From the vocabulary word denoting the evergreen shrub or tree (Middle English holi(n), Old English holegn). The name was first used at the beginning of the 20th century, and has been particularly popular since the 1990s. It is bestowed especially on girls born around Christmas, when sprigs of holly are traditionally taken indoors to decorate rooms.
German (Büchler): 1. from the common field name Büchle ‘beech stand’, the -er suffix denoting an inhabitant. 2. from buchel ‘beech nut’, hence a metonymic occupation name for someone who owned or worked in an oil mill producing oil from beech nuts. 3. variant of Buehler.