Of uncertain origin. It is found in Old French as Yolande, of which this is a Latinate form. It may be ultimately of Germanic origin, but if so it has been altered beyond recognition. It is also sometimes identified with the name of St Jolenta (d. 1298), daughter of the king of Hungary.
English: topographic name for someone who lived on a patch of land where woodruff grew, Old English wudurofe (a compound of wudu ‘wood’ with a second element of unknown origin). The leaves of the plant have a sweet smell and the surname may also have been a nickname for one who used it as a perfume, or perhaps an ironical nickname for a malodorous person.