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Oliver: The meaning and history behind Dylan Dreyer's stylish baby name choice

It's stylish but classic, bold but peaceful. See why Oliver has rocketed to No. 5 in popularity for boys in the U.S.
/ Source: TODAY

Dylan Dreyer and husband Brian Fichera welcomed their second baby boy, Oliver George, on Jan. 2 and chose his name for a good reason: They like it. They did the same for Oliver's big brother, Calvin Bradley, now 3.

"There's no significance behind [the name] Calvin, and there's no significance behind [the name] Oliver," Dylan said in an interview from her hospital room with baby Oliver asleep in her lap.

She and Brian had the name on a short list early on, and then found themselves seeing it and meeting Olivers everywhere they went — especially when Dylan was on assignment in London last year covering the Royal Ascot.

Dylan Dreyer and her husband, Brian Fichera, with new baby Oliver George and firstborn Calvin
Dylan Dreyer and her husband, Brian Fichera, with new baby Oliver George and firstborn Calvin.Courtesy Dylan Dreyer

The name Oliver, which comes from the Latin meaning "olive tree," became popular in medieval England after a popular poem, "La Chanson de Roland," featured a character named Olivier, according to popular name website Nameberry.

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It lost popularity in England after the reign of Oliver Cromwell, but the name Oliver has since found popularity, well, everywhere. Nameberry describes the name as "energetic and good-natured, stylish but not nearly as trendy as twin-sister Olivia, with a meaning symbolizing peace and fruitfulness."

As of 2018, it is the fifth most popular name in the United States.

"Oliver is one of the most stylish new international names — popular in an astonishing range of countries," Pamela Redmond, co-creator of Nameberry, told TODAY Parents. "Not only is it a top name in the U.S., the UK, and other English-speaking countries, but it ranks in the Top 50 in Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and Spain."

The name's popularity might be in part due to larger naming trends, Redmond explained. "Oliver is the male counterpart to Olivia, and this kind of name, with male and female versions like Emma and Emmett or Liam and Lia, is really in style too," she said. "It's not gender-neutral but offers gender parity, with both the male and female versions near-equally popular."

Calvin holding his baby brother, Oliver George
Big brother Calvin might have been the deciding factor when choosing his little brother Oliver's name. "He has called him Oliver since day one," said Dylan.Courtesy Dylan Dreyer

But the deciding factor in choosing Oliver's name may have been his big brother. "We ran all our names by Calvin, and he's been calling him Oliver since day one," said Dylan. "So we said, 'It's really going to confuse Calvin if we change his name now,'" said Dylan.

"Even though (Calvin) says 'Oviler' — but we'll work on that."