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.
Spanish: occupational name for a beater or other assistant at a hunt, from an agent derivative of monte, which, as well as meaning ‘mountain’, ‘hill’, could be used in the transferred sense of a game forest on wooded upland. The occupational term was itself also used as a title for any of various palace functionaries, and some cases of the surname may derive from this.