The name may be composed of the Lithuanian elements, žy- from (žygiuoti), “to move; to march” and vil- from (viltis) meaning “hope.”
According to Polish historian and linguist, K. Gorski, the name may also be a corruption of the name of an ancient Baltic diety, Zizili, the name of an obscure fertility goddess.
The name is believed to have been first introduced by Polish-Lithuanian poet, Adam Mickiewicz.
The designated name-day is February 6.
A Polish form is Żywila
- K. Górski, Onomastyka Mickiewicza, [w:] Onomastica nr 10-11, r. VI, Wrocław 1960