What does Sylvia mean?
Sylvia \s(y)-lvia, syl-via\ as a girls' name is pronounced SIL-vee-ah. It is of Latin origin, and the meaning of Sylvia is "woods, forest". The Latin form Silvia was more popular for centuries until recently. Rhea Silvia was an ancient nature goddess, mother to the twin founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus. Shakespeare used the name Silvia for the love interest in his play "Two Gentlemen of Verona", probably intending to give the impression of a typical Italian girl though the name has come to be regarded as an English name.
Sylvia▼ has 23 variants: Silva, Silvaine, Silvana, Silvania, Silvanna, Silvia▼, Silviana, Silvianne, Silvie, Sylva, Sylvana, Sylvanna, Sylvee, Sylvette, Sylviana, Sylvianne, Sylvie, Sylvina, Sylvine, Sylvonna, Sylwia, Zilvia and Zylvia.
For more information, see also the related girl name Xylia.
Sylvia is a very prominent first name for females (#120 out of 4276, Top 3%) and also a very prominent last name for all people (#5977 out of 88799, Top 7%). (2000 U.S. Census)
Displayed below is the baby name popularity of Sylvia for girls. Sylvia reached its peak rank of #73 in the U.S. during the years 1910-1919, and is presently at #493. (Top 1000 Birth Names Statistics, 2014)
Below is a charted comparison of the popularity of the girl name Sylvia and associated names. The only other popular variation form of Sylvia (#493 the previous year) is Silvia. Adoption of this girl name was at its apex during the years 1950-1959 and has become significantly lower since, with the versions Silvia and Sylvia becoming less stylish. (Top 1000 Birth Names Statistics, 2014)