Holly - The Meaning, Origin And Other Facts About The Name

14/08/2014 17:03 | Updated 20 May 2015

Holly - the meaning, origin and other facts about the name

The name Holly is taken from the name of the evergreen holly tree.

The word Holly is derived from the Old English word holegn which means 'to prick,' - a verb that is very fitting for the holly tree's pointy green leaves.

The name Holly is often given to baby girls who are born in December, as the holly tree's distinctive leaves and red berries are customarily used in Christmas decorations.

The tradition for decorating homes with holly began with the ancient Celts, who believed the bright decorations brought them good luck.

The name became popular in the Victorian era when a trend emerged for naming baby girls after flowers.

The Victorians created a 'language of flowers' in which different plants were bestowed with different meanings. In the Victorian language of flowers Holly means domestic happiness.

Famous people called Holly:

Holly Willoughby, TV presenter

Holly Valance, singer

Holly Hunter, actor

Surnames to avoid pairing with the name Holly:

Surnames beginning with an 'E' or 'Y' might cause problems, as when said aloud this combination of sounds may result in elision – when two words slurred together end up sounding like one.

If you share a surname with former American president George Bush, you may also want to give this name a miss.

Similar names: Hollee, Hollie, Hollis (English), Holika (Indian), Holle (German)

​Or how about another Christmas themed name such as Noelle or a plant themed name such as Ivy?

Masculine variants: Hollis (English) Holic (Czeh), Holleb (Polish).

Celebrities who named their baby Holly:

Charlton Heston, actor

Davina McCall, TV presenter

Michael Bolton, singer

Richard Branson, businessman


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