Latinate name, first used by Shakespeare for the rich heiress wooed by the duke in Twelfth Night (1599). Shakespeare may have taken it as a feminine form of Oliver or he may have derived it from Latin oliva ‘olive’. In the 1970s it was particularly associated with the Australian pop singer and actress Olivia Newton-John (b. 1948). Since the 1990s it has been very popular throughout the English-speaking world.
English, Scottish, and northern Irish: occupational name for a maker of machinery, mostly in wood, of any of a wide range of kinds, from Old English wyrhta, wryhta ‘craftsman’ (a derivative of wyrcan ‘to work or make’). The term is found in various combinations (for example, Cartwright and Wainwright), but when used in isolation it generally referred to a builder of windmills or watermills.