For many, the name Vivian probably brings to mind the silverscreen and beautiful leading ladies like Vivien Leigh, however, both Vivian and Vivien are masculine forms, though they have not ranked in the U.S. top 1000 for males, for the policy of defining a legitimate name, I have decided to list both Vivian and Vivien as male forms, while Viviane and Vivienne are legitimate feminine forms. In fact, Vivien is still considered a male form in France. Currently, Vivian ranks in the U.S. top 1000 female names as the 207th most popular female name for 2008, with the rising popularity of such vintage names like Ava and Sophie, this one might rise, plus add to the mix that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt recently named a child Vivienne.
The name is derived from Vivianus, which is derived from the Latin word vivus meaning “alive.” The name was borne by two saints, one an early Christian martyr, known as St. Viviana or St. Bibiana, the other a French Bishop who was known for providing protection against the Visigothic invasion.
In addition, in some Arthurian legends, the Lady of the Lake is sometimes given the name Viviane.
The name-days are June 2nd (Estonia) and December 2nd.
Other forms of the name include: (divided alphabetically by linguistic origin):
- Bibijana (Croatian)
- Viivi (Finnish)
- Bibiane/Bibienne (French)
- Viviane/Vivienne (French: common diminutive form is Vienne)
- Viviette (French: originally a diminutive form; used as an independent given name)
- Bibiana (German/Italian/Spanish)
- Bibbiana (Italian)
- Viviana (Italian/Spanish)
- Bibianna/Wiwianna (Polish: the latter form is more common and is currently rising in popularity)
- Bibiána/Viviána (Slovakian/Hungarian: diminutive forms in Slovak are: Vivi, Vivianka, Via and Vianka)
- Viviann/Vivianne/Vivan/Wivan (Swedish)
- Vivian (English)
- Vivien (French/Hungarian)
- Bibbiano/Bibiano (Italian)
- Vivianus (Latin)
- Bibian (Polish)
- Vivián (Spanish)