

Its occasional modern usage in English speaking countries is more likely due to its association with the English for the precious metal of the same name.

The name was borne by a few early saints, the most notable be Pope Saint Silver (536-537).

Other forms of the name include:

Siveri (Catalan)
Silverije (Croatian)
Silver (English/Estonian)
Silverio (Galician/Italian/Spanish)
Sylweriusz (Polish)
Silvério (Portuguese)
Silveriu (Romanian)

The designated name-days are June 20 (France) and December 31 (Estonia).

A feminine form is the Spanish/Italian Silveria.




Gender: Feminine
Origin: Lithuanian
Meaning: “forest inhabitant; from the forest.”

The name is composed of the Lithuanian elements no-(nuo), meaning, “from” and med- (mede), meaning, “forest.” Hence “forest inhabitant; from the forest.”

The masculine form is Nomedas.

The designated name-day is January 20.

Margiris, Margier

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Lithuanian
Meaning: “forest dweller.”
Lit (mar-GEE-rees); Pol (MAR-gyare).

The name was borne by a medieval Lithuanian prince who was known for his heroic stand off at the Pilenai Fortress against the Teutonic Knights (d. 1336). Rather than be taken hostage, he and his subjects killed themselves and then burnt themselves in the fortress. There is a famous epic Polish poem which chronicles his exploits, entitled Margier it was written in 1855 by Wladyslaw Syrokmla. Seldom heard in Poland today, the name is still fairly common in Lithuania and its designated feast day is July 12.