Earlier generally taken as a variant of the boy's name Vivian, but now also rarely used for boys. This spelling was quite common in Old French. Its use as a girl's name in the English-speaking world was influenced by Tennyson's Merlin and Vivien (1859). This name, from Arthurian legend, may represent an altered form of a Celtic name (perhaps akin to the Irish Gaelic name Béibhinn ‘white lady’, pronounced ‘bee-veen’). The actress Vivien Leigh (1913–67) was christened Vivian.