About Vivian and similar names    (November 27th 2001)

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(Translated from a German reference book about first or Christian names)

: female first name of English origin, variant of Vivien

Vivian: male first name adopted from the English name Vivianus going back to the Roman name Vibianus derived from early Roman dynasty Vibius (probabely of Etruscan origin). Sometimes explained as association to Latin vivus (lively). Well- known: St. Vivianus, bishop of Saintes (5th century), name day: August 28th

Viviana, also Viviane: female version of Vivianus. Well-known: the Holy Viviana or Bibiana (4th century), name day: December 2nd. The spelling Bibiana is based on the Greek representation B of Latin V

Vivien: female first name taken from the English, going back to Tennyson's poem "Vivien and Merlin" (1859) about the Celtic Arthurian legend. Well-known: English actress Vivien Leigh (20th century)

Vivienne: female first name taken from the French, going back to the "Lady of the Sea" called Vivienne, a figure of the Arthuian legend. The fairy Vivienne kept magician Merlin prisoner and educated young knight Lancelot. The name is probabely derived from the Celtic name Ninian

Charles Faris

I discovered two surprising details when I looked up for "Vivian" in this book recently:

  • The relationship of the name Vivian to Latin vivere (to live) is not my invention, anyway Viva Vivian - my most favorite motto I am still quite proud of.

  • For a long time I thought that Our Darling's pet name Bibi is just a childlike playing down of Vivian, but the spelling has in fact it's linguistic background. Very interestingly the character in Katakana is more a "Bi" than a "Vi" - a remarkable parallelism of the Japanese to the Greek.

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